Have you heard of these “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books by Jeff Kinney? Are your kids into them? Are you?
There were three books in the series and the fourth book, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” was released this week. The books chronicle the misadventures of two middle-school age boys trying to work through adolescence, home life and school with as little effort as possible.
The plots revolved around slapstick, laziness and ethical lapses that 8 to 12 year-old really enjoy but parents aren’t so sure about.
“The words ‘moron,’ ‘jerk,’ ‘dork’ and ‘hot girls’ are used in the first five pages,” complains a reviewer on Amazon of the first book. “This is a poor choice for good character building in your children.”
But many experts disagree.
“It really captures the struggle of a child that age trying to figure out what it means to be a person,” said Dr. Joshua Sparrow, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sparrow read the first Wimpy Kid book after a young patient told him about it.
Dr. Lawrence Rosen, a pediatrician who founded the Whole Child Center in Oradell, N.J., says he has talked about the series with his third-grade daughter, who says she likes that the main character is “not perfect.”
“The power of the book is about the wimpy kid, a regular kid with regular problems, just dealing with what life brings him,” Dr. Rosen said. “For parents, I suppose reading the books or at least discussing them with our kids will give us a more realistic idea of what their lives are like, the struggles they face every day.”
I have not read any of these books so I am definitely going to check it out.
Are you familiar with the “Wimpy Kid” series? Do you like it, hate it, have problems with it? Do you think it can help kids worth through ethical dilemmas in life and/or help parents have a dialogue with their kids about making ethical decisions?