Even talking about stopping fairy tales seems laughably ignorant Why would any one desire to restrict a child from enjoying them. This would be akin to abolishing cartoons,or movies or music. Children are not as concerned about any messages that the stories portray as much as they are enjoying the entertainment aspect and maybe just hopefully a little old fashioned parent child time together that makes it more special.
I was told fairy tales from as far back as i can remember. They are magical and life needs this kind of magic. This makes me sad. I wrote this based on my own experience as a teacher and researcher, published it in February of The other article links to me in the second paragraph but used all my ideas and words, published it in December of , as if it were their own.
Not okay! I disagree about Ariel though I heartily agree with the rest. The Little Mermaid was about following your dreams, not giving up your whole life for a man. Love your post and looking forward to exploring the site.
Too often, we underestimate our kids. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They are naturally drawn to stories that give them a deep, truthful picture of these things. It does not matter if the story takes place on familiar city streets, in a fantasy land full of dragons, or out in darkest space. I believe fairy tales are enchanting stories with mythical creatures that created wonder and curiosity along the way.
A perfect way to start education. I knew my opinion going into this, but it just reinforces my opinion with good reasoning. We might offend someone. Sometimes in life we get offended and offend. As far as scaring children? There ARE heroes to be found. As far as scaring kids? Well said. Now that is scary!! Then I travel into deep dreams and learn how to fix my problems. I disagree with the 7 statement I think the little mermaid is a wonderful story because it is encouraging children to go out on adventures and to find true love but to still visit there parents every once in a wile.
I believe in fairies I do I do! I have recently thought about Little Red Riding Hood. Conspicuously, this story aims to convey that there are people in life that will use manipulations and schemes and very elaborate ones to deceive you. In the story the movie at least , the narrator makes sure to mention that the wolf ate grandma, in every step of the way. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that like in every other field, humanity has most probably advanced culturally. The set of values that society holds today are completely different than the ones believed even as little as one hundred years ago.
The Enchanted Truth
The fairy tales however originated a very long time ago certainly over years ago. There is a chance that this fact makes them obsolete just like various scientific beliefs that have been discarded along the advancement of humankind.
The problem with social progress is that it is ill defined, and I highly doubt that it can ever be well defined, which makes it impossible to determine whether the direction in which we are going is really the right one. However, if you believe like me , that our belief set today is much better than the one society held centuries ago, then I think it is very important to consider the importance of fairy tales from the perspective of the present and not stress the tradition of the custom too much.
I highly recommend reading the entire book. A person is either good or bad, nothing in between. One brother is stupid, the other is clever. One sister is virtuous and industrious, the others are vile and lazy. One is beautiful the others are ugly. One parent is good, the other is evil. The juxtaposition of opposite characters is not for the purpose of stressing right behavior, as would be true for cautionary tales. There are some amoral fairy tales where goodness or badness, beauty or ugliness play no role at all.
Presenting the polarities of character permits the child to comprehend easily the difference between the two, which he could not do as readily were the figures drawn more true to life, with all the complexities that characterize real people. Ambiguities must wait until a firm personality has been established on the basis of positive identifications.
Then the child has a basis for understanding that there are great differences between people, and that therefore one has to make choices about who one wants to be. This basic decision, on which all later personality development will build, is facilitated by the polarizations of the fairy tale. They are for children. In regards to fairy tales being outdated, I would argue that while the way we define our values has changed the values themselves are still and will always be relevant. I believe society still values courage, kindness, respect, self sacrifice, intelligence and truth.
These things are eternal. Our definition of how to be kind or respectful may be different. A congregation of muslims offering refreshments to a woman picketing against Sharia law outside their mosque. She talks about using fairy tales. She even says there were some programs that dealt with juvenile delinquents and they found that very few of them knew any fairy tales. They actually used the stories to teach the idea of consequences. Also, in her book she explains much like you suggested too that fairy tales enable kids to deal with scary situations and project them onto someone else.
What a interesting way to help juvenile delinquents! Ever since I can remember I have read fairy tales. My three year old daughter loves the big bad wolf. All the fairy tales with the wolf or a fox are a hit. When she tells her own stories, she loves to include him. Sometimes he is good, but most of the time he is bad! This is such a great post, Melissa! I think that Chesterton is right about our kids already knowing that danger exists.
We need to give them the grid to know how to deal with their fear of danger.
Revising the fairy tale through magic: Antonia Barber's The Enchanter's Daughter | SpringerLink
By this I mean that animal narrators, trips to the moon and magic purple crayons are all commonplace at my house. Great stuff. I think the original work in this area was by Bruno Bettleheim, a book called The Uses of Enchantment which made the case for how useful the traditional very rough fairy tales were in emotionally developing the kids. There was also a good book that did the same analysis for the early Disney films and the superheros. In light of the current shooting at an Oklahoma theater…….
I am the mother of 3 amazing children, and grandmother to 4 wonderful little grandchildren. Nobody, at least in our family, has ever suffered ill effects from the wonder of fairy-tales. Oh, and in regards to Ariel. Just had to throw my oar in on this.
Linda, Great point and I realize that. However, I want to emphasize to my child that her ultimate life goal about a man. So many good things here to think about! Yes, Fairy Tales can be scary Yikes! Beauty and the Beast gave me nightmares. They teach imagination, fantasy, cause and effect and the moral code! If you do the right thing no matter what, it usually works out. Not always. Just sayin. I have a giant book of fairy tales from when I was a kid, and I love reading it to my daughters, who are 5 and 8.
We get to experience it all over again. I appreciate your wonderful insights. Where do all these Ariel haters come from? Has the writer of this article never been in love, or done something for someone they loved? For example, she should never have trusted Ursula. Why would wanting to be with the man she loves make a woman weak? But this is a Disney movie based on a fairy tale.
Love at first sight was only to be expected. So I think we should cut Disney some slack on that one. And the orginial version is just sick. Hans Christian Andersen could write some weird and gruesome stories. I think Fairy Tales are like the Bible … you must know to understand cultural references.
Plus I love the new spins on fairy tales. Some are really funny and most are great! Fairy tales, fiction, non-reality, teaches children when they discover reality eventually that adults intentionally delude them, cannot be trusted, are merely perpetuating the lies the adults themselves were taught when vulnerable: Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, God, the Devil, Heaven, Hell. Lack of reality, lack of logic, lack of truth thus handed down stupidly generation to generation, defeating any chance of improvement, hope, end of deceit.
I read the article from the UK and one in the Huffington Post, they obviously missed the real strength and heroism in Beauty and the Beast. It was Beauty who, with true strength, saved her father and ultimately freed Beast from his monstrous prison. In my opinion fairytales are as important to literature today as they were in the past. Modernizing them a bit to better reflect our social progress which just makes sense. Thank you for this post. It is such a shame that some parents do not want to read fairy and folk tales to their children. Thank you for this! They are also not perfect.
But it prompted discussion. As far as the Disney fairy tales, for me they prompted me to read the original versions, and to read them to my kids. Parents have to talk to their kids, this is where they get squeamish. It is easier to put them in front of movies and tv. Fairy tales hold valuable lessons for us all… children and adults alike. I think that as with everything — activities, toys, movies, etc. You start at a young age with stories such as The Three Little Pigs progressing to stories such as Rapunzel.
Overall, I much prefer the original versions to Disney because to be blunt, Disney is completely and thoroughly commercialized. They are great movies but the essence of the fairy tale has often been wiped out to cater to the masses. What a lovely article — and site generally — thank you! Like Meghan, I also disagreed with some of your thoughts on the Little Mermaid. I also disliking the Disney versions of pretty much everything, and hate that they changed the end of that one so very much.
When she asked for legs, she was warned of the potential consequence: death. And at the end, she chose to accept that, rather than harm someone else to escape the consequences of her actions. That is absolutely a lesson I want my kids to know. Thanks for the thoughtful comment! Fairy tales have deeper levels than it appears.
The 3 Little Pigs keep trying solutions. Ali Baba discovers the power of words. Pinocchio has to learn self-control and not just to dance on the strings of impatience, jealousy, desire, approval of others. Rapunzel found both good and bad as she ventured away. And just like Sleeping Beauty, kids need time to grow and mature; quiet times to reflect are important. I was so delighted to see yours!! To kids, mothers do seem wicked: we make them go to bed, eat their veggies, pick up their toys. Thank you for writing this. Hi Mamacita, I use the original fairy tales with children up to 8 and then recap on the original and add in the abridgements with 8 year olds who are quick to comment on what they feel has been omitted and whether they feel it adversely affects the story.
I do not use fractured fairy tales until at least Grade 3 — students approximately 9 years of age — and then only after we have had years of reading and enjoying the original versions. I am also still selective about which I use even then. For example they find it amusing to hear the excuses of the Wolf as to what really happened with the three little pigs. He was really trying to borrow a cup of sugar to bake sick granny a cake and sneezed and accidentally blew the house down.
It does not appear to detract from their enjoyment of the original story. The true story of the 3 little pigs by A. Wolf ; as told to Jon Scieszka ; illustrated by Lane Smith. Fairy tales led to science fiction and fantasy reading. This is one of the important aspects of fairy tales, in my opinion.
And I cannot stand what Disney has done!
Gifts for 9-Year-Old Girls
As you know my whole day is spent reading Fairy Tales to kids on my website. The lessons of these age old stories stand the test of time. They present important moral lessons. I am so glad you took issue with the UK survey as I was also appalled when I read it. I love that fairy tales are about ordinary people, from boys and girls to women and men, that find themselves caught up in a magical event. And the fact that there is a strong difference between the good and evil characters. I shared your post on my Facebook Page too.
I really love this, but, I have to say one little thing. I disagree about The Little Mermaid. While I completly agree that abandoning your life for a boy is just plain silly, I think the idea there goes deeper. Ariel never felt like she belonged in her world. I think her decision is less about a boy, and more about having the courage to go beyond her comfort zone, and find a place that she felt more at home. What a brave soul it takes to break out of the expectations everyone else holds you to! That could be the eternal optimist in me speaking, though. Thank you Melissa.
So I have come close to throwing out the fairy tale books from our house, worrying about nightmares and emotional damage to my precious girl, but my husband and yourself have convinced me to stick with it. And yes, I do now think it is good to teach children that bad people do exist, bad things do happen, but that good does too, and that good triumphs over evil… making sure of course that she is protected from too much fear and heartache.
I agree with your comment about visually seeing a villain and imagining one. I was very concerned that this would be too scary for him. However he has no frame of reference to create the same images in his mind that my mind creates when I read the book.
But he gets very frightened in most Disney movies and asks us to skip all of the intense scenes with the villains. That is the beauty of reading fairy tales. The listener filters it and creates a reality they are safely prepared to deal with, the dragon they feel able to slay. I love this article! The Pearls of Wisdom is a lyrical and vibrant fairytale about the enchanting and prophesied life of Princess Shalimar.
Lively with gorgeous illustrations and a captivating writing style, this story is one that people of all ages, genders, and cultures can relate to and learn from. The Pearls of Wisdom is an account of subtle curiosity, profound courage, and fierce grace. It reveals dimensions both mythical and historical.
Through tragedy, she discovers the resilience necessary to surpass calamities and to embrace her true nature. Amidst her heartbreak, she arises ever stronger in order to become a beacon of inspiration for others.
- 100 Must-Read Books About Witches;
- Why Fairy Tales Are Important to Childhood.
- the princess and her gift a tale on the practical magic of learning Manual.
- The Pillars of Solomon (Ben and Danielle).
I highly recommend this book. I believe that all who read it will savor this heartfelt and intriguing journey. By encountering the lessons and spiritual intricacies woven throughout the tale of her initiations, I feel inspired to pursue a path of similar truth. This story truly is a guide to what is possible if we are open to what the universe has to offer.
The reader will be taken on a ride with twists and turns. When you reach the final page you find you have a new inner peace and a better grasp on why we are here. The Pearls of Wisdom puts our creative potential at our fingertips with practical steps to align our awareness with the Divine consciousness to discover those gifts.
The most important secret learned is that magic happens when joy is in our hearts. It nurtures the confidence we need to create the best of what life can be. This book is no exception. The Pearls of Wisdom is a multifaceted story that offers meaning to readers of all ages. It transcends time and with each subsequent reading more pearls are found within its covers.
Personalized Gifts for Kids
The Pearls of Wisdom reignited the importance of supporting the natural rhythm and harmony of a healthy global community. It showed me that believing in magic truly is the magic of believing. This stunts our true potential.