Good and Bad of Telling Fairy Tales for Children

Every child’s first ride towards literature/creativity starts with the stories which their parents/grandparents tell them. Storytelling is the most common ritual during bedtime for children and those stories are most often fairy tales.

There has always been a debate on how good are fairy tales for the children and what negative impacts they can create in their minds.

Let us look some of these Goods and Bads.

Good and Bad of Fairy Tales for Children

Why are Fairy Tales Good For Children?

Imagination and Creativity

Fairy tales open up a new world of vibrant imagination. With each story, the child will visualize the scenes vividly. Children who learn to listening to such tales might observe more, absorb more and may eventually lead to expressing themselves in different ways such as writing, drawing, crafting etc.

Quality Family Time

Storytelling to children happens across different generations in a family. Grandparents, parents, uncles, aunties etc. The bond develops in a stronger fashion as these relationships will connect with the children in their little world through stories. The casual give and take of opinions, doubts and responses during story telling ensures fabulous and relaxing family time.

Good vs Evil

Every fairy tale instills the thought that it’s the goodness which wins over evil. There is no way the negative character, tastes victory at the end of the story and ‘the kind and the good’ have the last laugh and a good life forever.  Such a thought imparted, can go a long way in building the child’s character.

All is Well That Ends Well

The lead characters go through a lot of hurdles, pain and travel through a rough patch before they taste the success in the end. Never, these characters give up midway and who gets all of the happiness and success finally matters the most. This would help children not to quit easily, but fight back to win.

Introduction to Cultures

Fairy tales and fables give understandings about various cultures and behaviours of the past world.

Read on Video Games And Children’s Psychology

Why are Fairy Tales Bad for Children?

Marriage and Happily Ever After

Life is not just about getting married or marriage is not the ultimate reward in one’s life. And a marriage doesn’t guarantee a happily ever after. Marriage is a part of anyone’s life and the life after it is bound to have ups and downs like it was before.

Most fairy tales end with a ‘Happily Ever After” which isn’t true and the children should not be made to believe that.

Face The Situations

Most fables show women as damsel in distress and who is waiting to be rescued by a man. Meekness in unwanted situations is glorified.

Men and women co-exist in a society and while both genders need each other to live a harmonious life, every individual should know to stand up and face the situations irrespective of the gender.

Portrayal of Women

Women are portrayed to be either home bound or evil and cunning destroying lives. From domesticised Cinderella being named after her clothes covered with cinders working in the kitchen relentlessly to most of the fairy tale villains being women, the understanding of womanhood and women can go horrendously wrong.

The Pretty and the Ugly

Almost all the lead female characters are slim, fair, and most often, white. They have, more than often, perfectly sculpted figures and synonymize perfection of both looks and characters, where all baddies are ugly, fat, evil looking, with many deformities in their appearance. 

Such standards can be detrimental to the child’s understanding of being beautiful, being happy and being good/kind.

Real life problems

Fairy tales most commonly don’t address happenings and problems close to the real life. The unreal and extreme suffering of the lead characters, the woman waiting for a man to save her, the curses and the boons, the witches, the fantasized happy life etc. These are  not of those we get to experience often in real life.

A child should be prepared to understand people, the problems, to empathize, to survive, to fight and to accept life.

         In all, while fairy tales are fun and entertaining in their own way, it is important that the parents tell stories from real life, daily happenings blended with imagination and creativity can do wonders on a child’s mind in shaping his personality as a good individual. Hence, as they grow up, parents can gradually stop  reduce reading/telling fairy tales to their children, practice them to read with a balance of fiction, non-fiction reads and real life stories.

Happy Parenting!!

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