acepuppets

Are Fairy Tales Too Scary To Read To Children?

Posted on: February 14, 2012


When I saw articles about parents refusing to read traditional fairy tales to their children because they are too scary, I thought I needed to comment because my whole business is based on fairy tales.

If we look at the very traditional tales such as; Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears and the Three Billy Goats Gruff, we actually see a recurring story scenario which is used in many blockbuster films and the most successful books.  We have a bad person who tries to spoil the life of the good person and has many attempts. The good person always outwits the bad person and they always live happily ever after of course unless there is a twist.

Reading fairy tales teach children the very basic format of story telling and enable  them not only to retell the story but also recount activities they have been doing that day.  Most of these tales have been passed down by word of mouth and published versions tend to have a lot of input by the author – if you decide to tell your child the story rather than read it you can soften everything – I like to let the children consider how the bad guy may be feeling, as in the case of the Troll in the Three Billy Goats gruff, he is bad-tempered because the goats keep waking him up and he is tired so they all come to an arrangement and the goats wear slippers so they all live happily ever after.

When we are talking about scary fairy tales I think that it is the horrible and really quite macabre tales written by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson.  These tales are dark and shocking in their content but again have probably been written for a particular audience – I would have to research their readership because they were certainly not written for children.  However we can strip away the darkness and add sugar and spice to the stories and make them more child friendly – Walt Disney was a genius at doing this.

I know lots of little girls and boys who thoroughly enjoy fairytale parties and as long as the baddies are not too scary – they actually like being a teeny bit scared and booing and hissing at the naughty characters.  Anyway we must come to terms with the fact that life is full of wolves, cunning foxes and trolls – we only get our happy endings when we develop strength of character to outwit them and not let them take away our happy ever after.  Also there is a little bit of wolf in all of us – don’t you just like being naughty once in a while?

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1 Response to "Are Fairy Tales Too Scary To Read To Children?"

Clearly we think along the same lines.
Here’s my take on the same topic:
http://kidspartyheaven.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/bring-back-the-bad-guy/

We need the bad guy, now more than ever in my humble opinion!

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