Friday, July 04, 2008

Choose your bedtime stories carefully

Last night we were reading Hansel and Gretel. The story was sad. The children's mother had died and the father remarried. The step mother then persuaded the father to get rid of the children by leaving them in the middle of the forest. At the end of the story the step mother had died and the children's father welcomed the children back into the home when they found their way home.

What kind of a father is that anyway!!!!!! After the story and the lights were off, my boy asked me "Mummy, what happens to you after you die?"

Uh Oh! Does that happen to you? There are many seemingly harmless fairytales and classics that just aren't all that suitable at bedtime.

My kids are often frightened by the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs or that awful troll in the Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Then theres the mother duck who rejects her baby just because he's The Ugly Duckling and there's Jack who went to steal things from the Giant in Jack and The Beanstalk. I'm not sure these are values I want to teach my children ie stealing and rejecting someone because of their looks.

Next time I should really choose the bedtime stories carefully before I read them to the kids! Lol.

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  1. Never occured to me that fairy tales are teaching the wrong values. But sis and I did notice how gory some nursery rhymes can be too!

  2. Hi there angie & ben,
    Haha. Yes. Some of them are rather gory and scary to the kids. BTW, I couldn't get to your blog's links.

  3. Yes, I noticed those negative values in those all time favorites fairy tales. Luckily my children weren't really into fairy tales. They choose other books instead.

  4. I agree totally that choosing the right books is important. I remember reading te ugly duckling to my little boy when he was three and he cried afterwards as he was upset that nobody wants to befriend the poor little duck! I quickly took the opportunity to thus tell him that we should be kind to people and not judge them on their looks. In his own little way, he understood. ;)

  5. thanks for dropping by my blog :)
    so far I haven't started my kids with the fairy tales, will keep in mind your advice :)

  6. elaine,
    Sometimes it might be useful to use it as a means to explain to the kids but I'd save that for older kids rather than the young ones.

    You did the right thing. :)

    I would say that most of the fairy tales have some negative values or other things that need explaining. For example, in Sleeping Beauty you might need to explain about death when she takes a bite of the poison apple meant to kill her etc. Not exactly a delightful thing to read just before bedtime. Haha.

  7. My kids call me a step-mom whenever I am mean to them. Hmmm... wonder where they got that idea from?
    Well, when reading these bedtime stories, mommies have to be quick on their toes to turn it into a positive lesson. Good luck!

  8. lian,
    Turn it into a positive lesson and a time for explanations and must have lots and lots of patience to answer all the whys.


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