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(98 Posts)
Lily65 Wed 01-May-19 21:11:21

to not want traditional fairy tales used in DD's class (121 Posts)
Add message | Report Blankiefan Wed 01-May-19 20:09:26
P1 5yo DD's class are doing a range of activities around Fairyland being lost. I don't hear any chat from dd about anything challenging gender norms. For example, she tells me they are making a castle for sleeping beauty this week so the handsome Prince can come and wake her up. Obviously I've discussed the consent issue with her. This seemed to be new news...

AIBU in wanting a chat with her teacher to check on the truth and encouraging some challenge... or will I be "that parent"?

Opal Wed 01-May-19 23:10:32

Oh pur-leeze???!!! "challenging gender norms", "consent issue"???!!! The kid is 5 years old!!!! The clue is in the description "fairy tale" - it's a tale, i.e. a story, i.e. fiction. This is political correctness in overdrive. Let her be a child, enjoy stories and make believe, believe in happy ever after and generally enjoy an innocent childhood as much as possible. Or yes, you will be "that parent".

maryeliza54 Wed 01-May-19 23:23:31

Well clearly you’ve never read ‘The Paperbag Princess’. This was a standard bedtime story for dd and is now read to dgs. Utterly wonderful and challenges gender stereotypes beautifully and in a very amusing way. Who on earth would want the drivel that is Sleeping Beauty? There are wonderful children’s books around, beautifully illustrated and with gentle, amusing storylines which avoid all the fairy tale rubbish whilst developing children’s imaginations. Much better story lines as well

Eloethan Wed 01-May-19 23:41:31

Children absorb information and ideas very quickly, even at 5 years old. For instance, research has shown that under-3's can recognise several logos.

Using that as an example, children who are often exposed to, for instance, the "princess waiting to be rescued by the brave prince" scenario are likely to subconciously internalise those roles.

I tend to think it is more beneficial for children to read stories that contain fewer stereotypical ideas - then there would be no need to have conversations about consent.

maryeliza54 Wed 01-May-19 23:49:48

The average fairy tale is utter rubbish - I just wouldn’t waste my time reading them when there’s all the wonderful Julia Donaldson books for one thing, Winnie the Pooh - such joy and being a gp means a second go at all these wonders.

hdh74 Thu 02-May-19 00:24:06

Never mind all those handsome princes in fairytales, what about the woodland creatures or elves that come and do your housework etc while you sleep - I've been had!

Evie64 Thu 02-May-19 00:34:52

And what about all the frogs the Princess has to kiss!

gmelon Thu 02-May-19 00:49:12

Im in you mean I'm never going to be rescued by a man........who'd have thought it!!

absent Thu 02-May-19 01:10:33

Traditional stories about princesses need to be counterbalanced by more contemporary ones, such as Princess Smartypants.

quizqueen Thu 02-May-19 01:12:23

Remind me - if I find any of these silly mothers (who want to ban fairy tales because the prince kissed a princess to wake her up without her consent) unconscious on the floor - because I won't be trying to give them the 'kiss of life' without their consent first.

Summerlove Thu 02-May-19 02:05:11

Quizqueen, from that snippet, the mum doesn’t want to ban them, but to balance out the story.

Consent (or lack there of) is a very real issue. One that children of both genders need to learn. Many many older people seem to as well

Summerlove Thu 02-May-19 02:05:55

But yes, let’s poke fun at parents who want better for their daughters than many of us had 🙄

BradfordLass72 Thu 02-May-19 06:31:35

When my sons were younger, they and I didn't like some of the things in traditional fairy tales - and this is 40-50 years ago. So I re-wrote them.

I can't remember all the changes I made but Rumplestiltskin became Uncle Rumple and looked after the baby, rather than angrily stomping his foot into the ground.

Sleeping Beauty was a boy - and it was a girl (not a princess), who slashed her way through the brambles to kiss him awake (kissing was allowed grin

The Princess and the Pea wasn't a princess and the mattresses (many brothers and sisters) were stored one atop the other because they needed daytime space.

The eldest girl climbed up for a sneaky nap. "But I can't drop off in case I drop off' she yelled."

I'm all for traditions and classics but re-writing them for my boys was fun.

BradfordLass72 Thu 02-May-19 06:33:42

The tradition continues.

I have just written a Sherlock Holmes story which features my grandson (almost 10) as one of the Baker Street Irregulars and an apprentice to Holmes.

Sara65 Thu 02-May-19 06:53:19

I think absent has a point

I can’t see any reason why small children shouldn’t be read fairy tales, but there are so many great story books for children now, we just need to have a balance, somebody mentioned Julia Donaldson, my grandson loves all her books and can recite them off by heart, but his current favourite bedtime read, is the elves and the Shoemaker

Maybe we should be pleased that somebody is actually reading to them, and not just puting then in front of the television

As to mumsnet mum, I’d leave well alone

Harris27 Thu 02-May-19 07:09:23

I love your comments and after 20 years in childcare can smile! Julia Donaldson. For me every time. HDH74 that made me smile! Sometimes we just laugh and carry on in my place of work! And please never say a child is naughty just challenging!!!!!!

Anja Thu 02-May-19 07:23:33

So what age do you think we should challenge gender stereotypes?

Five too young?


sodapop Thu 02-May-19 07:32:17

My first reaction was the same as Opal but on reflection I think that things do have to change. I agree with absent counterbalance is the way to go. It would be a shame if traditional stories died out altogether. It's good that parents are still reading with their children.

maryeliza54 Thu 02-May-19 07:48:05

There are some charming fairy tales but we can do without the ones like Sleeping Beauty with their gender stereotyping, beautiful princesses, handsome brave princes, wicked stepmothers etc etc. A bit more discrimination in what is chosen wouldn’t go amiss.

LullyDully Thu 02-May-19 07:58:33

The old stories are so good and instantly popular with children. Who want the story of the gingerbread man who isn't eaten by the fox or Goldilocks who doesn't get her comeuppance?

However any modern teacher has to be aware of the sensibilities of modern society. Even with a five year old these can be addressed using the old tales and discussing them. The children can take the opportunity to retell bits of the tale. They enjoy that.

LullyDully Thu 02-May-19 07:59:18

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater and get too precious.

MamaCaz Thu 02-May-19 08:04:06

Having read the views given so far, I too have decided that I agree with the 'counterbalance' view.
If/when there are enough stories that reverse the traditional roles, I think we will have overcome gender stereotyping.

(But I hate all the modern, pink, princess-type books that are being thrust upon very young girls now. Yuk! Most of those that I have seen don't contain a story worth reading, and I would ban the lot if I could!)

maryeliza54 Thu 02-May-19 08:04:14

Some of the old stories are good but some are utter rubbish - why waste time on the latter when there is so much good stuff out there?

maryeliza54 Thu 02-May-19 08:07:30

No one is saying no fairy tales but who can defend Sleeping Beauty when there’s so much better?

Sara65 Thu 02-May-19 08:12:47

You took the words right out of my mouth lullydully, I can’t see any problem with sleeping Beauty, or anything else, as long as it’s not ALL they are having read to them