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Does telling children fairytales make them irrational?

(53 Posts)
Elegran Fri 06-Jun-14 10:35:27

Or does it help them learn that some stories are not true and could not possible be true, but are just tales to be enjoyed? I'd say that most fairy tales are subtle lessons in life.

rosesarered Fri 06-Jun-14 10:59:54

I can only speak personally of course, but for me they just used to be literally 'fairytales' that I enjoyed but had no bearing on my life.Looking back on them, some are very dark subject matter, but I don't remember being scared by them. As you say , they may well be subtle lessons in life that we take in without realising it, not sure really.I wonder if children still like hearing about them?For me as a child, it all seemed 'long ago and far away.'

penguinpaperback Fri 06-Jun-14 11:07:15

I loved fairy tales when small, as did daughter and as do grandchildren.
R Dawkins is promoting a new book I believe so something 'controversial' helps perhaps?
I have noticed the 3 bears and any wolves look friendlier in most new books than the illustrations I remember from my old books.

henetha Fri 06-Jun-14 11:23:02

Adults have been telling fairy stories to children since time immemorial,
and I don't think it has done any harm.

sunseeker Fri 06-Jun-14 11:33:38

Next he will be suggesting we stop children playing "Lets Pretend" games and dressing up as pirates, cowboys/girls, princesses etc. as this doesn't prepare them for the real world. Let's leave children the magic of fairy tales and Father Christmas.

Tegan Fri 06-Jun-14 11:34:33

I think they're there to help children face their fears [fears that they don't quite know that they have but are primevil; fear of wild animals/the dark etc] and are empowering.

Anniebach Fri 06-Jun-14 11:58:46

My daughters loved fairy tales , the younger one believed in fairies and loved walking through woods looking for what she was quite sure was the perfect home for fairies

Didn't affect her in anyway , unless the fact that having recently moved into a new house with large gardens and discussing the landscaping she was planning she said ' the hollow close to the silver birch is not to be disturbed, it's perfect for garden fairies' is proof that my 43 year old daughter was seriously affected in childhood by tales of fairies

HollyDaze Fri 06-Jun-14 12:06:11

I loved fairy stories and was an avid reader of them all when I was a child. The only downside was discovering not all men where knights in shining armour! I also believed in fairies - especially when my aunt showed me a fairy ring when we were on holiday once; evidence at last grin

I read fairy stories to both of my children and my grandchildren - they really enjoyed them too. When I was walking in a plantation once with my granddaughters (both of them obsessed with Winnie the Pooh), I pointed to a hollowed tree and said 'ooh, look, I wonder if that's where Kanga lives' - from that day on, when walking in that plantation, we had to always go and check the tree to see they were there lol. My eldest granddaughter helps to look after a 2 year old girl and she takes the little girl to the plantation to show her Kanga's tree!

I think fairy stories help to develop a child's mind and expand their imaginations.

newist Fri 06-Jun-14 12:09:51

Fairy tales must of effected me then, I have many fairies in my house, and I believe in them!! If the real world gets to me, in my head I switch to fairy land, it works for me. Many people have told me "I am away with the fairies" grin

janerowena Fri 06-Jun-14 12:24:06

The only bits that ever annoyed me were all the princes getting all the action while the princesses waited to be rescued. I bought every role-reversal fairy story book I could lay my hands on for my daughter.

janthea Fri 06-Jun-14 12:34:00

Of course there are fairies. My DGD told me so!!

Also my ex DH is married to the Evil Stepmother, the wicked witch of the west.

FlicketyB Fri 06-Jun-14 13:23:52

Being an extremist, whether atheist or flat earther makes people irrational, o the rest of us it just comes naturally - and is so enjoyable.

Lilygran Fri 06-Jun-14 13:46:26

Are we talking about modern stories about fairies or Grimm, Andersen and co? My DGS and my DS before them absolutely loved them, also Greek and Roman mythology and the Norse stuff. I think young children are naturally irrational not to say nuts. We have that on the great Homer's authority - Simpson, not the poet.

grannyactivist Fri 06-Jun-14 14:23:04

I grew up in a fairly dysfunctional home and as a voracious reader books were both my escape and my guide. It was from good old Aesop, the brothers Grimm, H.C Anderson etc. that my moral compass was set fairly early on in life. I still remember quite vividly my reaction to Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies.

Experigran Fri 06-Jun-14 14:42:57

Today's fairy stories are Harry Potter. Most children love them.

AlieOxon Fri 06-Jun-14 14:56:13

I refused to read 'the Princess and the Pea' to my kids! Such a wet princess.

The Water Babies I wish I still was only long after that I realise it had such an effect. ..... Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby?

AlieOxon Fri 06-Jun-14 14:57:28

Oh, and the Wizard of Oz!

rosesarered Fri 06-Jun-14 15:58:31

newist you are scaring us now! grin

Mishap Fri 06-Jun-14 16:00:19

I'm all for fairy tales1

Nelliemoser Fri 06-Jun-14 16:16:43

Great stuff fairy tales. I remember my Dad reading the water babies to me and my sister when we were quite small.

newist Fri 06-Jun-14 17:20:01

roses I still get presents of faeries from my daughters, I have a 2ft high "Tinkerbell" which has pride of place because 1, I like faeries and 2, It was a present .smile
The "Water Babies" was the first book I can remember reading, especially the character "Mrs Do as You Would Be Done By" I did learn from that. always treat people, as you would like to be treated

rosesarered Fri 06-Jun-14 19:36:53

newist I see that you like the old spelling.... faeries?Does The Water Babies count as a fairy story?It's not that old is it, Charles Kingsley? Or have I got the wrong book.I have to say I never believed in fairies, even as a child I thought of them as just something in books.Not sure why, as I believed in Father Christmas.I bought the flower fairy books for my DC and they loved them and used to spend ages searching the forget-me-knots in the garden because in the books it says 'here's where fairy babies lie!'

durhamjen Fri 06-Jun-14 19:54:56

The Water Babies was written in 1862. Not that new.

rosesarered Fri 06-Jun-14 20:16:56

I suppose I tend to think of 'fairy stories' as things like Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, , Grimms, or Hans Anderson etc rather than actual fairies.

HildaW Fri 06-Jun-14 20:18:34

Enabling and encouraging children to use their imaginations is always a good thing. Fairy stories and the likes of Roald Dahl have been good for my girls. We all need to look at life from a different angle and when very young a fairy story ( and I am sure all children soon realise that its not real life) lets children flex their 'imagination' muscle.