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Confident Child Topics..

You are here : home > Confident Child > Inculcating Values > Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales

Do you think it is okay for parents to introduce young children to romance at an early age? Focus more on the messages in these stories, and less on the romance.

Take a look at some of the fairy tales out there. Rapunzel getting rescued by the man of her dreams, princes kissing beautiful princesses, princesses kissing frogs that turn into handsome princes, beauties kissing beasts, witches and curses, and spells that can only be broken by a kiss from a true love. Phew! If you think about it, there's far more romance in these fairy tales than there is in a Mills and Boon novel.

Indian mythology

Many of us have grown up hearing these stories. But we have also received a healthy doze of Indian mythology, which doesn't subscribe to or looks romance in such detail. Instead, there seems to be a lot of obvious emphasis on values. The Ramayana speaks about the importance of a promise, love between brothers, obedience and respect for parents. It also speaks about the importance of family and love between husband and wife. Similarly, the Mahabharat encompasses The Gita within its pages. The character of Yudhishtir, the most honest and principled of the Pandavas, is often stressed upon. Akbar and Birbal tales are witty and encourage thinking. The Jataka and Panchatantra tales all come with a moral.

We have also come across numerous Arabian Tales, like Sindbad and Alibaba. These are filled with fantasy, magic carpets and clashes between good and evil. They stimulate the imagination.

Sleeping Beauty

On the other hand, take a look at the story of Sleeping Beauty. If you analyze it, you will find many messages, but most of us don't lay enough emphasize on these messages. We focus only on the story. An evil queen banishes her stepdaughter, because the daughter is apparently more beautiful than she. Not satisfied with just the exile, the queen then disguises herself and feeds her a tempting poisonous apple, which lulls the beauty into a deep sleep. Many years later, a handsome prince comes across the sleeping beauty, and is captivated. He kisses her. This breaks the spell and the princess wakes up and rides away with her prince, after which they live happily ever after.


There is a message here, encouraging you to resist temptation. After all, if the princess had resisted the temptation of eating the poisonous apple, she would not have fallen victim to the spell. Similarly, the father should have paid more attention to his family and to his daughter, and not just focus on his 'work'. If he knew what his evil wife was up to, perhaps he would have been able to stop her from hatching her scheme. It is only because his daughter was neglected that the queen could take advantage.

Although all of us deeply emphasise the morals of Indian mythology, few of us are even aware of the subtle messages in fairy tales.

You don't need to do a thesis on the stories. Just search for morals and messages and discuss them with your child after reading them a story. Not only will your child enjoy the story more, but she will also emerge a better person, with more on her mind than just kissing!

You may also be interested in:

Losing Values?
The Cinderella Effect
Gearing For Success
For a Good Cause
Excessive Praise
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Payal.5 years ago
I grew up by reading a lot of fairytale stories all the time. But in reality it is completely different.
Mrudula.9 years ago
very true
prita.9 years ago
maybe such early exposure to such fairy tales is why in the west they tend to be more open to romance before marirage.
Hanna.9 years ago
between the age of 0-6 children should not be introduced to fairy tales and fantasy because these are the crucial years of development and they believe everything. it is a waste in their development to imagine things or people which don't exist. rather give them the truth and build on reality to enhance their imagination.

just my 2 cents!
annie.9 years ago
you guys call yourself india parenting, but you do nothing but degrade india, indian products, indian values, mythology...list is never ending. though this site is visited by many nri, they r still indians & not westerners. learn to live up to your name pls. as it is todays generation is aping the west & r getting in to all sorts of trouble which were unheard of before. so pls promote indian culture.
thanks & regards,
to annie.9 years ago
are u stupid or what? didnt u read the article - it talks aobut indian mythology and all
sonali.9 years ago
i would say its better as a parent to introduce your kids to these stories before the listen them from someone else
( probably in school)
but make sure instead of romance you focus on other aspects as not to accept things from strangers in sleeping beauty and swon white.
Viren.9 years ago
even the parents are not matured to understand the message and thereby make children biased on the defination of beauty, evil, etc...
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