Every so often, my ears perk up at a bit of news that floats through my bubble of a personal space and gets me all riled up for the wrong reasons. Like this little newsflash about how parents are deeming "fairy tales" a la Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm fame ...too scary, opting for "modern" stories instead.. whatever that means. SERIOUSLY?! For those parents out there with that perception, what do you have to say about "scary" modern stories such as.. hmm.. let's say, Harry Potter and all the seven books about his "adventures"? There's death, kidnappings, battles, and *gasp* magic in those stories. If Jack and the Beanstalk was considered inappropriate for the modern kiddo because it was "too unrealistic," then you all should really boycott the fiction section and let your kids watch National Geographic documentaries for bed instead. Wiat a second, scratch that thought. They might be too scary for your kids because they depict animals hunting other animals! Oh no. Or what about all those cartoons out there showing cutesy characters bashing each other on the head.. like the Tom and Jerry, or Wile E. Cyote vs the Roadrunner.. OR WHAT ABOUT THOSE FREAKISH TELETUBBIES?! Scary much? 'Nuff said.
Parents apparently deem classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Little Red Riding Hood inappropriate for their precious coddled young because "dwarves" is simply inappropriate for the former, and they are uncomfortable explaining to their kids how the grandmother gets eaten by a wolf for the latter story. Man, these people should go read the original tales by the Brothers Grimm (go on, download it free off Amazon and read it off your Kindle!) and then come and complain that the sugarized, commercialized versions we know as "fairy tales" are pretty damn tame. There, I cussed. I suppose this entry, hell, this whole blog is now inappropriate for kids because it has scary bad words, oh my. Oops, I said two scary bad words.
Don't deny your childen the opportunity to figure out for themselves right from wrong, black from white, dark from light. Go ahead and deem fairy tales inappropriate and "too scary" (for reasons that will always baffle me), butt don't transfer those adult insecurities onto the children. Why can't these parents grow up a bit themselves and regale their children with fairy tales that spark the children's imagination. Yes the Snow Queen was freaking scary when I first read about her in my anthology of Hans Christian Anderson tales, but I figured out for myself at the age of seven that one, she wasn't REAL and even if she was, I had learnt what NOT to do from Kai and Gerda's mistakes. Yes, I was a little too overactive with my imagination at the time but if not then, then when? To those parents polled, if there are issues with the story, why not use the opportunity to use it as a teaching tool about life? Kidnappings too scary? Why not spin the tale around and ask the kids what THEY would do if they were Hansel or Gretel? Turn it into a "don't talk to strangers" and "be vigilant, stay close to mommy and daddy when we go out" talk.
Am very very appalled at how much society has changed. In my eyes, I think that with the mentality these parents have of "protecting" their kids, they're just coddling a generation of pushovers who will grow up so insulated from all things "bad" that they won't have the mental or emotional capacity to deal with life's lows that will surely come with life's highs. Seriously people.. in the words of a senior I once worked with, drink a cup of concrete and harden up!!