I recently wrote about whether you should tell you kids about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. I wonder though about fairy tales. Are they different?
I do not remember my parents pushing fairy tales on me, but, I do remember reading my share of them. Did I believe them? I do not remember. I had an imagination as a kid, but I am not sure it was specifically from fairy tales, mostly I think my imagination because of the volume of books I read. I grew up without a television, so my life was interesting through what and where I explored outside, the individuals (they were characters!) I met on my paper route, and what I read in books. Sure I watched television and movies, but only at friend’s houses or when I stayed with my grandma.
The books that I read led me to write. I made up stories all the time. Whether they were good or not is another thing. I still have all of them, but have not snuggled on the couch with warm tea and pulled them out to go over what my little self wrote about. I am sure I will be amused. I can remember one was a mystery and had a detective, and another about a girl president. Who knows where I got those ideas. I am sure many of the books I read as a kid kindled that fire that made me want to write.
Which is why I liked this informative blog post about how great leaders are birthed from fairy tales. This post shares how exposure to fairy tales, means you just might be imaginative, have critical thinking skills, and are creative. It also shares the words of Albert Einstein:
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
I love it. For those of you that are parents out there, bring out the fairy tales. Allow your kids to ask questions, dream, and wonder about what is possible. You never know what Hansel and Gretel might mean for your adventurous son, and Cinderella for your beautiful daughter. I think fairy tales start conversations about what is true, what could be, and what should be. I never had those conversations with my parents, but hey maybe you will.
My son has grown up, graduated from college and is living on his own. I don’t know if that makes me an expert but I always read to him and encouraged him to think for himself. If something “controversial” was on TV I took the opportunity to talk to him about what I thought and why I thought it. I don’t know if this helped but he thinks for himself now and disagrees with me quite often, but he has a reason to think the way he does. I don’t know specifically about fairy tales but literature, in all it’s forms, expands the human minds in ways that are not measurable. Human beings are story machines, we love to hear them, read them and tell them. From prehistoric campfires to watching movies on an iPad, people need stories and kids most of all.
Thank you for sharing, John! I love that you have taught your son to speak his mind and think for himself!