Should we Stop Reading Fairy Tales to children?

The original tales published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812 were not intended for children. They were filled with sex, violence and family dysfunction.

The Grimms rewrote and republished the tales several times. The final edition contained versions of the stories that were a little more child-friendly.

But that’s not to say they meet today’s standards of what is suitable for children. Many of the tales still contain violence. They also reinforce stereotypes.

Some of the messages the tales send include:

  • Unattractive people are evil
  • Step parents are evil
  • Women are jealous and vengeful
  • Women can rely on their beauty to bring them happiness
  • Women do all the housework and stay at home
  • Men do the hunting and seek adventure
  • Women must be rescued: Men must rescue them

What do you think? Should Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel be read to children? Do you think you will read these stories to your children?

Share your opinion in the Comment Box!

Rating: 5

25 thoughts on “Should we Stop Reading Fairy Tales to children?”

  1. Ok, fairy tales are really a downgrading powerhouse that I’m not in favor of. When we are younger, our minds are taken away on quests, etc. We imagine how it would be like, and we play pretend with friends. And that’s alright! But I think that’s why Frozen, Merida, and all the newer movies were made: to have a Disney princess who didn’t need saving–she could save herself! So here’s my final opinion:
    DO NOT READ FAIRYTALES THAT SEND A WRONG/BAD/ODD MESSAGE TO CHILDREN.
    Children can let their imagination flow free without fairy tales. How about reading about superheroes next time?

    1. Let me get this straight:
      Some people will read kid-friendly versions of fairy tales by Disney or something instead of the real thing. But even those fairy tales are saying:
      “Oh, she’s not beautiful–she must be a witch. She must be evil.”
      “Imperfect people are evil and serve no purpose.”
      “Step-parents are EVIL.”
      “Women are the bad guys.”
      “Beauty is EVERYTHING for a girl.”
      “A woman’s most important job is to do all the chores and never wander.”
      “Men are the ones who save women and have an adventure. They do the hunting.”
      “Women need to be saved–specifically by a MAN.”

      Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel all have one of the above messages, even in kid-friendly versions.

    2. In Cinderella–HOUSEWORK and BEAUTY and STEP-PARENTS
      In Snow White–STEP-PARENTS and MEN SAVIOR
      In Hansel and Gretel–WOMAN IS EVIL and VIOLENCE (excuse me, but the lady wants to EAT them. Cannibalism!)
      In Little Red Riding Hood–The wolf ate the grandma and wants to eat Little Red. A hunter comes and sees a wolf and so he hacks up the wolf, and somehow, the only one harmed was the wolf. Even though the grandma was inside of the wolf. I’m sorry, is that not violence? It had VIOLENCE and MEN SAVIOR and MEN DO HUNTING.

      No shade, but come on. Read a couple of faIry tales and I GUARANTEE you’ll find a message I listed in my other post. It looks like fairy tales, the mystical and magical places they are, are not so sugar-coated.

      And again, you can be amazed by the incredible world of SUPERHEROES.

  2. I don’t think that these books should be read to children as some of these have violent content and could scare children. I think I may read more kid-friendly versions to my children.

  3. Nope. We should NOT stop reading fairy tales to children. Fairy tales were a HUGE part of my childhood. It was literally the foundation. If you read Snow White, I don’t think children would think that all ugly people were evil. The evil queen was beautiful! Yet she was ugly inside. That’s what children would take with them, looks aren’t everything, and they learn kindness is strong. In Red Riding Hood, sure it was pretty brutal to be stuck waiting while your in a wolf’s stomach, and yeah, it was pretty dumb for her parents to think that she wouldn’t get in trouble prancing along in the woods in a RED cape. But it also shows toughness, like hello, she just survived being eaten by a wolf… And they could also learn that you should be cautious around strangers, even those who appear to be nice.

    How else do children learn that being kind and strong is the best path to go?

  4. We should definitely KEEP reading fairytales to children. Fairytales encourage imagination and give us the opportunity to think and feel like each of the characters! Also, most, if not all fairytales express a good lesson in a way that children could understand. Fairytales are worth keeping and reading!

  5. I believe that Fairy Tales should continue to be read to children. They encourage an imagination and often teach good lessons. But like we can see, people have a difference of opinion, so depends on person to person. And yes, it is certain that you can also read other things besides fairy tales to your children.

  6. We should definitely read them to children but imply that these stories are not real. We should imply the good lessons to keep and the not so great ones to ignore.
    Good lessons are:
    The Little Mermaid: Sometimes you can’t have the one you want.
    The Frog Princess: Give people a chance.
    etc…
    But the bad lessons:
    Girls are lower than boys are portrayed in many princess movies.
    Unattractive people are evil
    etc…

  7. The fairy tales that are read today have somewhat of an old fashioned debut. Some of the lessons that the fairy tales were originally created to teach may seem harsh and judging. fairy tales carry other life lessons that can be used for people in this life. In the story Cinderella, the original lesson may have been, “Unattractive people are evil”, but the lessons that people can learn today may be “be kind to others even if they are not kind to you” and “keep a positive spirit when times are harsh” that is why I think that we should never stop reading fairy tales to children.

  8. These stories hold a lot of meaning to us because we grew up reading and watching them. But I think that for future generations, we should revise tales to be inclusive and make them more enjoyable for all children.

    Rating: 5
  9. I think fairy tales shouldn’t be read to children because then the children will think that their parents are mean cruel and make them do all the cleaning while their parents are having fun . I think that their parents should read them a bedtime story made up and not from a story book

  10. No, I think we should keep reading fairy tales to children. I think this because it can really show kids of the future generations of people’s creative ideas and writing of the past. Our generations now are all about technology, and I think fairy tales might be able to at least know what the past was like and how we thought. These stories also have great morals that can teach kids a lesson.

  11. Fairy tales should continue to be read to children because they do teach very good morals about always staying true to one’s beliefs, treating everyone with kindness, and having big dreams. Although there are some stereotypes in the stories, the adaptations of the original Grimm brother stories which are read to children, such as the Disney ones, have been changed slightly to teach even more morals and provide good messages for both kids and adults all around the world.

  12. No, I do not think we should stop reading these fairy tales to our kids. I felt as if it set a foundation for what I started reading and it was a major part of my childhood, playing with dolls like Belle and watching the movies. However, I agree that only kid-friendly versions of the books should be read to kids and not the one’s that were intended for adults with bad words and non-beneficial morals.

  13. I people should continue to read fairy tales to kids because many of them have morals that could help teach children life lessons. Also, these stories have been passed down for a long time, and we don’t want to stop that.

  14. I don’t think fairy tales should not be read to kids because of these stereotypes included in them. However, maybe we can only expose kid friendly versions to young readers. It is a major part of everyone’s childhood, and it would hurt to miss out on something you parents and sibling enjoyed.

  15. I think that fairy tales should continue being read to children because they have great morals and themes. I know that without fairytales, my childhood would have been much more boring. They made me more imaginative and excited about literature in general.

  16. I think Fairy Tales are still fairy tales so kids should realize they are make believe. They have morals and traditions that are important to share. I think parents have to have a conversation around the stereotypes.

    Rating: 5

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