The age-old debate as to whether or not fairy tales are too scary, too politically incorrect and too stereotypical for children is highly contested. The discussion has been ongoing since the time of the Brothers Grimm, who first wrote down these tales (Mayer, 2016). While it could be argued that some elements of the stories contain themes which might frighten sensitive viewers and those with a weaker imagination, they also provide valuable lessons in morality and ethics (Kerr & Hentges, 2017). Additionally, modern versions often incorporate updates which address issues such as sexism and racism. As such it can be argued that when approached in an appropriate manner fairy tales can be used to teach children important social concepts without being overly frightening or outdated.
The notion that fairy tales can be too scary for young minds is understandable yet debatable. Stories centred around witches, giants and talking animals may at first glance seem inappropriate for small children however there are many benefits to introducing them to such fantastical characters at a young age (Friedman et al., 2012). Through these adventuresome stories children learn about bravery by following heroes on their journey through adversity towards victory. Furthermore by making associations between themselves and their favourite storybook character they gain a sense of identity as well as learn basic problem solving skills (Ozcelik & Erdogan 2010). For these reasons it would appear that while some aspects of traditional stories may seem dark this should not prevent them from being shared with younger audiences if done so in an educational context.
Do you think that fairy tales are too scary, too politically incorrect, too stereotypical for children?
Questions have also been raised surrounding the political correctness of certain storylines particularly those containing stereotypes regarding gender roles or race(Barlow 2019). It must be acknowledged that much progress has been made since the days when women were portrayed merely as princesses awaiting rescue by brave princes (Gouveia 2014) however there still remains room for further development regarding representation within literature aimed at younger readers.(Atwell 2018) With this in mind publishers should take steps to ensure updated versions do not perpetuate unfair biases but instead promote more equitable values .
In conclusion it seems most likely that far from being too frightening or outmoded traditional fairy tales continue to remain relevant today especially when presented in an educationally sound manner . By allowing our youngest generations access to these moralistic narratives we enable them to develop their imagination while gaining essential life lessons along the way.(Waddell & Llewelyn 2018) In order for this process work effectively content creators must strive ensure all literary materials adhere strictly adheres progressive values thereby ensuring no child is excluded due outdated ideologies found within storytelling’s long history.