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Who’s afraid of the big, bad fairy tale?

Once upon a time, before bedtime, parents read a story to their children. But numbers are on the decline – with many parents preferring to stick their kids in front of the TV or a DVD.

Have your say

i cant believe what i have just read, with all these new computer games and tv programmes fairy tales are exactly that fairy tales millions of people have had them read to them over the centuries it is too much of a nanny state please please do not stop reading your children fairy tales its part of growing up

Posted by anon on 21 February 2012 at 09:46

I have a son at primary school and was very disappointed when he brought home the new pc version of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff.
My lad plays Knights and Dragons with his Castle and this always deteriorates into a violent 'battle' between the Knights and the Dragons with the victor being decided seemingly at random by my son.
Irrespective of how much we water down these stories the children will always want to explore the darker side of things, it is up to us, the parents, to guide them along their way in a balanced and sensible manner not some book editor or politician who thinks we are incapable of such a thing.

Posted by Craig on 21 February 2012 at 07:26

Nothing wrong with moving away from nasty fairy tales, or from keeping them but telling children they are "stories". ECO'friendly - makes a fine point - and again, what about Hansel & Gretal .. eating a house made of sweets ... argh - never considering tooth decay. Ban this story forthwith.

Posted by Jay on 20 February 2012 at 22:14

As the mother of a three year old, I love the old fairy tales, is quite difficult when my little girl decideds she doesn't want to sleep in her bed room incase the witch gets her! If I read a fairy tale before bed, I usually cut out the bits where the wolf eats the piggy and change it accordingly.

Posted by KM on 20 February 2012 at 18:38

The nannystate has brain washed these parents. The world today is not a nice place for children.

Posted by What is going on on 20 February 2012 at 15:44

I find the Three Little Pigs most depressing as it disparages ecologically sustainable housing materials such as straw and wood in favour of the co2 producing brick. What kind of message is this to send out to children?

Posted by E. C. O'Friendly on 20 February 2012 at 14:05

I guess it doesnt matter what the parents read as long as they read something and spend some time with the kids. Too many parents are happy to ignore the kids and let them play unsuitable and violent computer games or watch utter trash on TV.

Posted by alan brown on 20 February 2012 at 12:55

Considering that fairy tales are remnants of history that survived through centuries, and considering that history is full of violent events, perhaps discretion is wise. I would not read the history of the world wars to my child at bedtime. For more info on the origin and decoding of symbols and fairy tales see Once Upon a Time: the world of symbols blog.

Posted by Symbolseeker on 19 February 2012 at 00:10

I would like to know who these parents are. Most kids will have seen their parents watching the most unsuitable films and television. Children love the macabre and enjoy the the ogres and witches in tales. Hiding behind the sofa is a rite of passage for all children and should not be discouraged as long as the material is suitable.

Posted by Charlie on 18 February 2012 at 21:26

Tough luck for these parents when their children get to primary school, then - there's a Fairytales unit in the Primary National Strategy for Literacy which is followed by every school I've ever been to as a supply teacher. Fairytales are also a very common theme for topic work.

Posted by HS on 18 February 2012 at 15:15

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