The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales discussion


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What do you think of this argument?

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Lora I picked Grimm's because it is one of many books considered childrens lit that also causes a certain amount of debate- the levels of violence, the layers of cultural acceptance and what not...
What I encounter in many of these discussions is the argument that runs like this: Since kids get exposed to worse, then this stuff can't be all that bad so there's nothing wrong with exposing them to something, er, less worse. I hope you understand how I mean that.
Personally, I disagree with the thinking that seems to be behind that. I think I understand it to mean: since kids get worse, say, 'xyz', then there's no point protecting them from 'abc' or 'lmnop'. By those random letters I mean sex scenes, or intense mood, or graphic violence, or whatever mix.
For me, this is like saying that since kids are going to get stolen from at some point in their lives, we might as well steal something from them now, because either they have to get used to it, or they already are used to it.
I understand that kids are in some ways considered 'more sophisticated' than past generations...but then again, I have to wonder what even that means. I suspect these things probably mean something different coming from different people, but at the same time, each time I see someone justifying certain adult issues in kids reading, I just have to cringe.
I have 2 kids, teens. They usually wait until I read a book, or see a show, and then I either approve or don't. If they're still interested, we'll set a date to let them get a little older and then review my decision. Much of the time, they immediately accept my assessment and move on without further interest in a book (or movie, etc).
I'd like to hear from others who have found themselves thinking about this. I acknowledge that every individual/ family will have their own standards, and you're welcome to share your own. Not only do I find fun and interesting contrasts, but I have become aware of a couple issues I had never noticed before and had to give some consideration to. Mostly, I am looking for discussion on the main idea about this kind of argument, and how it is said, and what it might mean to different people. It makes me so squeamish I decided to try starting a discussion on it to help me grapple with it.

What thoughts, then?

Oh, as a side note, I did read Grimms to them, even after they learned to read. In fact, they still sometimes like to be read to in their teens, it seems kind of magical to them. Well, for me, too.


Jaime The Grimm Brothers' collection of fairy tales were written for their time of superstition, dread, caution and perpetual and often violent social change. The tales were meant as teachers of judgement and obedience. They are violent and stark to us modern parents/grandparents but probably not so to older children. Incidentally, I have found that most teens like these tales.


message 3: by Somerandom (last edited Jun 19, 2013 04:57AM) (new)

Somerandom Personally I think we've become too overprotective and mollycoddle the anklebiters. The world is dangerous and kids need to be aware of that. Kids love violence macabre themes and justice. Fairytales provide that in a realm that kids will identify as fictional. They can experience fear and sadness safely and it can provide a great opportunity to help the child identify, understand and cope with fear and sadness in a healthy manner. It provides great discussion opportunities.

Now, each child is different and the original texts of Fairytales can be too much for some kids. But to deny such an opportunity to kids just because it may scare them I think is shortchanging them. Kids need to be scared every so often so they can understand that it's a natural occurance and understanding it can be very comforting.

Of course every child is different and people have to guage their personal sensibilities and if they can handle it.

I think Fairytales are still important as they're a part of so many cultures and most kids will probably find the gruesome aspects silly or fascinating.

I'm not a parent so this is just conjecture on my part. But I won't shy away from "traditions" with my hypothetical little monster. Personally, I won't censor alot of things, instead use the opportunity to discuss any issues I might have with the kid. I can be the "cool laidback parent" while also teach the make believe kids my morals and all that good stuff. Best of both worlds lol. XD


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