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  • Writer's pictureValerie

Why are fairy tales important?

REPOST from September 2021

Einstein seems like he would have been a fun person to know. He has so many witty quotes and ideas that I would guess most people didn’t know what to do with him. Reminds me a bit of my oldest.

The following quote is one of my favorite quotes by Einstein.

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairytales.

But what is it about fairy tales that are so inspiring, intelligent building, and essential to children?

Fairy Tales, Parables, and Stories are such a rich part of our literary history. They also hit on what most public speakers use to influence their listeners. We are human beings who relate to and remember a story than facts and to-do lists. “Children are drawn up into the story and then they act them out. They know that fairy tales are not part of real life, but they love to think about them and imagine with them.

The stories also often contain a great moral value, teaching children a lesson about how to be virtuous, good manners, or simply what makes a person good or bad. Fairy tales do this better than a modern tale, since they tend to not water down consequences, but exaggerate them to make the point clearer. Children love this. Fairy tales have been passed down through the generations, first orally, and later committed to writing. These tales are rooted in history and tradition as they tie us to those who came before. When children learn the stories, they are learning to conserve and know about the past. They care about what happened “once upon a time.” The fairy tales draw them into the community that is all of humanity.” (SOURCE)

If you look back at my post in November 2020- The Benefits of Reading, I talked about how ‘children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child's life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk.”

Fairy Tales connect us to history, teach us lessons, and morals (if you dig a little, and give us the confidence to face our world.

Over on the Inspiration Soup blog, blogger Melissa Taylor lists eight reason Fairy Tales are essential for Childhood. Here is her list:

1) Fairy Tales Show Kids how to handle problems.

2) Fairy Tales build emotional Resiliency

3) Fairy Tales give us a Common Language

4) Fairy Tales cross cultural boundaries

5) Fairy Tales Teach Story

6) Fairy Tales Develop a Child’s Imagination

7) Fairy Tales give opportunities to teach Critical thinking skills

8) Fairy Tales Teach a Moral

See more of Melissa’s explanations here.

But I thought this list mirrored a lot of my thoughts on fairy tales.

Hence why I wrote Beneath the Hood: a retelling woven with biblical truth, which is a retelling of Red Riding Hood.

I know what you’re asking…Why retell such a basic story?

Red Riding Hood has been done and redone SO many times.

A few years back, when all my kiddos weren’t in school, I heard a speaker at our church’s MOPS group talk about RECLAIMING the Moment. How a bad day can be reclaimed by a change in attitude and a bad attitude can be reclaimed to breathe life into our kids instead of sap life from them.

Let’s just say that phrase has stuck with me. I’ve held on to that phrase so much that it got me thinking about what else can I reclaim for God’s glory. It started with reclaiming the craziness at dinner time and adding in a short Devo, while kids refused to eat the healthy stuff I’ve put before them. Then it turned into reclaiming holidays that culture has turned away from their original heart.

Which led me to reclaim the story of Red Riding Hood, as a way to remind myself of who I am and whose I am. Where this is a stumbling block for me, I wanted to write something that spoke to the power of being one of God’s children and that we are capable because of Christ doing what He has placed in our path.

To tell you the truth, when I was in the thick of parenting littles, I needed the simple truths of VeggieTales and Children’s books as much as my kids did. When you’re not sleeping much, or able to squeeze in time in God’s word the simple reminders are exactly what we needed.

So, this isn’t just a book for kids, but a book for the ones that are reading the book out loud.

The inside of each of us is still a child that wants to be loved and given purpose no matter how old we are.


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