If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. -Albert Einstein
There has been some controversy in the press over the past couple of years about reading fairy tales to young children. Most of the concerns are centered around the emotional impact they can have on children.
I like to keep this space free of politics, controversy, and debate, but I will say that I do think it’s important to use good judgement when choosing any book to read to your children. Consider their age, their maturity,and the little characteristics that make them who they are; and of course, read the book yourself first before reading it to them.
You know your child better than anyone else so just use your best judgement…I think this is true with every aspect of parenting.
We recently started introducing fairy tales into Harleigh’s reading time. She’s 20 months, so I started with these stories:
Cinderella The Three Little Pigs The Ugly Duckling Peter Pan
My professional and personal reasons for reading fairy tales to your children: (You can read more about my career as a speech-language pathologist here.)
1. They learn to think outside the box and fairy tales ignite their imaginations. 2. They learn to look for positive in the world; they learn to look for the “good guys.” 3. Because many fairy tales are shared around the globe, children are able to relate to other children across other cultures. 4. They learn to solve problems. 5. They learn basic story elements(setting, characters, plot): skills crucial for succeeding in Kindergarten. 6. They begin to learn the difference between fiction and non-fiction; imaginary and reality. 7. They learn that good always trumps evil in the end...and well…I think even adults could use this reminder every now and then.
Here are some other helpful links on the importance of integrating fairy tales into your child’s reading time.