Fairy tales too Grimm

Murder, sorcery, kidnapping. Sound like an episode of Supernatural?

Nope, just what I’m reading to my almost-three-year-old before she goes to bed each night.

I don’t know about you, but the Grimm fairy tales are just a little bit too umm … grim for me.

Evil Queens sending hunters to kill people and cut out their hearts, parents leaving their children deep in the forest only to be kidnapped by a witch who wants to eat them, bad fairies cursing princesses, and let’s not even think about wolves eating grandmothers! Yeah, nothing scary about that at all!?!

Up until yesterday, I could not bring myself to read these fairy tales word for word to Curly-locks. I usually make up my own version, which can get a little convoluted at times, but I haven’t had any complaints as yet.

When I read Snow White word for word yesterday, Curly-locks didn’t look at me in horror and didn’t have nightmares. I would say it all went completely over her head. She doesn’t yet know what the word ‘kill’ means, or ‘dead’, or ‘coffin’, and I don’t want her to either. I want to keep her innocence for as long as I can. She’s not even three yet!

I’m not sure what Curly-locks’ attraction to these books is. She has a mild obsession with Snow White at the moment, but I think that’s mainly due to the influence of Walt Disney and the fact that beautiful Disney princesses are everywhere she looks in the shops, on TV, and in brochures.

There is no doubt these books are classics though and she will need to know the true intentions of the evil Queen in Snow White at some stage. We can’t have her going to school saying, ‘Oh no, no. You’ve got it all wrong. The Queen just gave Snow White an apple because she was hungry and then she was so full after eating the apple she became tired and laid down in a special glass bed the dwarves made for her’.

There will be a time for the truth, but for me and Curly-locks, now is not that time.

While I will continue to read her my versions of these stories, I’m going to steer her more toward other favourites of ours, Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam, The Very Cranky Bear or Welcome to the Zoo, rather than these dark tales of death and destruction.

When did you start reading fairy tales to your kids? Did you read them word for word?

Don’t miss a thing. Use the subscribe box in the right hand side of this website to get my posts sent straight to your inbox.

28 comments on Fairy tales too Grimm

  1. Claire
    June 18, 2013 at 6:25 am (4 years ago)

    OMG. I thought the same thing when I started reading the classic fairy tales to Elle! They’re all so scary! But it really didn’t seem to bother her too much. She too is obsessed with Snow White – any princess really! There are a few that I’ve come across that I won’t read though. And I do have to remind her it’s just pretend!

    Reply
  2. mummywifeme
    mummywifeme
    June 18, 2013 at 6:59 am (4 years ago)

    Yes, that’s a good tip reminding her that it’s pretend. I remember loving them all as a child and my sister was the scaredy cat. Absolutely terrified poor wee thing. I think in a year or so, I’ll be ready to read them to Curly-locks in full πŸ™‚

    Reply
  3. Deb @ home life simplified
    June 18, 2013 at 7:05 am (4 years ago)

    I don’t remember when we read them (my kids are 8 1/2 and 10 lol) but I laughed at the prospect of your daughter correcting kids with her version of the story. That would be hysterical

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 18, 2013 at 10:09 am (4 years ago)

      Glad I gave you a laugh, Deb πŸ™‚ Thanks for dropping in.

      Reply
  4. Lydia C. Lee
    June 18, 2013 at 7:15 am (4 years ago)

    The boys were never interested. Haven’t started with the girl, only because they’re so long. That said, as a child, my favourite were the little matchgirl and the steadfast tin soldier – in which both die, after a pretty crap life. So what’s that telling ya?

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 18, 2013 at 10:09 am (4 years ago)

      Haha. I vaguely remember the little matchgirl, but I’ve never heard of the steadfast tin soldier. Think I might steer clear of it though πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  5. Jodie@freshhomecook
    June 18, 2013 at 8:19 am (4 years ago)

    It’s tricky to know when / if to expose you little ones to these kinds of stories. Our 3 year old is such a sponge, he gets caught up in the drama & can be quite emotionally affected already. He loves books like, The Gruffalo & The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson & while they are whimsical in some sense, they also have elements that are quite dark & ‘real’ world threatening. I see that much of this goes over his head for now, but I guess a time will come when he will question why certain things are happening. Til then we mix it up with gorgeous little stories like Cranky Bear & The Wonky Donkey just to keep things light! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 18, 2013 at 10:11 am (4 years ago)

      Love the cranky bear. We haven’t tried The Wonkey Donkey though. We will have to check it out. Yes, that’s my concern also. Curly-locks is a sponge at the moment too and also quite emotional and sensitive. I think I’ll continue to stick with my versions for now πŸ™‚

      Reply
  6. Elise @mummy hearts money
    June 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm (4 years ago)

    We give fairy tales a miss for a few years. About 4 we introduce them, but for now we read fun things like the Hippopotamous books, & wombat stew. Much more entertaining reading with lots of repetition that seems to be helping my little Miss 2 memorise and mimic

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi Elise. Yeah, I think four sounds about the right age. We haven’t yet tried Wombat Stew. I will keep an eye out for it.

      Reply
  7. Aroha @ Colours of Sunset
    June 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm (4 years ago)

    I don’t think I’ve read ANY of these to my son! Oh wait, I’ve done 3 little pigs, but the version where the pig runs to the next brother’s house and they all live and they kill the big bad wolf! Which is still just as bad I guess! But as a kid I didn’t have any idea, so I guess our kids don’t either? They do seem awful though some of them if you really pay attention! -Aroha (#teamIBOT)

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm (4 years ago)

      Lol. Yes, I don’t remember being scared either, but I know my sister was very scared. Thanks for dropping in.

      Reply
  8. Miss Cinders
    June 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m a bad book reader *hides* I make up my own bits to stories and skip pages if they are too long. Honestly I think the kids always liked my versions better!

    With four teenagers in the house, the little kids are used to vampire stories and evil witches – nothing gory though. We don’t have nightmare or anything like that with them. They actually love witch stories, because the good guys always win and the witches fly away never to be seen again!

    MC x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm (4 years ago)

      Four teenagers in the house?! How do you cope? πŸ™‚

      Lol. I like to skip pages too, but she’s starting to know some of the books off by heart now and catches me out when I do it πŸ™‚

      Reply
  9. EssentiallyJess
    June 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm (4 years ago)

    I don’t think I’ve actually read fairy tales to my kids! How terrible is that?

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm (4 years ago)

      Really Jess?! There’s so much better stuff out there anyway πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. Emily @ Have a laugh on me
    June 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm (4 years ago)

    I do the same thing, in fact I try and avoid those ones with dark themes as my kids have had nightmares before. I love to give my kids books like Where is the Green Sheep, Three Little Pigs. I don’t see any harm in changing a few words πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 18, 2013 at 8:19 pm (4 years ago)

      Yeah the nightmares are something I definitely want to avoid!

      We love Where is the Green Sheep at our house πŸ™‚

      Reply
  11. Me
    June 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm (4 years ago)

    I have been saying that for ages !! We had Noddy and Big Ears and The Magic Of the Faraway Tree when K was little !
    Have the best day !
    Me

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 18, 2013 at 8:20 pm (4 years ago)

      Ahh the Magic Faraway Tree. What a classic. I can’t wait til the girls are old enough to read the Enid Blytons.

      Have the best day too πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. lisa
    June 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm (4 years ago)

    My kids are into Robin Hood and goodies and baddies -I haven’t got to Grim fairy tales as they are just grim and dark…but i will try to read my oldest son the Greek God myths & stories (e.g.,Zeus etc) as they are a good way to teach values and morals to kids.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 19, 2013 at 9:38 am (4 years ago)

      Ooh that’s a good idea, Lisa. That just actually made me think of old aboriginal dreamtime stories too. I used to love those as a kid.

      Reply
  13. Judy @Australian Inspirational Women
    June 18, 2013 at 11:31 pm (4 years ago)

    Miss M (6) loves all the princess and disney stories — mad about them.
    Master S (3) loves all the animal, dinosaur and car stories at the moment.
    Yes, I’ve always wandered about those fairy tales stories — especially snow white???? Its quite evil and violent really!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 19, 2013 at 9:47 am (4 years ago)

      I know! Crazy isn’t it? I was doing some reading on Grimm fairy tales and it said they were originally never intended for children, so there you go πŸ™‚

      Reply
  14. Becc
    June 19, 2013 at 8:43 am (4 years ago)

    My son was also obsessed with snow white. Something to do with the “witchy poo”. I don’t get why they have endured, but I sure do love the TV series Once Upon a Time. Maybe there is something in that…
    Becc @ Take Charge Now

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 19, 2013 at 9:47 am (4 years ago)

      Oh I love that show too! I think it’s meant to be coming back on air soon. I hope I haven’t missed it. I spend so much time blogging these days, TV hardly gets a look in πŸ™‚

      Reply
  15. Josefa @always Josefa
    June 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm (4 years ago)

    I have always read to my boys from the moment they were born, yet at the same time steered away from many of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Pamela Allen, Spot, Grug, Meg and Mog, Mem Fox are all loved so much more dearly by my boys. Although….a strange passion for zombies is starting to sneak into their bedtime requests :O

    Reply
  16. mummywifeme
    mummywifeme
    June 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm (4 years ago)

    Eeeks zombies. They hold such fascination for kids πŸ™‚ I forgot about Meg and Mog. I used to love those books as a child. I will have to get some for the girls.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *