Power of Fairy Tales

by Nalinda Karunaratna on October 17, 2012

Power of Fairy Tales

Do you know the power of fairy tales? Read and share it with your kids.

The other day I was surfing the net for fairy tales to read to my daughter when I stumbled upon following quote from Albert Einstein. Something I have never thought about before.

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
― Albert Einstein

Remembering my childhood memories about fairy tales I recollected myself listening to these amazing tales in fascination. I wanted to be like the hero in the fairy tales. These stories made me believe that everything is possible. But over the years intensity got diminished and the effect disappeared in the midst of drama of everyday life. However, the magical feeling attached to them stays with me until now.

The obvious advantage of telling fairy tales to young kids would be imagination. Here is the definition for Imagination given in Wikipedia, “Imagination, also called the faculty of imagining, is the ability of forming new images and sensations when they are not perceived through sight, hearing, or other senses. Imagination helps provide meaning to experience and understanding to knowledge; it is a fundamental faculty through which people make sense of the world, and it also plays a key role in the learning process”.

Young children will learn at a very early age to imagine things which they haven’t seen using their physical senses. This is a vital practise for young kids and as they learn how to imagine, it becomes so natural to them. With a magical story, it becomes more powerful and vivid and they learn how to imagine without strain. The reason most people fail to imagine because they have put a label called imagination and it basically kills the essence of imagination. It is something to do with feelings and should be natural. If you take a huge effort to imagine something then there is no power in it. This is what experts have to say on imagination, Maria Tatar, a professor at Harvard College who writes about, and teaches classes on, fairy tales. “Fairy tales have a real role in liberating the imagination of children. No matter how violent they are, the protagonist always survives.”

Another advantage with fairy tales would be cultivation of Faith. Here is the definition for faith given in Wikipedia, “Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.”

Young children take in whatever comes their way without any judgement or second thought. Specially it comes from someone close to them. There are no paradigms attached to it. Without faith you cannot enjoy the story because then there is no essence to it. Once the essence is gone, it becomes dull and boring. No one wants to listen to boring or dull stories. The faith cultivated at such a young age will enable these children act in faith without having any paradigms to block their progress in life. When they are surrounded by disbelief and negativity, faith will be a guiding force to carry them along the path. The journey of life itself will be a wonderful experience.

Here are some points to consider when telling fairy tales to your kids,

  • Get the morale of the story. Moral of the story is very essential. If we can deliver a key message with the story, it becomes more powerful. For example, I wanted to make my three year old daughter understand that what ever she wants in life is first created ‘within’. Then I tweaked story of Aladdin and in my version the Genie didn’t come out of the lamp. He was inside Aladdin.
  • Try to be creative. You don’t have to stick to the old story if you think you can be more creative. You can create your own version specially tailored to suit your child’s personality or preferences. For example, my daughter loves make-up (maybe she got it from her mum!). So whenever I tell her a story about a beautiful fairy, I make sure to tell her that she wore a beautiful make-up. I can literally see that her eyes light up. The story naturally becomes more interesting.
  • Try to be more positive and lively. Tell the story with lot of energy and passion. If you want to put them to bed in a hurry then don’t tell these stories, do something else. Make an effort and make it worthwhile and enjoyable for you and your child.
  • Let them know that they can have everything anyone they want to be . There are no limits, only limits we have are in our mind.
  • It is ok NOT to be authentic – Some of the fairy tales evolved hundreds of years ago and the world was different then. Make it your own but make it vivid.
  • Can Animals or trees talk? Yes certainly they can.
  • Make it a habit to tell a simple fairy tale or a story every evening before your child goes to bed and make them feel wonderful.
  • Make sure to make them feel abundant in every way possible.

If you do above I think you will be laying a great foundation upon which these kids will build their wonderful, successful and happy life. As Einstein said you don’t have to worry about your kid’s future. They will be in good hands.

What are the stories you guys are telling your child? I would love to know. It can be my next story to my daughter!

Image courtesy – FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Renjith Krishnan

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Entrepreneur, Blogger, Speaker and an avid believer in human Mind which can solve any problem and achieve success and happiness!

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