Are stories with sad endings alright for very small children (preschoolers and n

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  1. anusha15 profile image87
    anusha15posted 2 years ago

    Are stories with sad endings alright for very small children (preschoolers and nursery)?

    My little son gets a little upset when the stories recited to him have sad endings. He especially doesn't like if any of the characters end up dead -- even when those characters are villainous. One of the reasons could be, that these characters, who are wild animals more often than not, feature with heroic characteristics in other stories. I try to modify endings so that bad guys end up in jail instead of dead. Sometimes I wonder, if such stories & moral lessons they bring by associating with this ultimate and irreversible truth of life, are a little too harsh for little ones?

  2. The Honest Mommy profile image60
    The Honest Mommyposted 2 years ago

    I think it is a maturity thing.  Some 3 to 5 year olds can take it.  Some cannot.  I think it's personal preference smile

  3. dashingscorpio profile image87
    dashingscorpioposted 2 years ago

    I guess it depends on the child. You have to know them very well.
    Back when I was growing up parents didn't worry about things like that. I remember a version of "Little Red Ridding Hood" where the wolf ate the grandmother and a lumberjack used an ax to kill the wolf and free her. We also had violent nursery rhymes.
    "There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children, she didn't know what to do; She gave them some broth without any bread; Then {whipped them} all soundly and put them to bed."
    Even children's prayers ended with "If I should {die} before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." No child should be concerned about their mortality especially before going to bed each night.
    We also had the following famous violent lullaby sung to us.
    "Rock-a-bye, baby, in the tree top. When the wind blows the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks the cradle will fall. {Down will come baby, cradle and all.}" Most of us kids simply drifted off to sleep
    A while back an article was written in a U. K. newspaper asking if Grimm's Fairy Tales are "too scary for (modern children)"
    It's hard to say if "modern children" (can't handle) the stories or if "modern parents" are more protective than their parents were.
    We never wore helmets and pads to ride tricycles and no house we lived in was ever "child proof". Miraculously Somehow we survived!
    I'm not a big fan of lying to children.
    If I felt a child was very sensitive I would avoid telling stories with unhappy endings until they were mature enough to understand it's fiction. I would hate the idea that one day they'd compare notes with another child on a story's ending only to learn that (I) lied to them.
    If you can't trust your mother or father who can you trust!

    1. Jade89 profile image81
      Jade89posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Hahahahaha I always love your comments!
      Even children's prayers ended with "If I should {die} before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." No child should be concerned about their mortality especially before going to bed each night! lol Perfect!

    2. dashingscorpio profile image87
      dashingscorpioposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Jade!
      The way my mother raised me it's amazing I survived my childhood! smile

  4. Annsalo profile image83
    Annsaloposted 2 years ago

    Life is full of bad things. I think it is best to expose small children to minor bad things such as stories like you are talking about. It's good for them to understand that life is not perfect. Knowing that things are not always nice and fun better prepares them for situations that are negative, I don't think reality is too harsh for children. There is no point in sheltering them. I'd much rather just read the story as is and explain anything that may bother my child. Sad feelings are sort of a good thing. The child learns what is good and what is bad. Then they learn the lessons that come with it.

    1. anusha15 profile image87
      anusha15posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Lots of valid points here smile Thanks

  5. Besarien profile image86
    Besarienposted 2 years ago

    Many fairy tales, fables, and legends passed via oral traditions were specifically meant to be safe, gentle ways to inform, instruct, and prepare little minds for adulthood in cruel, violent, unpredictable times, which is any time, really. I think kids need to know that innocent people, even kids just like them, get hurt and killed, not so they will live in fear, but so they will recognize the danger and won't be too paralyzed to act when they need to hide, to run, or to fight. For example, I want my son to remember and emulate Hansel should some cannibal grandma, or anyone else, ever capture him.  I want him to plan,  wait for his chance, then fight with everything he's got and anything at hand for survival and escape, just like Hansel did.. Just food for thought.

    1. anusha15 profile image87
      anusha15posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      That's a very valid point. Sheltering them from knowledge does bring them under the danger of being unprepared. Guess we'll have to let go and let the child face the darkness. Off course we need to continually assure them of existence of light smile

  6. Jade89 profile image81
    Jade89posted 2 years ago

    Personally, I modify stories for my son. It works out a lot better for me now seeing as he can't read so he doesn't notice but I imagine that as he gets older this will no longer be possible. At the same time maybe when he is old enough to read he'll be mature enough to hear stories with unhappy endings. An example of one story I've modified is the Bible story of Tabitha who dies and is brought back to life. Instead of telling my son she died I’ve told him she got very ill. I hate even uttering the word death or die(s) around him. For some reason I just don't feel comfortable with the idea.
    I know exactly what you mean though! There was some talk around whether or not the movie "The Lion King" should have an age restriction seeing as so many children (and adults) are brought to tears by it lol.

    1. anusha15 profile image87
      anusha15posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Well he's started with school, so while I can continue modifying the stories we recite to him, I have to accept that he will get the real version at school. And I agree, they continue to grow up and learn to handle the idea of mortality.


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