Fairytales on Child Development

Topics: Fairy tale, Bruno Bettelheim, Hansel and Gretel Pages: 4 (1252 words) Published: December 5, 2012
The Impact of Fairytales on Child Development
Fairytales are heard from childhood to adulthood and have a big impact on a person’s life, most importantly during their childhood. In Bruno Bettelheim’s “The Uses of Enchantment”, he claims that fairytales help lead children towards a more independent life, and that they must face all problems that confront them. He also says that fairytales are genuinely good for children’s development, and have positive effects on children’s behavior. Bettelheim wants them to be able to decipher good from evil, and know what to do in each situation. I agree with the ideas about fairytales that project strong, independent children, however, there are many underlying notions that give them a bad, or mislead, idea for their future.

In every fairytale there is always a problem or conflict that arises. Bettelheim claims, “The fairy tale simplifies all situations” (161). He believes that fairytales help to break down the complex problems into smaller, simpler ideas that children can understand. There is a lot of truth in this since many conflicts eventually become basic problems such as being able to identify evil versus good, helping with morality in actions and choosing a path or way of life. With underlying principles of problems taught at a young age, children are able to grow up with these ideas in mind, helping them to learn lessons from these problems, and therefore become better people.

Another benefit that fairytales can have is teaching young boys to become tough and independent men. In many fairytales, there is a strong, tough male character that is around to help save the woman, or damsel in distress. In Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, the female, Aurora, has a spell cast on her and her kingdom, which causes everyone to sleep for 100 years. The only way the kingdom can be awakened is if a prince from another kingdom kisses the princess. During the 100 years, many princes came and tried to free the princess from her tower,...
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