Parents Are Changing The Endings Of "Politically Incorrect" Fairytales

July 10, 2018 6:00 AM ‐ Mythical Creatures

This article is more than five years old.

You might think all fairytales end and the characters live happily ever after, but it seems that millions of parents are changing the endings of classic tales because they are politically incorrect.

A study has found that more than one in four admit to altering parts of a traditional story when reading to their children over fears it's inappropriate or too scary for their offspring.

In fact, 16% avoid certain tales altogether, with almost a quarter of those saying they don't feel they are politically correct in today's world.

Little Red Riding Hood is the story parents are most likely to change, followed by The Three Little Pigs and The Gingerbread Man.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and even Goldilocks and the Three Bears are also among the top 20 tales mums and dads tell differently.

I'm not sure of the link here, but for some reason it was musicMagpie, who commissioned the research. Their marketing director, Liam Howley said, "some of these stories have been around for generations, many would have been read to mums and dads when they were children."

Taking a break from buying and selling CDs online, he added "times have changed and there are many elements to these classic tales which for some don’t really fit into society as they once did. Not only that, but when you think about the storylines, some can be considered very scary for little children."

The study of 2,000 parents found more than a third believe it's "cruel" that the Gingerbread Man is eaten by a fox, while another 36% are concerned by how the Pied Piper of Hamlin tricks children into following him.

Almost one in four think it's inappropriate to tell children the story of Cinderella, who was forced to do all of the cleaning and household chores and another 27% feel the same about Robin Hood, a man who stole from others.

One quarter of parents also avoid reading the Ugly Duckling as they worry it could encourage body-shaming and discrimination.

Three in ten dislike Hansel and Gretel due to the children being abandoned alone in the forest while one in four think Sleeping Beauty is inappropriate as she is kissed without her consent.

Even Pinocchio leaves 27% of parents worrying as the story tells the tale of a boy who runs away from home and lies to people.

Perhaps the answer is to come up with your own tales to entertain their children at bedtime, in fact an imaginative 18% of parents do just that.

Top 20 Stories Parents Change

1. Little Red Riding Hood
2. The Three Little Pigs
3. The Gingerbread Man
4. Hansel and Gretel
5. The Ugly Duckling
6. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
7. Beauty and the Beast
8. Cinderella
9. Jack and the Beanstalk
10. Pinocchio
11. Rumpelstiltskin
12. Sleeping Beauty
13. The Tale of Peter Rabbit
14. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
15. The Little Mermaid
16. The Pied Piper of Hamlin
17. The Frog Prince
18. Rapunzel
19. The Princess and the Pea
20. The Emperor’s New Suit

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