...and watch movies like Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. But some critics say they're bad for kids, especially girls. Why? According to MSNBC, most of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tales, that are still popular today, feature young, beautiful princesses. And those stories teach children that being pretty is more important than being smart. But other people think fairy tales do have positive messages. They say the tales push inner beauty, like being virtuous, industrious, loyal and compassionate. And the classics also deal with important social questions, things like sibling rivalry, child abandonment, and class struggle. So, if you'd like your kids to learn some positive lessons from fairy tales, try these tips from MSNBC:
  • First, get your kids thinking. Ask questions like, "Other than looks, what do you think the prince likes about Cinderella?" And "What do you think she sees in him?"
  • Next, if your child is old enough, have them rewrite the fairy tale. Kids tend to give their heroes characteristics other than just good look. Or, ask them to write a story where Cinderella decides not to marry the prince. That'll help them consider other possibilities.
  • And finally, expose your children to modern fairy tales that avoid some of the stereotypes. Try movies like "Ever After" with Drew Barrymore, "Shrek," and Jim Henson's "The Storyteller" series.