Do Kids Learn Any Moral Lessons From Fairytales?

Fairy Tales are more than just happily ever after. These stories portray several core and real moral lessons through the characters and virtues shown in the tales. Bedtime stories or fairytales not only captivate the imagination of young minds but also enhance their creativity and reasoning skills. 

moral lessons in fairy tales

A child can learn a lot by simply watching or listening to these amazing stories. Although fairytales bring children to the world of fantasy land, as they grow, the moral truths of these stories remain in their hearts and minds. This goes without saying that not all parents believe in the importance of fairy tales for kids. But studies have repeatedly shown that fairy tales bring significant positive results in the development of a young mind.

Here are a few of them:

1. Listen to Your Heart and Trust Your Instincts

The greatest weapon we build throughout our lives is our character. It involves aspects like how we treat one another, letting our hearts guide us, and our ability to sense danger in situations where it might not be prominent. A majority of moral lessons typical to fairytales revolve around trusting your instincts and listening to your heart.  

2. Heroes Come in All Shapes and Sizes

You’re your own hero, regardless of what others may think. Fairytales, especially modern ones, highlight moral lessons that showcase heroes in all shapes and sizes. Take the girl in the fairytale of “The Little Match Girl,” for example; she certainly didn’t wait for someone to come to her aid. Instead, she remains happy and consoled because she keeps up hope and has pleasant dreams given by her matches. It shows us the importance of having a good outlook on life, even when things are hard, or letting others face her aggressors in her stead. 

3. Lying Can Never Be A Good Thing

Eddie, in the fairytale of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” kept on lying. Although he was joking around, children get to take away the moral lessons that lying is always destructive and it’s never a good idea to make a fool of others. The point is, lying might be easy and fun to do at times, but eventually, it will harm you.

4. Don’t Judge Anyone by Their Appearance

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” multiple times. Perhaps most greatly exemplified in the fairytale of The Ugly Duckling, Snow White, or Beauty and the Beast, we learn that things may not always be what they appear at first. People who look harmless can be dangerous, and those who look weird may not be bad after all. Remember, all that glitters is not gold!

5. Never Let Your Pride From Speaking What’s Right

Remember the Emperor’s New Clothes? A con man deceives the Emperor and forces everyone to fall for his trick. So, the Emperor and his courtiers pretend he is wearing clothes because none wants to speak up about the reality, for they do not wish to appear foolish. However, in the end, they look more foolish than ever as the truth unfolds. It teaches kids moral lessons like always valuing the truth and speaking up regardless of popular opinion. 

6. Try Something New 

One of the more prominent moral lessons that can be seen in so many different fairy tales is having the courage to try something new. The key takeaway here is to dive into something even if you feel there’s a chance you might fail at it. Learning new things can help you to experience more of what life has to offer and help you uncover your hidden passions.

7. The Easy Way Isn’t Always the Best Way

The tale of The Three Little Pigs explores the theme that even though easier ways seem quick and require less effort, they are not always the best or the most efficient. Instead, if you’re patient, plan ahead, and work hard, your hard work will pay off. For example, the first two pigs were able to build structures that could be called homes, but they ignored some very important steps to keep them safe from danger, unlike the third pig. So the moral lesson here is: don’t cut corners!

8. Respect Other’s Space

Being confident and outspoken is amazing, but respecting others and refraining from invading their space is equally important. We learn from the fairytale of Goldilocks how dangerous it is to barge into other peoples’ space. Besides, we also get to learn that in the journey of finding “what’s right for us,” we should not ignore the harm we may be doing to others, unintentionally or otherwise. 

 9. Actions speak louder than words.

People say all sorts of things. Especially in the kind of world we live in today, everyone is talking all the time about what they can or cannot do. But fairytales are all about proving your element with action. In the take of The Lazy Girl, we learn that one who works hard without bickering proves her worth to everyone. Whereas the one who was only about talks made a fool out of herself. 

10. Everybody Cannot Be Your Friend!

There will be hundreds and thousands of people you will befriend throughout your life. But not every friendship will be supportive of your growth. In the fairytale of The Gingerbread Man, the moral lessons teach us that although the fox seemed like a true friend at first, the gingerbread man later found out that trusting the fox was the worst decision. Likewise, it also teaches that you cannot outsmart everyone. 

Conclusion

Fairytales are full of moral lessons projected by characters and plots full of wisdom to take away. A great number of fairytales are about having big dreams and facing impossible odds. The journey may seem tough, and you may not know how things will turn out. But, if you take that leap of faith, go to your edge, jump! You might fly, you might crash and burn, but it’s the only way to know what you’re really capable of. 

Moral lessons in fairy tales will never always be about happily-ever-after, but they’re always about living life to the fullest and being your honest, best self. 

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