Fairy Tales and Real Life

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Today we went to our local university children’s theatre for a production of Hansel and Gretel.

I barely remembered the story from my childhood. Something about two kids playing, getting lost in the woods, a house of candy.

I didn’t even think about it.

Until we watched the production.

Mom and Dad have two seemingly happy children, but they are poor and are running out of food. If they share it with their children they will all starve.

So they conspire to take the kids into the woods, build them a fire, and leave them there.

Kids manage to leave a trail of stones to help them find their way home. Dad is overjoyed to see them. Mom, not so much. (What’s up with that?)

Mom and Dad again go deeper into the woods a second time, with Hansel leaving a trail of bread crumbs behind. (What in the world do the kids think their parents are doing? Oh, I know. Abandoning them. Get where I’m going with this?)

Unfortunately the birds eat the bread crumbs and Hansel and Gretel are left to wander in the woods alone. The kids discover a house in the forest made out of candy (Can you say food issues?), every child’s dream.

These poor, starving children are ecstatic, until the mean witch imprisons Hansel to fatten him up, at which time she will promptly eat him.

Gretel fights the witch, pushes her into the oven and saves the day. The kids find the witch’s jewels, make their way home and are reunited with dad. Happy ending for all! (Where did mom #2 go?)

So I just looked up the story online. The mom was the second wife to birth dad. Don’t know what happened to birth mom, but there’s loss/trauma #1.

Mom #2 convinces dad to leave his kids in the woods. Loss/trauma #2

They do it all over again. Loss/trauma #3

Mean witch tries to eat kids. Loss/trauma #4

Now it’s probably just me, but everything begins to look like attachment disorders. Would this trigger your kids? Before I would never even have considered it. I haven’t talked to them about these insights. I’m waiting to see if they make any connections themselves.

Just a day in the life of a homeschooling family.

Who writes these fairy tales anyway? Don’t they know we have children to protect?

Image: AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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  1. Wow! I haven’t thought about that story in years, but love your insights. Oh my!

    My African Beauties spent 2 years in an orphanage … watching American movies EVERY night. And, they watched every “orphan” movie known to man. So, what did they expect when they got to America?

    Big fancy houses.

    House servants.

    Rich uncles or aunts.

    Their own cell phones, computers, etc…

    What did my children find when they got to America?

    10 brothers and sisters.

    3-4 children per bedroom.

    EVERYTHING that had to be shared.

    NO cell phones or computers for the children.

    It was HARD … VERY hard … for our children to understand that the America they were coming home to was NOT what they had seen in the movies.


  2. I remember seeing Bambi for the firs time within 6 months of my Mom dying. I was sobbing so much when Bambi’s mom died that I had to leave the theatre. Never saw the rest of it. I’ve found that I have to vet most movies and books before G gets to them. YES, this stuff triggers my kid. Guess traumatized kids aren’t considered when this stuff is thought of.

  3. I wouldn’t have given it a second thought either. This is what most people consider a typical childhood tale, right? Now in giving it a second thought, you are so completely correct!!!!!

  4. Oh yeah. I pay close attention to plots now. I see movies with different eyes.
    Now go watch “Marry Poppins.” I love that movie. It’s about parents realizing that spending time with their children is what it’s all about! Makes me want to go fly a kite!

  5. Just wanted you to know I just wrote a post with a couple of links to your posts.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

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