Children’s Literature is becoming an increasingly popular branch in English departments with many courses run in universities colleges and online, teaching the art of understanding the discipline. The significance of stories and the effect they have on a growing child in terms of helping to shape their norms and values is now understood and parents now know that reading to a child is a lot more than a dull speech, or reading and writing session. Instead the stories we are told as children have a direct influence on the way we view the world and ourselves.
Today was a long and hard day for me and I to encourage myself I think about how I will re – tell the story of the day and learn lessons from my experience. When things are hard it is human instinct to wish they were easier but I went one step further by thinking right back to being a child. I longed for the days when I could curl up in my bed reading and let myself get lost in the stories of unicorns, hens and elephants taking long baths. It was instinct for me to think back to my childhood book reading days because books were my safe place.
The great thing about being a child is that it should be a time of relative ‘carefree – ness’ and exploring. The world is a lot more forgiving of wrongs and we grow in to who we are largely through trial and error. However when things get hard as an adult I sometimes wish I was more prepared for it as a child.
This leads me to a thought I had that inspired this blog post… Should we start rewriting our preschool and school books to align more closely with true life experience? If in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ we learn our norms and values, aren’t we ill equipping generations to come with false notions. Times are changing and ‘they lived happily ever after’ sets up false hopes. I look at my peers out of work following graduation, bitter that a jobless economy has no room for them, and the teens rioting because they have nothing better to do and am forced to question if we ought to rewrite our fairytales. Clinging to the safe place of childhood can sometimes be a trap by setting up false expectations…
Then again I am tired and slightly overwhelmed… it’s just a thought.