Do Children Absolutely Need Fairytales and Superheroes stories? Are they of any use?

There is much discussion about the pros and cons of these stories among adults. But what does Gen Z have to say about the stories that they have grown up with and still love reading? The tweens and teens at the Young Executives Club looked back at their childhood days and reflected upon the role that fantasy stories played then and now.



Apart from the obvious benefit of enabling imagination to grow and a getaway place to unwind in, fantasy books they argued have multiple benefits such as teaching children values in a context that they can easily understand, help cope with stranger anxiety and help them to differentiate between the good and the bad. Sruthi* (name changed to protect privacy) expressed her dislike for 'lectures' but preferred to learn and realize the importance of values in the context of a story. "But for these stories, these lessons would sound so boring and children might actually not pay attention," she argued. "Drama is required to create an impact."



"But for these stories, these lessons would sound so boring and children might actually not pay attention," she argued. "Drama is required to create an impact."

The other side of fantasy- violence to show good winning over evil:

"To teach them values why not have simple, realistic stories rather than have superheroes flying and hitting? Doesn't that convey a completely opposite message of what we would like to convey?" responded Anand*(name changed to protect privacy). "Fantasy is filled with a misrepresentation of reality. Ending every story with 'Happily ever after' is deceptive. Life is not always happy."



While that maybe true, the team arguing for fantasy fiction pointed out that "happily ever after" gives small children a sense of optimism and comfort- an assurance that things will get better and that "happiness is a state of mind." Fantasy stories often have plots that have extremely sad events- the death of a parent(s) for instance. But inevitably, the child protagonist finds support in someone who comes long. This support propels the story forward helping to deliver a message on mental strength and inspire the younger generation to remain optimistic no matter how difficult circumstances are. In some cases these stories also reflect the need to fight for a good cause although it is very difficult.


"Fantasy is filled with a misrepresentation of reality. Ending every story with 'Happily ever after' is deceptive. Life is not always happy."
While that maybe true, the team arguing for fantasy fiction pointed out that "happily ever after" gives small children a sense of optimism and comfort- an assurance that things will get better and that "happiness is a state of mind."

Helps build important vocabulary too!

Learning new words sans a context can be extremely boring. But knowing some words like "poison" is important for survival. Simply telling a child that "consuming poison causes death" versus giving a context and showing the impact of poison as in the case of the story of Snow White, is a more effective way of driving the message home.


Why is this even a subject of debate?

This question may sound like an "anti- climax" to a heated debate, but holds a lot of relevance and goes to show once again how open minded Gen Z is. They strongly believe in letting be, making their own choices based on what works for them as along as they do not infringe on others' rights. If someone enjoys fantasy fiction, why don't we just let them be? Why debate about it even? That's where we left off, a fitting ending to an amazing debate.





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