I figured out life from books while my parents worked in a communist factory. Since I was little they kept telling me that “you have to get good grades in school and you will be somebody.” Reading was an important piece of that plan.
As much as I liked to see mom placing the shoe parts on the moving belt for her colleagues to sew and my dad giving directions to the people under him, working in the shoe factory wasn’t my dream.
When I started to read, I got one book now and then. In a short time my father saw that reading was my passion and he bought me books as often as he could. That was a great investment every month since my parents’ salary was low. Most of the children’s books in the bookstore were fairytales and fantasy. Maybe that was a way for the communist regime to form a generation of adults anchored in fiction and not in the hard reality.
I read fantasy and fairytales every single day and fed my imagination with unreal things. I read them over and over again and I learned one thing:
“If you find a prince and marry him, you two would live happy for the rest of your life.”
I was a young adult and this statement ruled my search for a prince. Then I found one, but when I hit the wall, I was in my honeymoon and shocked.
The fairytales taught me that in marriage I would be adorned. That wasn’t true.
They let me think that life was to be easy and beautiful. That wasn’t the case.
They told me that the two of us would be happy together to the end of our lives. Well, a few days ago “we celebrated” 19 years from our divorce.
Read the same thing over and over again and you would believe it. It would become part of your present and future.
What to do when our children read fairytales and fantasy?
Be sure that you remind them that in real life princes and princesses can hurt each other. In real life princesses cry, and sometimes they can’t find comfort.
Keep a balance in showing them both sides of the story. Pass along hope because “the end of a thing is better than the beginning of it,” says the wisest man on earth, Solomon.