If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.
If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. –Albert Einstein
What are your favorite childhood memories? In our family, we built forts and rockets to the stars, wrote plays and danced in our own musicals, and spent a good deal of time running, climbing, laughing, and believing we could do anything we put our hearts and minds to. The wonder and magic of childhood is a treasure, one that we should take care not to lose in the interest of “growing up.”
In today’s get-ahead world, growing up is too often equated with shutting down. We learn to deny our quests for the impossible dream, to lay aside our creative impulses and get to work. It’s good to remember that imagination is not only fun, it’s a powerful life skill crucial to survival.
Imagination increases intelligence by teaching us to look at the world in new ways. It gives us hope when we don’t know what to do, which helps us find solutions. It transports us into the realm of possibility, which is where the future begins.
Every girl and boy has a gift, many gifts. But often they see their emerging talents as awkward, strange, clumsy. It takes time and effort to grow what makes you great. Perfectly Awkward Tales teach kids it’s not just okay to be different, it’s important.
Fairy tales are about truth. Children sense this. They provide a safe space to explore emotions, dreams, and the interior world that is so rich in a child’s life, but can be scary too. A good tale invites the child to enter in and become a story teller herself, building strong verbal skills even before she can read. Of course, her doll and teddy bear are a wildly appreciative audience.
What can we learn from fairy tales? Have courage when you are afraid. Be kind, even when you’ve been mistreated. Be generous, even if there is no particular reward other than knowing you have done the right thing. Believe in the magic within yourself. In the modern world, this translates into intuition, confidence, and determination.
As parents, we sometimes we see our children through the filter of our own ambitions and push too hard. Other times we worry we don’t do enough to cultivate their gifts. If only we had a crystal ball to give us clear insight into our children’s future. The best thing we can do is teach our children to never give up, and never be afraid of thinking different, looking different, or being different.
Different is Powerful.
Princess Ivana, Magdalene Smith & Marisa Smith