I went to Popular bookstore today and browsed some of the children story books. Many of them are popular stories that grew up with me. Dear friends, the world never stops changing, so are our culture, values and lifestyle. But how comes the child stories change so little? Still the same old stuffs… Probably it is time for us, not just educators, to rethink whether these classic stories can really inspire our kids and help them to develop a right attitude toward their lives.
Let me list a few funny stories that our kids read today:
Story 1. It is about a hardworking student who is hungry for knowledge and study day and night. If he feels sleepy, he will use a needle to poke his thigh, so the pain can make him stays awake to continue reading. Later he becomes a prime minister or someone important (probably with a high blood pressure and sick body).
It makes me sick coz this story indirectly implies it is ok to hurt our body. The story will let innocent kids think that knowledge is more important than health. IMHO, if we feel tired, then we should rest. I did try to study when I was sleepy and tired, but ended up reading the same page after an hour. “Go to bed lah if you feel tired, so you can read properly later. Health is more important. Being a book worm is not healthy”, you shall advise your kids… As people become more health conscious today, this story sounds stupid.
Story 2. Another silly story about hardworking but poor student… He cannot afford to buy a candle and lamp, so he cannot read at night. To solve this problem, he digs a hole on the wall so he can “steal” the light from his neighbour. This is obviously unethical, even though he has no intention of invading others’ privacy.
Story 3. The Cinderella story only portrays the women as someone helpless, weak, depenedent, passive and don’t know how to change their unfortunate lives. At last, she lived happily with princes. Why? Because she had a PRETTY face. No wonder even today so many women value their faces more than their knowledge, ability and health. Unlike the old day, nowadays female also has the equal right and opportunity as male, they have the ability to live independently and happily, without relying on prince charming. I will advise my daugther not to become someone like Cinderella.