“Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.” G.K. Chesterton
Tell your kids stories that are scary. They don’t all have to be scary, but don’t avoid all scary parts. This life is scary. Below my house is a goblin village and the house of the scariest dragon known to man. We have to cross through the goblin town and pass the dragon house every time we want to visit Dragon Creek. The first few times we went through, my kids were a little scared. But, since then we always take weapons to defeat any foe who stands in our way. They leave the house equipped with blaster sticks and frisbee shields. We have had times when we haven’t seen any goblins, and we have had fierce battles. I’ve almost died several times. Just yesterday we made it safely back to the Maples of Flame under cover of Dragons fighting Invisible giants on our behalf. Once we reached safety, we were revived by the Queen’s magic cookies with healing power (My kids story this time, not mine).
This life is full hate, death,and tears. I think children need to know that. But, there is also hope that those things have been defeated, and they will pass away. Jesus Christ defeated death so we do not have to fear. He has promised he will return and make all things new. Read to your children about Jesus. Tell them what he has done on their behalf. Read good stories that echo this hope.
Here are some good stories to start with:
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J. R. R Tolkien
Ashtown Burials, Outlaws of Time, 100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson
The Green Ember by S. D. Smith
Peter Nimble by Jonathan Auxier