Sarah Hall, from Northumberland Park, near Newcastle, has taken to twitter to express her concern about young children being exposed to ‘inappropriate sexual behaviour’ in the well-known fairytale, Sleeping Beauty. She raised the issue after her six year old son brought home the book from school and after reading the book herself, disapproved of the message being sent out to younger children.
As we all know, Sleeping Beauty is the story of a princess who is cursed by a sorceress. In short, the princess pricks her finger on a spindle and subsequently falls into a deep sleep for 100 years. But all is not lost, as a prince soon finds the Sleeping Beauty asleep in the castle and stoops down to kiss her, miraculously waking her from her slumber.
According to Ms. Hall, the issue lies in the fact that the traditional tale endorses a lack of female consent. In schools, this could translate into young boys thinking that they can touch or kiss girls without permission.
‘These are indicative of how ingrained that kind of behaviour is in society. All these small things build up, and they make a difference.’
Prompted to raise this issue after coverage of the recent sexual harassment scandals, Ms. Hall is not calling for the story to be banned from schools altogether, but to be removed from the classes of younger children who are more impressionable. She argues that it could actually be beneficial for older school children, as they could discuss the story together, beginning a conversation around the idea of consent.
‘In today’s society, it isn’t appropriate - my son is only six, he absorbs everything he sees, and it isn’t as if I can turn it into a constructive conversation.’
What do you think?
Read next: The best Christmas days out for children
Tea with Father Christmas at Wyevale Garden Centres
Want the best Christmas days out with children, but don’t want to travel too far? Visit your local garden centre! Until Christmas Eve, the whole family can take a festive tea or breakfast with Santa at Wyevale Garden Centres all over the country. Kids can decorate a festive cookie and receive a special gift from Father Christmas. Tickets are £9.99 for children and from £3.99 for adults. Or for £5, little ones can enter the magical Santa’s Grotto, meet the man himself and take home a gift.
It’s a feast of family activity at LEGOLAND this Christmas. There are fun rides and attractions, Santa's Grotto, an elf workshop, giant 8m tall LEGO Christmas tree, a gifts market, scavenger hunt and the opportunity to work with other families to build a huge festive LEGO model in the park. Tickets are £30 for a day pass with under-twos free.
Staying longer than a day? Book your stay at LEGOLAND Windsor on booking.com
Like the real Lapland… but without the flight and freezing cold weather. This really is one of the best Christmas days out for children. It’s a Christmas festival, with elves introducing little ones to reindeer and weaving stories of their work in Santa’s grotto. And talking of which, kids can visit Santa and take home a signed photo of themselves with him, plus make gingerbread men, build toys together and receive a little gift. There’s also ice-skating and a log cabin restaurant. It’s pricey at from £65 per person but a truly magical experience.
Fancy staying a little longer? Book a Christmas getaway at Lapland UK on booking.com
Christmas takes over the city of Edinburgh in much the same way the comedy festival does in the summer. There’s everything from street performers and festive shows in the theatres to an ice rink, Children's Market, rides, attractions and fireworks. Tickets vary.
Book a Christmas stay in Edinburgh on booking.com
Open until January 7th, Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland is right in the heart of the city so you can make an evening of it with shopping before fun at the ice-skating rink, Alpine village selling yummy food from German sausages to crepes, funfair rides and attractions. For parents, there’s even some 'Apres Skate' at the Bierkeller Bar where they can sample the mulled wine. Tickets are £11 for adults, £9 for children (3- 15 years old) and £35 for a family of four.
Book your Christmas stay in Cardiff on booking.com
Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Park is having a festive makeover, making it perfect for the best Christmas days out for Children. The highlight is sure to be seeing Peppa and George wrapped up in their winter hats and scarves, although we can’t guarantee there will be snow! There will be a 4D sleigh ride, and a musical Christmas tree. Adults £28.75; children 3-13 years £28.75; 12-35 months £22.25; under 12 months £6.
Book an overnight stay near Peppa Pig World on booking.com