Different information for children?

  1. I'm thinking out loud here, so bear with me:

    When children learn about something or someone for a class or for fun, do you notice that there's often a 'cleaned up' version of what really happened?

    One example that comes to mind is James Joyce. When children read about him, they learn that as he got older, he gradually started losing his eyesight.

    What REALLY happened was, he often spent time with prostitutes. The result was that he caught siphilis which caused him to go blind.
  2. Every story has a 'cleaned up' version which gets taught in classrooms! This is true especially for younger kids, with more controversial issues/truths popping up in high school and beyond.

    EDIT: Everything has a cleaned up version. I.e. if one is going through a painful divorce where one's husband has left one for the office floozy the temptation is to tell the kids: "Your father's an a**hole! He's spending your college money so that his girlfriend can get breast implants" which is the true version... However you end up telling the kids "Daddy has some issues so he can't be with us right now. He and I are trying very hard to work through these, and remember Daddy and I both love you!"
  3. Many stories have been cleaned up over the centuries for their audience. The original versions of Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, and other fairytales are rife with violence and sexual innuendo.
  4. ^^ Oh, I know about the fairy tales!

    Disney's Hercules was cleaned up from the original myth.

    The children don't need to know that Herakles went crazy and killed his wife and children and went through the 12 Labors to alleviate his guilt.

    Disney's Pocahontas was cleaned up, too.

    The children don't need to know that Pocahontas ended up marrying John Rolfe, moving to London with him and then eventually dying of smallpox.
  5. It's definetly not a great idea to tell children that smallpox may be deadly. :p
  6. Yeah, take George Washington. Martha was actually married to his brother, but when George first saw Martha, he fell in love. As time passed he became more and more enamored and more upset with his brother for not treating her as he would. Finally, one rainy night, George, killed his brother and kidnapped Martha tying her up in his basement. For amusement he threw her yarns and needles and such to bide her time. When the country needed a new flag, he had her sew the one that she's so famous for. OVer the years, she eventually learned to love him even though he often made her do S&M inspired rituals at his secret gatherings where friends would bring their wives/mistresses for some interesting fun.

    Ok, none of that really happened, but I do know what you mean Caitlin.
  7. ^^ :roflmfao::roflmfao:
  8. LOL I know that I remember learning things in middle school and then in high school learning the "rest" of the story and being really ticked off. I always wanted to know the truth and hated the cleaned up versions. I was always reading 'adult' themed books about the Holocaust and things like that.

    Maybe it's because my parents "cleaned up" the reason why my dad was always in the hospital - they didn't tell me he was dying until ONE week before he died. I hate being kept in the dark and always want to know what's going on, no matter how unpleasant.
  9. I think in school the cleaned up version is good - some children are VERY impressionable at young age and may take things far more to heart. the teacher does not have the option to address each child individually.

    in a personal one-on-one situation parents have the choice how to handle their child so it is different.
  10. I think that is done more for the benefit of parents than for the children, specifically parents who may have strong beliefs that children should not know some things, and even some with beliefs that children will not find out for themselves anything they want to know.

    The kid can come home and google James Joyce if she wants to, just as in the old days she could look it up in the library, which she will do if she understands that she is not going to hear the real story at home or at school, and this is something that she will already understand by the time she starts school if she is likely to be interested in the real story.

    Not all adults want to know the real story themselves!
  11. True that!

    Reading the original "Red Riding Hood" saddened me. The story is no longer humorous when the big bad wolf is a paedophilic bastard. Gross.
  12. Grimm fairy tales and Hans Christain Anderson tales are quite violent and sad. No one really remembers that the Little Mermaid actually turned to sea form or that the Little Match Girl froze to dealth.

    As far as history, I don't mind the 'cleaned up' versions as long as the are not factually incorrect.
  13. Haha, Charles!

    The Roman emperor Caligula had incestuous relationships with all three of his sisters, he had frequent orgies, both homosexual and heterosexual and he named his horse a priest. He later spoke of appointing it Consul to the Senate.

    He is said to have opened a brothel in his palace and had a habit of taking Senate members' wives with him to his private bedroom during social functions, while the husbands could merely look on as they left together, then he would recount the sexual acts he performed with the wives for all to hear, including their husbands.

    That actually happened. But I'm sure if you were teaching a bunch of schoolchildren about Caligula, you'd skip the orgies, incest and brothels and focus on the part about giving his horse a position of power in government.

    Certain things parents don't want to know and certain things parents don't want their children to know.

    Children can have the option of finding out when they're older and can understand more but I can understand why parents won't volunteer specific information.

    When we were in France, we stopped by a monument that was in tribute to the people who were guillotined without a trial during the French Revolution. (My dad translated the monument and told us a little bit about what happened.)

    The French Revolution was important for my brother and me to know. What exactly a Lady of the Evening did was not. My brother and I asked who those scantily clad women standing on street corners in Hawaii were. My parents replied they were Ladies of the Evening. My parents didn't explain anything more than that, but we didn't ask any more questions.

    Sometimes the whole 'kids don't need to know certain things' thing can go too far. I remember when I was working at Victoria's Secret and a customer was there with her daughter. I think I was showing her bath products and I think the word 'sensual' was part of the name of something.
    The little girl asked what sensual meant and the mother answered "It's something little girls don't need to know."
  14. ^^^that's wht children really don't need to go into stores like Victoria's Secret, what was that mother thinking?
  15. You know, I don't know. Maybe the woman didn't want to get a babysitter. A lot of women came in with the attitude of I'm running a quick errand. Ineed to pick up a bra / pantyhose / lotion and I'm on my way out.

    I see what you mean, twinkle. Victoria's Secret isn't necessarily the best place for kids, but to be fair, I'd see more of a problem if I was working at Trashy Lingerie and the same woman brought her daughter in.

    But is it that difficult to tell the little girl that sensual means satisfying the senses? (She could tell her that in the bath products' case the sensual refers to smell.)