Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hoodwinked Too &The Three Little Pigs: Two Great Ways to Build Empathy in your Child

Pirates of the Caribbean, Cars and Kung Fu Panda re-makes, step-aside. 2011 is the summer of the sequel, but the one I am looking forward to most may not be the biggest blockbuster. Do you remember the 2006 kid’s film, Hoodwinked? Tagged as “the true story of Little Red Riding Hood,” this detective story investigated what really happened at Granny’s house on that fateful day in the woods. By understanding the full picture of events, kid viewers learned that the Wolf was not really so big or bad after all.

Now, in this summer’s newest installment of Fairy Tales 2.0, much of the Hoodwinked cast is back to take a fresh look at the “closed case” of Hansel and Gretel. With a PG-rating, youngest kids may find parts of the Hoodwinked movies too scary or suspenseful, but for elementary school aged kids—and even middle school ones—the films are both fantastic for engaging young viewers in a conversation about empathy and point of view.

Most fairy tales are told from a single perspective and feature good and evil in black and white terms. The real world, however, is colored in shades of grey. Kids benefit from exposure to alternate points of view and learning that there are two (or more!) sides to every story. Hoodwinked and Hoodwinked Too! are great, entertaining ways to introduce kids to this important concept.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs is another great resource for building empathy in young kids and teaching them, in an entertaining way, that there are multiple points of view to even the most well-established of tales. In this children’s story by John Scieszka, the Big Bad Wolf finally gets to tell his side of the story. Children learn that the perspective of the three little pigs was not necessarily wrong, but rather limited. When young people come to understand that two sides of a single story can both be 100% valid, they grow in their ability to empathize with others and consider multiple points of view.

Have you seen these movies or read this book? Do you agree or disagree?

By Signe Whitson, LSW and Master Trainer for The Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute. My Baby Clothes, where you can find beautiful baby clothes, baby hats and tutus, provides Signe’s advice to parents all around the world.

Photo Credit: NaĆ­r la jefa



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