Classic stories, such as Rapunzel and Jack and The Beanstalk, have enchanted children for years but are on their way to an unhappy ending as parents decide they’re too scary.


One in five parents have admitted to scrapping fairytales as bedtime reading in favour of modern books, such as The Gruffalo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The study of 2,000 parents, conducted by television channel Watch, revealed that almost half refuse to read Rumpelstiltskin or Rapunzel to their kids as the stories are about kidnapping and execution.

Little Red Riding Hood is also being left on the shelf as a third of parents admit the story of the Big Bad Wolf eating the little girl’s grandmother left their child in tears.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears is thought to condone stealing, Cinderella is ‘outdated’, the term ‘dwarves’ in Snow White was found to be inappropriate and Jack and The Beanstalk was deemed too ‘unrealistic.’

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The research also revealed that the story of Hansel and Gretel lost in the woods was believed to be likely to scare.

A quarter of mums and dads even said they wouldn’t read a fairytale to their child until they were 5 as the stories prompt too many awkward questions.

“As adults we can see the innocence in fairytales, but a 5-year-old with an over-active imagination could take things differently,” said Steve Hornsey, general manager of Watch, reported The Daily Mail.

The poll suggested these are the top ten fairytales no longer read to children:

1. Hansel and Gretel

2. Jack and The Beanstalk

3. Gingerbread Man

4. Little Red Riding Hood

5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

6. Cinderella

7. Rapunzel

8. Rumpelstiltskin

9. Goldilocks and the Three Bears

10.Queen Bee

Do you read fairytales to your child?

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