My 10-year old boy recently told me that he likes the Cinderella fairy tale.
Some fairy tales including this one, have several layers of meaning and sometimes they guide people's life decisions.
Let's look at Cinderella from a realistic point of view: The stepmother humiliates Cinderella for a long time, while her father is watching and doing nothing about it. Her father is the first man she knows.
It's totally reasonable that she holds a grudge against him (for not preventing the attacks of the stepmother), and because she doesn't know other men, she is likely to project this concept to other men as well.
In her family she didn't have a chance to take revenge for her sufferings.
This changes when Prince Charming enters her life. It is likely that Cinderella will vent her anger on him and he won't fight back because he is noble and such.
Unfortunately, real life is full of stories when Cinderellas either
- tolerate intolerable behavior from bad men/criminals and
- reject all those people (men and women), who treat them well.
I fear that if I don't tell my son about these hidden meanings, he may get the wrong impression that it is easy to be together with a real-life Cinderella, i.e. that you can improve the life of a "broken" woman without investing enormous amount of time, energy, love, money and sometimes major sacrifices in lost career/business opportunities. A real-life Prince Charming would need - besides a genuine love to Cinderella, which borders on insanity - a couple of decades of intensive work to heal Cinderella's wounds (based on my experience).
I also fear that he might have the wrong idea on the probability of success: Lots of men waste their resources on Cinderellas because the latter don't want to be saved (to lead a normal life without daily humiliation and/or violence).
Is there any possible harm if I tell my kid now about the hidden meaning of Cinderella?
Update 1: Re-formulating my question:
Can there be any harm to my son in
- telling him that there are many ways to look at that fairy tale and
- explain to him, how I interpret it (and why I don't like it)
at this particular age?
In other words: Isn't he too young to learn about the existence of these unhealthy relationships?