Should children believe in myth and Superstition?

Published: Tuesday, 17 December 2013 Written by Sutshaina Desir

ENGLISH SPEECH

GENDAYIE GEORGE SUTSHAINA DESIR

PALOMA ST. JEAN KAIMI GUISTE

  Good morning to Mrs Sohraindo as well as my fellow classmates. Today I will be presenting to you about childhood myths and why they should remain. Could you imagine a childhood without waking up to the upbeat theme song of your favorite cartoon show on television? Or without listening attentively to your mother as she warned you earnestly to stay away from the old woman down the road, who ritually removes her skin and flies at night in the form of a fire ball in search of young children’s blood? If we remember our third form literature classes we would recall the famous Anansi stories. This is a myth about a small spider that overcomes his larger opponents in the jungle. We remember how he used his wit to get out of sticky situations and how he used cunning nature to his benefit. I'm sure we all marveled at Anansi and learned that small does not mean incapable. Myths and other stories of childhood are not lies, neither are they deceptive and they definitely do not prevent children from growing to be upright and honest citizens. In fact these stories preserve their innocence, teach them morals and persuade them to behave well.

  My fellow students, Fairy tales and myths provide children with a medium to help them begin exploring moral issues in every day dilemmas. They deal with a myriad of themes that are familiar to small children such as sibling rivalry, the importance of not judging others and keeping promises. These attractive stories stir their imagination and can simulate and instruct their moral development. For instance, children are told about superheroes such as spider man and batman. These heroes teach the children that goals are only achieved through hard work and the villains in the stories teach them that bad deeds are always punished. This satisfies their need for justice and fairness. How can this prevent a child from being nothing but an excellent citizen? Furthermore, children model themselves after their heroes and they become their role models. It is no revelation that children are capable of grasping or imitating the various Saturday morning cartoons and comic book characters, like the brave Superman and the sensational super heroine, Wonder Woman. Even adults are guilty of taking the stories of these superheroes, which encourage strength, persistence and courage, as a form of enlightenment as they hold these astonishing heroes as role models. Why then, should we deprive our children of such admiration towards such exemplary mentors?

  My dear classmates, childhood myths hold absolutely no influence in the forming of a less than upright and honest people. These myths in fact, persuade children to be the best that they can so as not to face the consequences of the myths. Take the story of Santa Claus for instance, the owner of all the elves up in the North Pole who slides down the chimney of every child's house all covered in soot, leaving gifts only for those who had been "good" throughout the year. Children, so gullible, try their utmost to behave themselves so that they can receive their Christmas wish. Moreover I'm sure we've heard the phrase 'touch this and your hand will get big'. This myth has definitely prevented us from touching what is not ours in fear that our hand would swell. Has it not? Children believe in the myths and their role models. Why then should we rob children of such admiration towards such good influences?

  Lastly another reason why myths should be kept as part of our teaching is so the innocence of children can be preserved. In this way if exposed to the threatening truths of the world, children would be forced into rapid maturity, a problem already encouraged by the influx of modern technology. Children at tender ages are taught to believe that when they have a tooth that falls out, place it under the pillow and in the stealth of the night a tooth fairy will come. The tooth fairy will take the tooth and replace it with a coin. Many maybe all of us have done this before. As we know losing a tooth as a child was quite scary. I'm sure that the satisfaction of finding an icon the next morning indeed makes it all worth it. Myths and fairy tales make life meaningful especially in our childhood. Why should we dub such an important part of life deceitful?

On the other hand it is believed that such lies and deceit can cause a child to rebel against their parents for lying to them when they finally realize that their parents whom they trusted the most, deceived them. This statement is however faulty. Myths are, in fact, very significant as they help make a child's early years into one filled with fun, games and laughter and creativity. Instead of persuading rebellions they enable the young child to have a laugh at their gullibility and naivety and they would be capable to truly being able to say that they had an exceptional childhood full of imagination.

 In closing, the rebellious and deceitful youth are not brought about by myths. These are due to many other things such as bad family back grounds. Myths should remain in our infant education because it preserves the true meaning of childhood, they provide morals by which the children can abide. Also they urge children to be well-behaved. How would our child hood have been without these myths? Boring and non creative. Children should be allowed to choose when they are mature enough to stop believing such things. 

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