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to think that a story about babies being murdered isn't very suitable for 5 year olds?

(63 Posts)
melpomene Wed 17-Sep-08 23:45:04

DD1 is in year 1. At school today they had an assembly and she says that a teacher told them about "a man in Egypt who killed all the boy babies". Presumably this is the story of Herod and the massacre of the innocents, although dd1 didn't recognise the name Herod when I asked if that was who it was.

So, what is the point of telling 5yos this story? It's potentially upsetting, not historically accurate, difficult for a 5yo to understand doesn't have any moral point which is applicable to them, and isn't exactly a key tenet of Christianity.

I would like to have a choice of whether to tell dd1 potentially upsetting stories like this, rather than having it foisted upon her by the school. This is a standard state primary, not a religious school.

OK, so they're supposed to have a religious element in the assembly, but wouldn't it be better to have something with a more positive message eg good samaritan or something about charity?

specialmagiclady Wed 17-Sep-08 23:46:23

And why isn't it associated a bit with Christmas??

Sobernow Wed 17-Sep-08 23:47:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jojostar Wed 17-Sep-08 23:50:05

was she upset? or are you upset?

S1ur Wed 17-Sep-08 23:51:36

yes bugger them, it is a foolish story to tell five year olds. Not lesat because of the bloodthirsty gruesome element (many five yos enjoy gruesome) but its moral such as it is, is better told in a gazillion different ways, it is irrelevant and difficult to grasp.


FAQ Wed 17-Sep-08 23:51:43

how is the good samaritan good - the gets beaten up and left for dead on the road, then several people walk by and leave him lying there!!! (ok it's got a happy ending - but then so does the Christmas story - as Mary and Joseph escape with Jesus.....)

melpomene Wed 17-Sep-08 23:56:39

She didn't seem upset, and obviously I wasn't there to see how the story was told, but the idea of babies being indiscriminately killed could obviously upset some children of this (or any) age and I don't think they have the conceptual apparatus to deal with it yet.

Good point about the good samaritan - I'm not a big fan of the story or anything, I was just grasping around to try and find a religious story with a better moral.

BitOfFun Wed 17-Sep-08 23:58:01

I remember getting the story of the Holy Innocents at infant school, but I was in no doubt that the headmistress was a bit of a psycho...I wouldn't expect it to be dwelled on now. Then again, Grimms fairytales are fairly gory, so maybe it is all just part of childhood?

FAQ Wed 17-Sep-08 23:59:31

BoF - I was just about to mention many "classic" fairytales - not just Grimms (but my mind has gone blank - plenty of wicked people in the ones I read as a child though)

zippitippitoes Wed 17-Sep-08 23:59:33

i dont think i ever thought about bible stories as in being scarfy

just interesting

i dont think children worry so much

they dont project like adults

zippitippitoes Thu 18-Sep-08 00:00:36

i was rather keen on the bible when i was little as a source of good stories

jojostar Thu 18-Sep-08 00:01:02

religion is a part of life and all religions are supposed to be covered in schools whether catholic or not. If she's not upset who cares? she probably hears much worse about life chatting about eastenders in the playground smile

solidgoldbrass Thu 18-Sep-08 00:02:22

It always amused me when 'Christians' start squealing about sex&violence in the media when there are so many bloodthirsty and sexually dubious stories in the bible. Many of which the more mental sort of religious teacher will insist are true (OK in some cases there may be some historical evidence but....)

S1ur Thu 18-Sep-08 00:02:49

Grimm fairytales are good. gruesome and disturbing. BUT and this is important, they have a clearer message and plot to follow than the political motivation of Herod. I think.

DId I mention that I am unqualified to talk about christianity?

I am y'know. I know very little. I went to a hippy school. We sang beatles songs in assembly.

differentID Thu 18-Sep-08 00:03:25

um, could the teacher have been teaching the story of moses? rather than Jesus? The slaughter of the male jewish children by the egyptians.

foxytocin Thu 18-Sep-08 00:04:31

I've been reading/singing and listening to a lot of traditional nursery rhymes and stories lately with dd and I am horrified at things in them but they never alarmed me as a kid.

3 blind mice: who chopped off their tails with a carving knife!

and tonight Benjamin Bunny was whipped with a switch by his dad who went cruising for him, switch in hand, on the top of the wall of Mr McGregor's garden because he know where he would turn up.

Marina Thu 18-Sep-08 00:05:53

I think it might have been Moses too.
Herod slaughtered male babies in Judaea.

zippitippitoes Thu 18-Sep-08 00:06:31

oh i assumed it was mosers in the bullrushes

plagues good

lazatrus good

ene mene tekel up harsen good

i loved all this stuff

didnt have much effect on my religious beleifs as an adult tho

zippitippitoes Thu 18-Sep-08 00:07:31

did probably help with my imagination and love of reading

S1ur Thu 18-Sep-08 00:09:11

Well while we're on fairy tales and nursery rhymes..

My dd asked what a step mother/sister was tonight, dp explained, she said.
Oh I thought it meant evil.

fair analysis I thought

melpomene Thu 18-Sep-08 00:09:21

Ah yes, it could well have been Moses now you mention it! I didn't think of that.

Apparently there was also a song about it, and the children had to stamp their feet.

Marina Thu 18-Sep-08 00:10:27

zippi, I had a lush Hamlyn Children's Bible which had very exciting pics of Belshazzar gasping at the writing on the wall, Bathsheba being leered at by David, the Judgment of Solomon (complete with squawking endangered baby), Ruth and Naomi, the fall of Jericho, Daniel in the Lions' Den etc
Much more exciting and memorable than many of my childhood books
I think Melpomene is right to be concerned about the apparent lack of context for the plight of the Israelites in Egypt though

zippitippitoes Thu 18-Sep-08 00:11:43

ah marina i have the same one

the chidlrens bible

on my shelf still minus dust jacket

differentID Thu 18-Sep-08 00:12:25

yes, It's probably about Moses then. Quite a few hymns and so on about the exodus.

foxytocin Thu 18-Sep-08 00:12:28

I had one of those Bibles too Marina. I could see the pictures you mentioned, though prob wasn't the 'same' Bible. yes, it probably developed my imagination and love for reading.

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