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What I loved about reading fantasy books was how magical and adventurous they were, in comparison to reality. My TV programmes as a kid mainly revolved around action, adventure, sci-fi and supernatural. Even the games I liked playing were all adventure or action games. SIMS and Grand Theft Auto (GTA) didn’t interest me. There I’ve said it! Probably 10 days from now I’ll be lying dead somewhere because the hardcore fans will be out to get me, all because I chose Super Mario Bros over GTA. Any day, man. Any day 😀

But I was brought up by parents who didn’t indulge in feeding my young imagination, and instead they made sure to remind me that I what I watched on TV or read in books were not real. Although I would have loved to believe there was a Hogwarts or that I could find gold at the end of a rainbow, I was able to differentiate between fantasy and reality.

However, I came across something that worries me, heck it actually scares me!

I had a 16 year old student ask me ‘Miss, do vampires exist?‘ O_O

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I asked him why he thought they existed and he explained how because some evidence of the existence of werewolves have been found, he also assumed that vampires might be real too. I made sure he didn’t leave the lesson without telling me truthfully that he no longer believed in the possibility that vampires might be real :/

Why am I making a post on this? Because (and this is where I’m gonna sound all grandma like) the fate of the next generation rests on how we educate them now. To think that someone who is a young adult actually asked me this question is astonishing! To teach our children what is real and fake is pivotal in helping them live a life without false perceptions and expectations.

Funny_shocked_face-5You think I’m taking this too far?! Well, my student hasn’t been the only one to ask this question. One of my sister’s GCSE student asked the same question. Except she was already lost in the scary/dreamy possibility of handsome-and-damned vampires already in existence. Oh, and by the way, both these students were born and bred in England and are part of two major religions. In case anyone was wondering if their families followed some Gothic cult.

So what exactly am I suggesting we do? Talk to our children for starters. Have a nice long chat about reality and fiction. Forget the Birds and the Bees. That’s something for later in life. Seriously, even if the child is 5, explain to them that horses aren’t part timing as unicorns. That there is no boogeyman. That fairies don’t water flowers.

I know this all might seem rather too much and that it’s suggesting we kill the imagination of children etc etc. But, I shall use myself as an example; I dreamt everything imaginable from what I fed off of books, films and TV. But I never was hurt by a realisation that none of it was true because I never had any expectations/belief to begin with. Yes these two students are in the minority, but we’re living in an age where fiction is more tempting than fact. More internet relationships, more fake accounts on facebook and so on.

I had to get this off my chest because it shocked me. And after reading about it, I hope it makes you think twice before assuming your child is old enough to not believe in something they could have gotten away with at 4yrs old.

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