Do you find yourself changing the endings of the fairytales you read to your children? Do you feel they don’t relate to modern day life anymore?

Our research has revealed that one in three parents admit to altering the ending of their children’s favourite bedtime story – to make them more modern.

With most favourite fairytales having been written two centuries ago, their relevance to today’s generation of kids is slim – and parents are taking matters into their own hands.

While the moral of the story may be timeless, the characters and settings are in dire need of an update: only 18% of parents believe they are still relevant to modern day life – and one in ten parents no longer read fairytales to their children at all.

The Top 10 fairytales deemed to be most outdated by parents

1 Sleeping Beauty (17%)
2 Rumplestiltskin (15%)
3 Hansel And Gretel (14%)
4 Cinderella (13%)
5 Snow White (13%)
6 Princess and The Pea (11%)
7 The Wind and The Willows (11%)
8 Rapunzel (10%)
9 The Three Little Pigs (10%)
10 Thumberliena (9%)

Themes that need to be included

Mums and dads are seeking an update to the themes of these fairytales and feel that the following subjects aren’t included:   

1 The importance of being independent (30%)
2 Not being pressured to look a certain way (27%)
3 Not seeking to live ‘happily ever after’ (25%)
4 Multiculturalism (21%)
5 Feminism (18%)
6 The impact of social media (13%)


Given that these important matters are missed out of books that a lot of children still grow up with, parents feel responsible to make the necessary changes to ensure their children aren’t being brought following the wrong morals.

The Top 10 fairytales that parents change parts of or the endings of

The fairytales that parents find themselves changing most often include:

1 The Three Little Pigs (19%)
2 Little Red Riding Hood (18%)
3 Hansel and Gretel (18%)
4 Sleep Beauty (17%)
5 Snow White (13%)
6 Cinderella (13%)
7 Jack and The Beanstalk (10%)
8 Goldilocks (9%)
9 Rumplestiltskin (9%)
10 The Wizard of Oz (6%)


Delving into our research a little further, parents feel that they have to change parts of these stories because they worry what their child might think of the real ending (26%); they feel that the morals are wrong (16%); they don’t feel like the morals represent modern day life anymore (16%); and they don’t like some of the characters (10%).  

The Top 10 celebrities that parents insert instead of characters

When charging parts of the stories or the characters, our research revealed that one in ten parents even use celebrities to make the fairytales more relatable for their children.

The Top 10 celebrities inserted into classic fairytales to make them more relevant to life in 2018 are:

1 Prince Harry
2 Ed Sheeran
3 David Walliams
4 Holly Willoughby
5 Mo Farah
6 Harry Kane
7 Cristiano Ronaldo
8 Simon Cowell
9 Harry Styles
10 Stormzy