IT’S very easy to react negatively to reports that parents are changing the endings of traditional fairytales because they’re either “inappropriate” or too scary.

Generations of us who have brought up our families on Sleeping Beauty, The Ugly Duckling, Little Red Riding Hood etc don’t think twice about sharing them with today’s young children. But, I do see that there’s another point of view.

Perhaps it’s fair enough to believe that someone being kissed without their consent (the Prince waking Sleeping Beauty) sends out the wrong message today, when we actively encourage youngsters to respect their bodies and be in charge of themselves.

Even the argument about encouraging “body-shaming” in the story of The Ugly Duckling makes a reasonable point. We tell youngsters that it’s wrong to talk about another’s weight in a nasty way and make them feel uncomfortable about it and in this enduring story looks definitely matter.

There’s no sense in mixing messages when you’re trying to do your best to bring up your children. Keeping the principles clear and simple in everything is what works.

Then why does the latest research, carried out by musicMagpie among 2,000 parents make me feel uneasy? They asked parents if they changed the classic plots so beloved of previous generations to avoid upsetting children or to be in line with current thinking. They found that a quarter of parents asked did.

Now, these parents are being labelled “snowflakes” and promoting political correctness – even if both seem a bit harsh.

I think what worries people like me is that, while these are plainly caring parents wanting to raise children in the best way they can and not wanting to threaten them or their self-respect, they are also sanitising life-lessons that might actually be useful.

While fairytales specialise in the happy ever after, there are often baddies who don’t triumph and glitches among the uplifting themes that reflect life’s ups and downs. Some fairytales can be viewed as clever mirrors on possible life scenarios, not literally but figuratively.

Children can, and have for decades, learned from these simple fairytales. Usually the main lesson has been that if you don’t treat others well you won’t be treated well yourself. It’s not a bad daily mantra and there are other realistic messages.

Tidy up the details to fit in with current philosophy by all means, but let’s keep the main positive themes going somehow.