(Click to our stories with morals, listed by moral.) Since the beginning of time, adults have used fables to educate children in right and wrong, good and bad, safe and unsafe.
Too often these days, stories exist only for their entertainment value. As a result, parents rely too much on rules, incentives and coercion to coax good behavior from their children.
We want that good behavior to come from within. A story with a moral can help. The moral says precisely what the child is supposed to learn!
Fables are the most well known stories with morals. Fables are usually very short stories featuring animals (or sometimes even inanimate objects) with human thoughts and needs. Aesop's Fables are probably the most famous.
(And do you know about Jean de la Fontaine, who set many of Aesop's fables to rhyme?)
India also has a rich history of stories with morals.
And guess what? We have a few modern fables with contemporary lessons written just for this site!
You can find fables all over the internet, but they're usually indexed by title! Isn't that silly? A fable's usefulness is in its moral, so that's how you'll find them displayed here.
Most fables were written many years ago, and so the lessons they teach can lack relevance. I'll try to limit my listings to stories with morals that resonate today.
Know also that Aesop lived in Greece over 2500 years ago, and most English translations were done over a century ago. The language can seem less than modern. I'll try to make the translations sound less dated.
My opinion is that the best way to use a fable is to read it yourself and then tell it to your child in your own words. Feel free to embellish it, to make it more of a story. Aesop's Fables can seem more like incidents than stories.
Elsewhere on this site you'll find my own moral stories. I call them Children's Behavior Books.
They're longer than fables, and while they don't have a traditional moral, each one has a clear message. A combination story and activity book, they're meant to help you help a child overcome a problem behavior. (See a list of the problem behaviors.)
And guess what? We take Dr. Seuss's books and give them morals too!
Learn why the most effective teaching stories don't have morals.
Read stories without morals to your children, then decide together what the moral should be!
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