The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: or, A Lesson in Social Aggression

We’ve just finished reading a children’s adaptation of Washington Irving’s classic tale.

I confess that I dearly loved this story as a child. As an adult, I see the darker themes of emotional manipulation (Katrina to Ichabod) and bullying (Brom Bones). And to think that I thought the story was just something whipped up to scare kids about going out after dark.

Nope, there’s a timeless moral or two in it after all, making it great fodder for discussion in an afterschool or homeschool setting. Or to discuss casually at bedtime if your kids aren’t too freaked out by the pumpkin head part. Some older kids may also enjoy reading the original version.

Kids of all ages, however, will find that the 1949 Disney version is fun to watch. Check your local library for a copy. You can also find snippets on

Explore More:

Anatomy Study at Halloweeen: Perfect Together – A related post from earlier this week.

Social Form of Bullying Linked to Depression, Anxiety in Adults – Social shunning is cruel and can be more debilitating–and have longer lasting effects–than many people may realize.

Taking Control: Six Steps When Bullying Gets Out of Control – This is from Debi at She published it earlier this week, and I thought it made sense to share it with this post. It’s useful information should you and your child ever encounter an especially aggressive bully.

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  1. I had forgotten about that Disney version. Gee – some of those oldies are so wonderful. It’s important to have these discussions with our children, but what I learned this weekend – the hard way – is that it’s equally important that we, as parents, educate ourselves on bullying, the law and the very real, practical steps we must take to keep our children safe when bullying goes beyond annoying to threatening.

    • Thanks for the note, Debi. I agree.

      I think there’s some reassurance in an old tale like this that other generations have struggled with these issues, too. People can be extraordinarily cruel.

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