Stories, even villains in stories, play a very important role. I am not blaming the stories themselves. I am blaming the current bunch of story tellers. We have gotten lazy. And yes, over protective. One example that always springs to mind is the fairytale about the red dancing shoes. I have a gorgeous book with as near to original versions of Grimm and Anderson as I could get. In my version, the blacksmith cuts off the girl’s feet to stop her from dancing. And the shoes danced on. With the feet in them.
Every other version of the story I’ve read since has the smith somehow cut the shoes off the feet of the girl, making the shoes dance on all by themselves.
The consequences have been removed.
The justification I’ve always heard, is to make these stories less scary for kids. Honestly, I think the stories were changed for the benefit of nervous adults. Kids can handle scary much better. They should learn about the dangers of the world. And not in a way that makes them lazy.