I was a snoopy child. I remember staying up late and sneaking around to catch my parents putting the presents under the tree. I was never officially told he wasn’t real. It didn’t bother me because I just figured it was something parents did and if it meant you got presents there was no harm.
But for other parents, it’s a huge debate.
Mary Susan Murphy told me a story, “So we have these neighbors…the dad is a minister. They have three kids age 6 and under and are expecting another. One is in my kindergartener’s class. Every year they have a neighborhood Christmas party and we go. There were like 20 kids in their playroom. Suddenly their four-year old announces the following….“SANTA IS NOT REAL. MY DAD IS A MINISTER. DO YOU THINK HE’D LIE? HE’S NOT REAL. THE IDEA CAME FROM A GUY NAMED ST. NICOLAS. HE…HE IS DEAD. THAT’S RIGHT. HE’S DEAD! WE WORSHIP JESUS, NOT YOUR FAKE SECULAR SANTA. I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU GUYS SINCE YOUR PARENTS LIE TO YOU!”
Wow! First I was shocked at the four-year old’s vocabulary and his knowledge. Mary Susan said many of the kids were upset. But her daughter just thought the child was “rude.”
But are we “liars?” Or are we just bringing moments of childhood joy to our kids. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy are all fictional characters we lie to our children about until they are of an age they either figure it out for themselves or we tell them. Or another child tells them. Personally mine suffered no damage from the eventual truth. And I’m sure they will perpetuate the “lies” when they become parents themselves.
I’ve taken socks and made them into fictional characters much to the delight of my children. Was that a lie? Those creatures/characters do not exist. I also made up bedtime stories about walking talking alligators and spiders (They chose the topic!) Was I a liar for every made up character I created?
Personally I think this it’s all about developing their imagination.
What do you think?