“Is it right to teach kids about Santa and the Easter bunny and to pretend that they're real?”
When my kids were little I avoided the whole Santa Claus lie.
My kids had great Christmases, and they knew who "Santa" was but they also knew that Santa was just a fiction, a fun game. NOT real. No elves, no flying reindeer... and it didn't matter if you had a chimney.
Christmas was about family, not about mythical flying reindeer and getting stuff.
Other parents were a bit pissed off that I didn't indoctrinate my kids with The Lie, but it just wasn't me. I felt I owed that honesty to my kids, and never wanted to deceive them, even though it might be fun for awhile.
This was made much easier because their mother was Russian. For her, gift-giving happened on New Year's day, and it was a family celebration, not a consumerism-fueled mythological holiday.
Santa is the god of Nice Guys... behave the way other people want you to, and you get nice stuff, misbehave and you get rocks.
We didn't like that motivational framework, it just felt icky. You should behave because you want to behave and because you understand relationships, respect and appreciation... not because you get stuff.
And, watching them grow into adults... it worked wonderfully.
My kids are very independent now and on the whole, I think that was the right decision. There's a huge amount of trust between me and my kids. They know I will always tell them the truth, even when their friends' parents are espousing Lies.
BUT... I believe fantasy is important too.
Today, I came across this post, shared below- and after laughing my ass off for a good while. I began to reconsider my perspective on fantasy.
The parents wrote it added an afterword - see the bottom of this post - which sums up my thoughts well.
I believe deeply in honesty, and our entire world - from the tiniest ant to the night sky are full of wonders already.
But I also appreciate the value of fantasy and make-believe in helping a kid to see the possibility beyond that visible reality.
Playfulness is critical.
My simple rule is this- anything is fair game- but if they ask me "is this really true?" my answer is...
What do you think?
BROJO: Confidence. Clarity. Connection.
Join BROJO - the premier international self-development community - FREE!
- Connect with like-minded people who will support you with your goals and issues
- Overcome people-pleasing and Nice Guy Syndrome to build strong social confidence
- Get access to exclusive online courses to learn advanced social skills, how to master your psychology, proven career progression techniques and more