Should parents tell kids the existence of tooth fairies, Santa Claus and the Easter bunny?
- Author Sarah Syed
- Published February 7, 2021
- Word count 654
Do you ever wonder why parents tell their children lies? Why they make them believe in fantasy creatures even though they don’t even exist? What happens to the faith of a child in a parent when the lie is exposed? But the big question is should parents tell kids the existence of tooth fairies, Santa Claus and the Easter bunny?
Well, most children start asking if the tooth fairy is real around the ages of 5 to 10 when their teeth start falling out, and obviously why not let them believe in such a fantasy. I never really believed inthe Easter bunny or Santa Claus, but the tooth fairy mattered a great deal to me. She came when all was darkness, when all that could be heard was a deafening silence. She silently took my tooth, and always left some money. My 6-year-old brother asked my mum the other day if the tooth fairy really existed. He said he asked the question because his classmates told him it was all a lie and that his parents were putting money under his pillow, not the so-called tooth fairy.Obviously telling him the truth was the right thing to do so that’s what we did, and he was upset because he was made to believe in something that didn’t exist, and that obviously lead him to think he can’t trust his parents anymore.
Many psychologists say that children need to be assured and proven that they can trust their parents to be honest, even in situations similar to this. In other words, when your kids ask if Santa, the tooth fairy or the Easter bunny are real, the answer should be NO. Do we really need to weaken the firmness of children’s trust in parents by letting them in on an elaborate conspiracy claiming it’s just part of a fun childhood?Kids do get angry and disappointed as all humans do and as painful as it is for us witness their suffering once they are told the truth, it’s better that we can accept those feelings rather than ignoring them and telling our kids it doesn’t matter. But to avoid all these painful problems, why not take the sensible route and tell your kids these fantasy characters don’t even exist from the start.
People ask what the problem is with telling kids the existence of Santa Claus or the Easter bunny, and certainly, several issues unfold.First of all, it might foster the development of something called “magical thinking” later in life.
Does anyone know what “magical thinking” is?
Magical Thinking is a potentially serious cognitive alteration which many therapists struggle tremendously with to take their customers minds of. Examples of magical thinking include mind-reading (which often upsets many), superstitions and other strange beliefs.
So, if adults validate the existence of an old, white-bearded man who has survived for thousands of years living at the North Pole comfortably accompanied by an army of talented elves, who flies around the world on a sleigh driven by an ever so talented reindeer, sounds pretty magical, right?
Many people use the excuse that these fantasy creatures help children expand their creative mind, but I’m sure you would agree that Kids have a very productive and dynamic imagination. They don’t need Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny to aid in creative progression. For example, When we were young I’m pretty sure we could all make up stories when playing with our toys using our ever so inventive mind.Obviously, no one would teach a child the incorrect way to speak and tell them it’s wrong several years later so why teach kids to believe in such creatures and demonstrate those lies all along.The best thing we can do to benefit our children is to encourage the truth from the very start until the very end.
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