Nah, just joking!
I saw this poster on Facebook this morning.
The inference here is that parents who engage their children in fantasies about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are basically lying to their children and setting up a situation where trust will be broken and disappointment will break the child's heart.
I've seen many debates over the years about this issue - the issue of parents being willing to lie to their children about these mythical creatures instead of just saying, 'I buy your presents, put money under your pillow in exchange for a tooth and scatter chocolate eggs around the back yard, it's all me. Those other guys, they're just made up stories for kids who can't deal with reality! I won't treat you like that because I respect you!'
The Grumpy Old Man and I walk a middle ground between 'cold, hard reality' and 'Oh, look, giant powdery bunny prints in the kitchen!'
Our kids know we are somehow in cahoots with the 'fantasy creatures' and quite frankly, they prefer it that way!
It's a cold, hard world where there is no such thing as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny - and I think it's a rather depressing place to live.
I also think children are far more robust than that.
This need to be ultra-hardcore-real with children is something akin to the 'school of hard knocks - they have to learn about how the world really works some time' approach. It lacks a certain level of generosity, of meeting the child where they live - in a world full of possibilities and void of limitations. If Santa and the Tooth Fairy are impossible, then how can a small child ever hope be a hero one day?
Fantasy is not lying. Lying is about self-preservation. Lying is selfish. Fantasy is generous and giving and full of play - and playing is good for children! The two are simply not compatible!
Thursday, May 31, 2012
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