FFS! Experts Warn Parents Not To Lie to Children About Santa
There is currently an article doing the rounds that’s telling parents not to tell children Santa is real because lying to our kids can cause long-term damage to them psychologically. That it undermines a child’s trust and is morally suspect “according to two experts“.
Psychology professor Christopher Boyle and social scientist Dr Kathy McKay also condemn the idea of a “terrifying” North Pole intelligence agency which judges children to be nice or naughty. “If they (parents) are capable of lying about something so special and magical, can they be relied upon to continue as the guardians of wisdom and truth?”
Let me stop right there and point out that parents lie about a helluva lot more than Santa. We have to or no kid would ever eat a vegetable, be brave enough to get their tonsils out and our sex lives would end as soon as they could walk. Or maybe we should say: “Honey vegetables taste like shit, having your tonsils out is going to hurt like hell and Dad and I are just going into the bedroom for half an hour for some sexual intercourse”. Just wanted to be honest!
They go on to say that parents may be motivated by a selfish desire to relive their own childhood.
Damn straight we are. Christmas was pure magic to me – all of it, and especially the unbelievably exciting lead-up to it. Going to the mall to see Santa, sitting on his lap and telling him what I wanted. Hanging my stocking up by the fireplace Christmas Eve and leaving a plate of cookies and a glass of whiskey for him and carrots for the reindeer and the pure unadulterated joy of tearing down the stairs Christmas morning to see that stocking had been filled up and there were presents underneath that tree.
Did I actually believe with all my heart it was a guy in a red suit squeezing down the chimney? Probably about as much as I believed that a Tooth Fairy really left money under my pillow in exchange for a grubby tooth and that there were trolls underneath bridges and dwarfs living with princesses that could be woken by a kiss from a handsome man.
The world is a scary place and most kids are aware of this from an early age. Don’t touch the stove. Don’t cross the street without holding my hand. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t pet strange dogs, they might bite. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. And those are the lucky kids. There’s plenty more that lie in bed at night listening to parents fight and argue and throw dishes wondering if they’re going to split up or lie in hospital beds wondering if and when they’ll recover from leukemia. Kids see and hear everything even when we think they don’t. And that’s why they want to believe in magic. The magic of unicorns, fairies, pixie dust, fire-breathing dragons and super heroes who can conquer all evil. We ALL want to believe in it because it makes this world a lot less scary.
I myself, like most kids, gradually worked out the logistical nightmare that must face Santa and his elves to be everywhere at once and deliver all those presents and quietly smiled to myself that my parents engaged in the fantasy and they did it because it was fun and they wanted to make us happy. Kids grow up so fast and the sheer joy of ripping paper off boxes from the toy store quickly gets replaced by dragging them out of bed Christmas morning so they can feign enthusiasm from the now boring gifts of unwanted clothes we painstakingly picked out for them instead.
These so-called experts clearly have a need to justify their living by coming up with new and ridiculous ideas to make parents confused, insecure and paranoid about something that is done with joy, instinct and love. And when we give children the gift of magic they use their imaginations. Just like they do when they are down on their hands and knees playing with Matchbox cars and Tonka trucks or playing dress-ups with dolls. They know these things aren’t real but they imagine them to be real.
Give kids the credit they deserve and let their beautiful imaginations run wild for as long as possible.
Do you agree?