Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why do we lie to our kids?

I originally started this blog as a way to follow my pursuits regarding roller derby. Two years later I realize that not everyone wants to know every detail of the journey nor do they want to hear me talk about my internal thoughts about it constantly. Therefore, I have deleted previous posts about derby and I'm re-starting my blog with what is most important to me, my kids. Have no fear, there will be posts about derby too, but I'm about a lot more than derby, so my blog will be too.

I am very passionate about this topic. I have never agreed with it and try my best not to do it, but every parent lies to their kids. My most specific concern is with holidays. Why do we lie to our kids about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc.? I understand the tradition behind it, and I understand the concept, but I don't understand why we have to make it so complicated. The kids would be just as surprised by the gifts under the tree the morning of Christmas or the money they find under their pillow even if they knew their parents put it there. Additionally, if you are a Christian, why would you want to taint the meaning of these holidays with fictitious characters that leave your children gifts instead of telling them the true reason for the season and celebrating that event. If you are not Christian and still chose to celebrate these holidays and traditions, why wouldn't you just tell your kids you are celebrating the end of the year or the beginning of Spring with gifts?

My problem comes in because my children are socially aware enough to know that not all kids get gifts for Christmas. We, as a society, have told our children (through TV, school and friends, if not from our own mouths) that if you are not good, you won't get any presents. So when they see or hear of children that do not receive gifts for Christmas, children assume those kids are bad and didn't deserve gifts. How do we teach our children compassion for those less fortunate than us when Santa Claus doesn't even bring them gifts?

My biggest dilemma as a parent regarding this issue is to not totally blow it out of the water for my kids, because I don't want my kids to be "those" kids that go to school and tell all of the other kids there is no such thing as Santa Claus. Instead of being bluntly honest with my kids about these issues, I simply don't speak those words in my house. My kids are old enough that they are aware of those characters. However, when they ask me specifics about any of them, I just say I don't know the answer to their question instead of trying to make things up. I think it allows my kids to enjoy the presents and act of giving and receiving without being confused or growing up thinking I lie to them about everything. So, instead, they will grow up thinking I'm stupid. Oh well, every parent has to deal with that regardless of how smart they are and how many endless answers they have for quantum physics questions.

1 comment:

  1. I continue with the Santa myth as long as they believe. I think it's part of the whole magic of Christmas thing. Plus, think of all the lore surrouning the story. There is a lot there.

    The Easter Bunny on the other hand, I just can't do. Where does he live? How does he get from house to house? How does he get in the house? There just isn't much there. I thought it was suspect when I was a kid.

    The tooth fairy at our house has a little problem with forgetting, so they figured that one out fairly early. Lucy still has yet to lose a tooth, so we'll be starting all over again soon.