Originally Posted by starling&diesel
I wonder about magic shows. Do parents who so ardently uphold practical realism try to explain away the magic and point to the science and slight-of-hand, even while their child watches, slack-jawed with wonder? Are we worried about parents 'lying' about the source of the illusion?
As an adult, I'm still awed by skilled illusionists, and I like to be awed and not understand working mechanisms that make it possible.
Same with Cirque du Soleil. I'm awed by them, and I don't particularly want to know how they can do what they do.
Again, I do see this as related. Perhaps not in the way that sillysapling
sees, with the whole 'creep' vibe.
But we don't play Santa up like that at all, in our house.
He doesn't actually have any more clout that the fairies that sometimes visit the fairy bower and leave a thank you note for whatever treasure our eldest left for them.
When I was very young I was interested in the illusion. I find it more interesting than the magic act itself. A lot of it depends on the child. Some kids want to continue believing the illusion, some want to learn how it works.
I think part of it is that my family has a history of the spiritual. Banshees wail when a loved one is in trouble, divination, ghosts, visits from a recently deceased loved one, things like that. I don't see the point of lying about something when there is legitimate "things beyond what we see" in our lives. And- to the person asking about the emotional effect of Santa- my dad never pushed the Santa myth. My dad has always honestly and without pressure presented his and his family's, friends' experiences as true to their experiences, never telling me that I had to experience the same thing or even necessarily believe it- and I believe him far more. My mom pushes the Santa myth even now, and I have a difficult time knowing when to believe her about the spiritual things she talks about because of it. My mother also tries to push religion on me, and has never been successful, which I do in part attribute to the pushing of the Santa myth. The realization that Santa is fake can plant seeds of doubt about the Christian God as well. If you want your children to question religion and reach their own conclusion- that may be a benefit. If you want your children to share your beliefs- it may not be.
I truly do not care if the majority do not share my experiences. They are still my experiences. My partner's are not super far off- they aren't attached to Santa, either and never were. My children are more likely to share traits with us than with strangers on the street. I see using the Santa myth to teach religious tolerance as a far better use.
If any of our kids ask to sit on a mall Santa's lap, if they ask us for presents from Santa, if they want to leave milk and cookies out for him (and carrots for the reindeer!), if they choose to believe in Santa- I'm fine with that. Religious tolerance within the family is as important as tolerance of others' religions, and I'd like my kids to know that if they don't share my beliefs- I will accept them for it and respect their beliefs. I'm not fine with pushing something I don't believe in. I'm not even fine with pushing what I do believe in! My beliefs are personal and if my kids' don't share them or have different beliefs, that's fine by me.