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Do you feel weird lying to the kids (re:santa)? - Page 8

post #141 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dal
I think there is needless resistance to the word "lie." If there are exceptions in which it is fine to lie -- and I'm not really bothered by those who choose to tell their children that Santa is real -- than what is the problem with calling it a lie? It seems a more honest, or at least more believable, position to say that this lie is o.k. than to argue that it is not a lie.
So not only is Santa a lie. But saying he is not a lie is another lie to boot.
I Do have big issues with the word "lie".
Myths, stories, traditions, religions, belief in the unseen are such beautiful wonderful amazing things that really enrich life IMO.
To bring them down to the common denominator "lie" is really quite appalling to me.

And kudos to the PP who mentioned that to some the whole manger scene is myth too. But some people genuinely believe it to be literally true.
There is no hard and fast line which determines what is and is not true in the world. We all just draw that line for ourselves.
I respect that some people dont believe in Santa.
Oh and I never once used the words "flesh and blood" or even "real" when telling my children about Santa. Just wanted to make that clear.

And the final point. I agree that very young children do not have the ability to think symbolically, however they are usually at that point when they start to figure out the whole Santa thing, so I dont really think it matters that they understand the story to be literal before they are capable of understanding it to be symbolic and figurative.
post #142 of 152
H Johub! Long time. And I totally agree. These things are "enriching" (as you so eloquently put it) -- and the word lie is a "negative" word - and these things are not negative - thus the word "lie" is inappropriate.
post #143 of 152
I wonder how many other "Santa-ers" are feeling bullied? I'm sure this isn't intentional, but it seems like the point will be driven until we all wave white flags, hang our head in shame and say "Yes, we LIE to our children. We know that no jolly guy from the north pole will leave gifts for our kids, and we fully acknowledge the we are, infact, acting to our kid's emotional detriment." But that's not gonna happen, at least not from me. Yes, we do Santa. Yes my son believes he really lives at the North Pole and flies around the world on an overloaded sleigh. And yes, I'm okay with his belief. Call it a "lie" if you will. Frankly, there are times when it IS appropriate to lie to a kid. I don't believe I'm lying about santa, but sure I've lied about other things...

When our house got broken into 2 times in 3 months, DS wanted to know if the "bad men" would come back. I told him I don't think so. That was a lie. I was convinced that they would come back right after Christmas. But I wasn't about to load that on my then 2 year old.

He saw me balancing the checkbook and asked how much money we have. I told him "Enough that you don't worry". Another LIE. I didn't know where groceries were going to come from, but again that's not his responsibility.

So I know that the response will be "Yeah, but those lies were told in order to protect him from a harsh and frightening reality" but the thing I'm hearing is that it's just wrong to lie to a kid. Period. And the way I see it, I am protecting him by allowing a belief in Santa. I'm protecting his innocence, his belief that there is alturism in the world, his belief in wonder and magic and joy. For a few short years of his life my son is untainted by worry, doubt and negativity and yes I allow him to believe in something that's "Physically Untrue" in order to protect those beautiful childhood qualities.
post #144 of 152
another definition of lie is "a statement to deceive or pervert the truth". Own up to the implicit, negative pejorative connotation of the word "lie". There is slant here by some of the PPs that "oh, we're not calling you liars, it's just a lie that you told your kid, so what's the big deal? lying isn't bad, per se". That emphasis is deceptive. Just say "you're a liar" and stop beating around the bush already. "truth" is almost always a relative concept and an individual definition based on one's own perception.

June
post #145 of 152
I think I'm just an echo to some of the other moms... but for me I kind of don't mind this lie.

It is not going to last that long. My DS knows so much truth, few fantasies.. it is nice to just let him be 4 and have this little pretend story. He'll be old enough soon enough and have the cold hard fact pretty quickly. Especially since I"m sure his playmates know the truth and will spill the beans, I predict by next year.

by the way..for those of you who like to keep the mystery alive and really want to help... We have Mothers in Need (MINS) here at MDC. And if you ahve some gently used toys or clothes.. THEY NEED THEM for the christmas.

here's the link to the GUI needed....

http://www.spatulagirl.com/gentlyused.htm


and click on my sig for the thread where we are taking care of MINS and their families who do try to keep a little of fantasy alive. Frankly, when a child is cold and hungry a little fantasy might help...

thanks
post #146 of 152


I lie to my kids. I am a lying liar and proud of it! If someone called me a liar because I tell my kids that the Winter Fairy sprinkles snow that was made by the Snow Fairies and that fairies paint the spots on ladybugs, they'd be 100% correct.

So who cares? The point of this discussion, for me, is not whether we are bad people for perverting the truth. The only reason I was ever really interested in this thread was because I think the Yes Virginia thing and the Dear Abby thing are disrespectful to children NOT because these children are passive recipients of a non-literal story but because they are active seekers of facts and they are being brushed off in favor of some adult feeling sappy and clever.

If you want to be offended that I, personally, think you're a liar for perverting the truth to your kids, then by all means, be offended. But I'm a liar too, so I guess we're all in good company.

Namaste!

Ps. This thread IS called "Do you feel weird lying to the kids," so I'm think it was established from the start that this would be a discussion about ... lying.
post #147 of 152
Santa Clause and his elves have a real importance whether you believe in seeing them, or not. When we experiment with believing in imaginary things, we explore the unseen world, the sublime world of forces and energies that affect all of us in ways that we are usually unaware of.

So as we nurture this part of our mind, we are developing skills of awareness, nurturing faith in the unseen worlds beyond that which we can see (worlds beyond ours, included) and that magic that can be found in the unlikeliest places. I think this is powerful fuel for imagining unseen possibilities and solutions to problems, building creative thinking, and the ability to grasp intangible thought.

I think the debate will be fun when my (4 year old nd 1 year-old) kids are older. I'll probably just respond, "WHY NOT? How do you really know there's no such thing?
post #148 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by insomniamama
Santa Clause and his elves have a real importance whether you believe in seeing them, or not. When we experiment with believing in imaginary things, we explore the unseen world, the sublime world of forces and energies that affect all of us in ways that we are usually unaware of.

So as we nurture this part of our mind, we are developing skills of awareness, nurturing faith in the unseen worlds beyond that which we can see (worlds beyond ours, included) and that magic that can be found in the unlikeliest places. I think this is powerful fuel for imagining unseen possibilities and solutions to problems, building creative thinking, and the ability to grasp intangible thought.

I think the debate will be fun when my (4 year old nd 1 year-old) kids are older. I'll probably just respond, "WHY NOT? How do you really know there's no such thing?


I believe this to be true about a LOT Of things in this life. BUT...not when "I" am the one "being" the fairy, the gnome, the nature spirit, Santa etc.
post #149 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by insomniamama
Santa Clause and his elves have a real importance whether you believe in seeing them, or not. When we experiment with believing in imaginary things, we explore the unseen world, the sublime world of forces and energies that affect all of us in ways that we are usually unaware of.

So as we nurture this part of our mind, we are developing skills of awareness, nurturing faith in the unseen worlds beyond that which we can see (worlds beyond ours, included) and that magic that can be found in the unlikeliest places. I think this is powerful fuel for imagining unseen possibilities and solutions to problems, building creative thinking, and the ability to grasp intangible thought.

I think the debate will be fun when my (4 year old nd 1 year-old) kids are older. I'll probably just respond, "WHY NOT? How do you really know there's no such thing?


Our daughter is far from knowing who Santa is but when she is of age we will tell her about Santa Claus. I would hope that I would do a good enough job as a parent that when the time came to transition her from youthful innocence to healthy skepticism that she'll do so with ease. If she is traumatized from the knowledge that Santa is a mythical being then I haven't done a very good job as her parent.
post #150 of 152
Just coming back to read new posts since I last read this thread and post an update.

I now have absolutely NO idea how I could even pretend that Santa is real at this point. So I guess our issues are solved. Dd and ds (3 1/2) see packages coming to the door every day - they know they are Christmas presents sent from out of town relatives (um, which is all of our relatives ) - it sure was easier to hide that when families all lived in the same town and Internet shopping didn't exist. Because about 90% of their presents are arriving by mail.

Then, I took them to the toy store individually to pick out a present for their siblings and cousins. I thought it was a really important thing to do, very in line with our values, etc., and far from being a traumatizing experience (think: preschooler in a toy store wanting everything in sight) it was very fun and they took a lot of thought to pick out the gifts for others.

And let's not even mention the 18 million Santa Clauses they have seen in the past 2 weeks - outside of stores, in the grocery store, driving a car(!) next to us. It's kind of getting ridiculous.

So I think we will tell stories about Santa Claus but not lie to them outright that there is actual truth in the stories. We will celebrate the myth as a myth.

Anyway, this thread has been really helpful to me (and dh) at figuring out how we want to handle this issue.
post #151 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle
Just coming back to read new posts since I last read this thread and post an update.

I now have absolutely NO idea how I could even pretend that Santa is real at this point. So I guess our issues are solved. Dd and ds (3 1/2) see packages coming to the door every day - they know they are Christmas presents sent from out of town relatives (um, which is all of our relatives ) - it sure was easier to hide that when families all lived in the same town and Internet shopping didn't exist. Because about 90% of their presents are arriving by mail.

Then, I took them to the toy store individually to pick out a present for their siblings and cousins. I thought it was a really important thing to do, very in line with our values, etc., and far from being a traumatizing experience (think: preschooler in a toy store wanting everything in sight) it was very fun and they took a lot of thought to pick out the gifts for others.

THis is how it works for families who do Santa too. Presents from Grandma in the mail are still presents from Grandma. Presents for each other are still from each other. But there is simply an additional gift giver who fills the stockings and brings their gift on Christmas eve. Santa is not by all means the ONLY gift giver.
We have a fun time taking our kids to the store to pick out gifts for their siblings too. (And for our Adopt a Family or whatever organization we are shopping for)
I respect that you choose not to do Santa. But the above situation does not preclude Santa either.
post #152 of 152
I still believe in Santa, emotionally. My best friend made me a stocking a few years ago. My ex and I had split up after 15 years. It was going to be Christmas with just ds1, and I had no stocking. For some reason, not having a stocking was upsetting me a lot. I'd always had one, and getting up Christmas morning without one just bummed me out. So, I was whining to my friend about it.

She made me up a stocking. She and her boyfriend were going to leave it at my house Christmas Eve, ring the doorbell and bolt. Unfortunately, they both came down with some horrible stomach bug, and she had to give it to me on Boxing Day. But...if I'd opened the door on Christmas Eve, and found a stocking sitting there, the unknown person who made it would have been Santa. That was her intent.

We still have a gift under the tree from Santa some years. Someone will find a gift for someone and for some reason, decided it's a "Santa" gift. DH got a stuffed moose a couple of years ago (he loves moose). It was a little 8" Chritmas moose, and he'd already had his gifts...then I found one box that said "To James, From Santa". To this day, we don't know who gave him the moose (although I think it was my mom). So, I don't feel weird telling my kids about Santa, because he's still alive and well in my family.
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