or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Spirituality › Religious Studies › Am I alone?? (Some religious thoughts included)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Am I alone?? (Some religious thoughts included)

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this is even the right forum to express this but I think I'll take the chance...

Am I alone in this? Am I the only mother out there that does not "lie" to her child? I'm talking about santa, the tooth fairy, easter bunny, and puppy heaven. Almost everyone I come across thinks I'm nuts. We are religious and that makes a difference in how we handle these events BUT so many people think we take them to the extreme. We don't do halloween at all. We don't put anyone down who does it but we don't do it. We do Christmas but we don't do santa. Angelica knows where the santa story comes from and how it all got started. She has the reindeer and snowman movies. We color pictures of gifts, santa, and his helpers. But she knows the truth about santa. Same with the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy. The other night at a big family dinner my daughter asked where Spaz (my sister's hamster) was. My mom and sisters response was, "Spaz died and he went to animal heaven." That was when I started to choke on my avocado salad...I said something along the lines of..."It's nice to think about sweet places like animal heaven but they don't exist. It was fun to have Spaz here with us but when animals die they don't go to heaven. Only people who have accepted the Lord into...." you see where I'm going with this...Angelica took it very well and went about her business. While the adults picked their jaws up off the floor. I retold this story to my closest friend and her response was, "You need to let the girl live a little. Don't suck all of her childhood away. Just back off." Um...is that what I'm doing?? Is making the world out to be a place filled with cotton candy clouds the way to go? I personally believe that my child has the ability to accept a lot of deep information as long as it is presented to her in a way that she can understand. Am I alone? Are there no other parents out there who parent in similar ways? Jeez, It's not like I broke her crayons and told her to get a job...She still has a childhood! Just curious...Thanks!

Elizabeth
post #2 of 81
We don't tell our kids stories about santa or anything either. Though animals is a grey area to us. I know the Bible does talk about there being animals in Heaven, so I just don't know, which is what we have told the children.

One of my coworkers said, "But your kids NEED the Easter Bunny. Tell them he's Jesus' helper and goes around helping spread the Good News." I almost pooped my pants! What - the good news that sugar rots your teeth? Please!
post #3 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfamilygal View Post
... I know the Bible does talk about there being animals in Heaven, so I just don't know, which is what we have told the children.
Really? I'd be very curious to hear what it says.
post #4 of 81
We don't do any of that either. Actually, we were shopping with our then almost 3 yr old DS around the holidays and Santa walked right by. You could tell he was waiting for our DS to go crazy for him and all my son did was look the other way. I was SO PROUD! He couldn't have cared less.

I will say, though, that we do believe all living things to on to a better place...be it heaven or whatever, so I wouldn't necessarily say that we tell our kids that pets dont' go to heaven. Does that make any sense? Since animals are of the Lord, given by the Lord and are not sentient beings to have a choice to love/accept the Lord then I don't see how they aren't allowed to live with the Lord after their earthly lives. That's just how we explain things to our kids.
post #5 of 81
[QUOTE=Earthly_Joys;7922747]I'm not sure if this is even the right forum to express this but I think I'll take the chance...

Am I alone in this? Am I the only mother out there that does not "lie" to her child? I'm talking about santa, the tooth fairy, easter bunny, and puppy heaven.

We do santa, the tooth fairy etc... I kind have wish we wouldn't have though. I always tell my son to tell the truth and sometimes I feel like I am lying to him. I wish I would have told him these are fun things we like to pretend at ..Or a game we all like to play.. I don't think your "Nuts" or anything you are doing is wrong and I think other people need to respect that, that is what works for your family...
post #6 of 81
We don't do any of those either and never have. Our kids are very bright and wouldn't have swallowed any of it, even at age 2. We are also Christians and think there is enough REAL "magic" out there.

Knowing there is no Dog heaven helps us appreiate and care for our pets as it is. We're now involved in a cat rescue since the kids figured out animals don't have souls the way we do.

I don't think it's bad parenting, though you will get alot of flack probably. WE deal with it easily: the kids know about all these myths and are gracious to the grandparents (mine!) that assume they believe it them, as well as the other kids we know that do. They know not to spoil the surprize of their peers from a very young age.
post #7 of 81
I was raised in a family that did not do any of the fun childhood things and put a huge emphasis on their spin to all holidays. I do feel like I was deprived of a fun childhood although there were other reasons to it as well. My dh grew up with all the fun stuff and our children are being encouraged to enjoy the magic of being children. Of course neither of us now identify as anything near the religion we were raised in. We do also celebrate all the holidays and their very important roots of honoring the earth and all living things. For us Halloween is a very important time and our observance is more like the Harvest festivals I see so many churches having then the craziness teenagers get up to.
post #8 of 81
I was raised that way. It wasn't a positive experience.

I do think telling your kid that her pet won't go to heaven is over the top and mean. JMO.

You don't know it for a fact.
post #9 of 81
there is no need to be judgemental, or hurtful in your responses. tacking "JMO" onto the end of that sort of statement doesn't make it any nicer.

and if she's a Christian and read it in the Bible (as I did) that does make it a fact.
post #10 of 81
We have never told our children that these are real people. They all know about santa, tooth fairy, easter bunny, etc. We've never lied to them, we always try very hard to be honest with them. However, our children also know that there are lots of people who do believe, at least to a certain extent in such figures. We've just said that it's fun to pretend, as long as you know what the real meaning behind the holiday is. If they want to pretend that santa puts presents under the tree or fills their stockings, that's ok. If they want to pretend that the tooth fairy took their tooth and left a quarter, that's ok, too. As long as they know the truth about it, I'm ok with pretending.

I can't say for certain sure whether or not animals will be in heaven, I don't think the Bible is perfectly clear one way or the other. I've told my children that, and that if they want to think of their pets in heaven, it's ok. I think the Lord will correct us if it's really that big an issue when we get there.

Mostly, I just want my children to know the truth, to be respectful of people who choose to celebrate and believe otherwise, to feel free to pretend as long as they need to. I think it's an area with a lot of gray.
post #11 of 81
Well, we're Jewish, and we attend synagogue but are not terribly observant. I'm very straight forward with my dd about our thoughts about life and death (and that some people have a different idea about it.) We talked about the tooth fairy, and we "play" tooth fairy. She knows it's me, but still wants to go through the ritual. I opted against pretending the tooth fairy was real because of concerns about lying, and a very real concern that dd would be afraid of the tooth fairy sneaking around our house while she was asleep. :-)

So, though I have a different take on faith and religion than you, I also am a big believer in not lying to my kids. I explain things in terms I think dd can understand (mental illness is "something wrong with a person's brain," death is when "your body stops working and the doctors can't fix it.") Interestingly, I think she's much less frightened by things because I've given her realistic explanations. For example, at my aunt's funeral, she saw the casket (closed) and said "Aunt Karen is in there... right?" No drama -- she didn't find it traumatic, just found it to be a fact.

-Michelle
post #12 of 81
Moving to Spirituality
post #13 of 81
There are many threads about this around Christmas each year. I won't lie either, and yes I did get some flak about it from other people. It is a lie, IMO, to tell a child that a man will enter their home via a chimney (etc) and leave them gifts. It is a lie to say that a big bunny will leave them a basket of goodies. Unless I truly believe those things it is a lie. We just don't do it. I answered any questions and explained what I believed honestly.

Halloween is a religious observance for me so they are familiar with both the more secular traditions that Halloween has come to involve and the spiritual associations. I celebrate the spring equinox rather than Easter and the winter solstice rather than Christmas, but the kids know all about those days too. We gather with extended family for secular Christmas gift exchanges and food.

My Dad and others don't really get it, but such is life. I also wouldn't let someone lie my kids about "snipe hunting", watermelon or apple seeds sprouting in your tummy, and etc. That kind of thing really bothers me.
post #14 of 81
I used to go all out to make Santa and stuff as real as possible.

But I just don't feel right about it. So now we talk about how it's "fun" but don't go to any lengths at all to disguise that it's us.

I'm mostly uncomfortable telling our children there is an omniscent (sp) being other than our God.
post #15 of 81
I won't go into the animal thing because I think God reserves a special place for our animal friends so let's leave it at that

On the Easter bunny, santa, tooth fairy front -- we don't lie about that either -- our daughter already knows santa is make believe and I expect she will have a blast at Christmas -- we do celebrate *secular* along with religious, but we don't present it as being real -- this easter we did the egg hunt thing and my mom got her a basket with little things (no food, things like playdough etc) but it was from Grandmom, not a bunny

A few people have mumbled a few words of disapproval but oh well, I don't give a hoot really -- my mom sort of expressed the "aww but it's fun as a kid" type things when dd was way little (like newborn age) but we were gentle but firm about it and there was no talk of bunnies or santas this year (dd is nearly 2).
post #16 of 81
Seeing as I'm a Heathen, I actually consider mythical and folk figures such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy to be quite as real and legitimate as the Gods, House-wights, land-spirits, etc. So while not in an overt literal guy-coming-down-the-chimney way, I do think Santa Claus/Father Christmas/St. Nick/Father Yule/etc. is real, he is the spirit of the Yuletide season of giving and sharing and renewing hope in the darkest time of the year.

Of course, many of the things you believe in as a Christian I don't and will not teach my child to believe in them, either. Like eternal damnation, original sin, or that animals have no souls.

Neither of us is lying to our kids. We are both passing on our religious/spiritual beliefs and traditions in the way we see fit. Which is as it should be.
post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild View Post
Really? I'd be very curious to hear what it says.
Well, Isaiah 11:6 says "The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them."

I haven't seen predators and prey lying about together down here yet.

I don't know if there will be animals in Heaven, but I don't think the Bible definitively says there won't. We'll see.
post #18 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
There are many threads about this around Christmas each year. I won't lie either, and yes I did get some flak about it from other people. It is a lie, IMO, to tell a child that a man will enter their home via a chimney (etc) and leave them gifts. It is a lie to say that a big bunny will leave them a basket of goodies. Unless I truly believe those things it is a lie. We just don't do it. I answered any questions and explained what I believed honestly.
Same here.
I am obsessively honest with my ds.
I tell ds that Santa/Easter bunny/etc are pretend. So ds is a part of "pretending Santa." He has a hat that has a ball on it, and he calls it his "Santa hat" so he wears it and pretend he is Santa. lol.

I did tell him that our dog that recently died did go to "puppy dog heaven." I'm not positive that that's true, but imo, it's just as likely true as untrue (in my beliefs). I dunno. Maybe I just said it because it makes *me* feel better.
It doesn't really matter though. Ds still talks about Brooke as though she's still here. lol.
post #19 of 81
Ok I am plugging my ears and singing "la la la la la la" to anything that says my Lila is not in Cat Heaven eating all the tuna she can eat and laying in sunny spots all day

BUT....

I think the Santa, etc, thing is sort of a "gray area"... I think he's a representation of the Christmas Spirit, the spirit of giving and love and joy that we are filled with that time of year. I believe in him!!

I am not a mama yet, but when I have kids I think I would do Santa, but maybe explain it a different way? I think it's just so magical that it really transcends the idea of "does he or doesn't he?" exist. Am I making any sense at all?

However, the Easter Bunny is just plain stupid, IMO, and the Tooth Fairy is fun to pretend but I probably wouldn't tell them she was real.
post #20 of 81
I am totally cool with presenting these characters as "the spirit of giving/love/sharing". I can definitely believe in that. It's telling the kids that "He comes tonight to leave you presents!" or "The bunny left you treats" that I can't handle.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Religious Studies
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Spirituality › Religious Studies › Am I alone?? (Some religious thoughts included)