Is it bad to lie to a child about "Santa"? - Page 3 - VeggieBoards
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#61 Old 12-09-2005, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by goettling View Post

Like I said, I used to say that "high horse" thing before I had kids thinking that I would not raise them this way or that, ect. But when you are a parent, you will fall off of that high horse and see. Until then, no one can judge.



Jesus ****ing Christ. I don't care if parents tell their kids Santa is real. It is SO not a big deal. I just want people to call it what it is--a lie! It's not a matter of judgment. It's a matter of calling a lie a lie, whether you think it's a good thing or a bad thing. I've told lies that I thought were OK before. Most people do. Why is everyone so resistant to that concept?
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#62 Old 12-09-2005, 11:22 PM
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Jesus ****ing Christ. I don't care if parents tell their kids Santa is real. It is SO not a big deal. I just want people to call it what it is--a lie! It's not a matter of judgment. It's a matter of calling a lie a lie, whether you think it's a good thing or a bad thing. I've told lies that I thought were OK before. Most people do. Why is everyone so resistant to that concept?



Then do not get so worked up over the subject and I will not either.
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#63 Old 12-10-2005, 12:36 AM
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There are at least some moral traditions in which it is believed that an adult has no duty to tell the literal truth to a child. Within these traditions, telling a child about Santa Claus would not be considered to be a lie.



I think there is somewhat of a concensus that adult behavior toward children should be "in the best interests of the child." The psychologist Bruno Bettelheim has a book called "The Uses of Enchantment," about how fairy tales and myths help children to grasp certain concepts and grow psychologically. I think we need a deeper analysis of how the childhood belief in Santa Claus helps (or does not help) the child grow into adulthood. I guess the question I would ask is whether the childhood belief in Santa Claus does more harm than good. It seems to be fairly benign to me.
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#64 Old 12-10-2005, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by goettling View Post

It is a fact that Santa will still be around this time of year, no matter what.



You have to remember that this is really quite a North American thing. Santa is widely known in large parts of the world, yes; but I think the idea of presenting him as real is much less common.
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#65 Old 12-10-2005, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by goettling View Post

Yeah, I mean really! If you have not experienced kids, then you do not know how you would act like in this time. I used to be on a high horse before I had kids, thinking that, I would never do this or that. But it is oh so silly now to me. My kids are older, but my step-daughter still believes, so we will keep that fun tradition in our house. We help carry on generations of fun Christmas times.



I agree. Your whole outlook changes once you have children. Things you say you will never do, you end up doing anyway. A person cannot possibly know what or will they will not do with thier children if they do not have any yet.
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#66 Old 12-10-2005, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovemydragon View Post

I agree. Your whole outlook changes once you have children. Things you say you will never do, you end up doing anyway. A person cannot possibly know what or will they will not do with thier children if they do not have any yet.



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#67 Old 12-10-2005, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Azalea View Post

You have to remember that this is really quite a North American thing. Santa is widely known in large parts of the world, yes; but I think the idea of presenting him as real is much less common.



And I do live in the North pole.
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#68 Old 12-10-2005, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovemydragon View Post

I agree. Your whole outlook changes once you have children. Things you say you will never do, you end up doing anyway. A person cannot possibly know what or will they will not do with thier children if they do not have any yet.



Riiight. So until a person has children, they are not allowed to have any opinions.

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#69 Old 12-10-2005, 07:08 AM
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Riiight. So until a person has children, they are not allowed to have any opinions.



Who said that? Re-read my post. There is NOTHING there about people that do not have children having opinions. Please do not put words in my mouth.
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#70 Old 12-10-2005, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe View Post

There are at least some moral traditions in which it is believed that an adult has no duty to tell the literal truth to a child. Within these traditions, telling a child about Santa Claus would not be considered to be a lie.



I think there is somewhat of a concensus that adult behavior toward children should be "in the best interests of the child." The psychologist Bruno Bettelheim has a book called "The Uses of Enchantment," about how fairy tales and myths help children to grasp certain concepts and grow psychologically. I think we need a deeper analysis of how the childhood belief in Santa Claus helps (or does not help) the child grow into adulthood. I guess the question I would ask is whether the childhood belief in Santa Claus does more harm than good. It seems to be fairly benign to me.



/agree

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#71 Old 12-10-2005, 09:03 AM
 
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Santa was never presented as literally real to me. My parents' logic was that they didn't want to lie to us knowingly, and there was little benefit to the ruse. The most annoying part was that I was sworn to secrecy that Santa wasn't a literal being! When the neighbor kids talked about all the presents Santa would bring them, I was under strict orders by my parents to pretend not to hear them and change the subject.



I'll never forget the Christmas when I was about nine, and my grandparents labeled all the presents from them as "From Santa." No one believed in Santa in our house, so it just ticked me off. Being the little bugger I was (and still am, just taller), I took a marker when no one was looking and scratched off "Santa" and put "G & G" (for Grandpa and Grandma). Then I got in trouble.



Heh...this is very similar to my experience. My folks felt the deception part outweighed any benefit. My paternal grandparent though felt differently "No Santa? How can you not have Santa?" We did have the "tooth fairy" later, but by 5 or 6 when I started losing my teeth I was already aware that it was "pretend". For some reason, I liked this particular myth much more than Santa, Easter Bunny, etc. and so my parents indulged me a bit.



re: children changing your opinion. I didn't think dragon meant that childless folks should be silent, just that maybe couldn't predict what you're going to do as a parent. I would agree heartily...I've cared for hundreds of children, study educational philosophy, written papers, etc. but if I'm blessed with my own child one day, I'll be starting at square one in some respects.



In this issue however, I won't be changing my mind. Aside from the deception issue I, like some others, dislike the materialistic aspects of the myth (as presented to most kids in North America at least). The "be good so Santa will bring you gifts" makes me want to gag (see the discussion in the "rewards" thread). Also, I think knowing that a real person gave you a gift is important...knowing that your parents put thought into them as opposed to "Santa".



zb: I see what you're trying to say re: the myth of Santa, but ime, NO parents that do the Santa thing "allow" their child to believe the magical,myth-part literally. They present it as real. If the parent knows something to be untrue (e.g. Santa flies a sleigh across the world) and tells the child specifically that it is true, then that's a lie. I don't think it's the crime of the century or anything, but the argument that's it's not a lie = very weak.

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#72 Old 12-10-2005, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovemydragon View Post

Who said that? Re-read my post. There is NOTHING there about people that do not have children having opinions. Please do not put words in my mouth.



This is a debate for a different time--and has been debated many times on VB--but I know that some childless people consider it condescending for those with children to tell them, "Oh, you'll change your mind when you have kids." While that may be true, it devalues what the person wanted to say without even addressing the argument itself. That strikes me as ad hominem, which is generally invalid.

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#73 Old 12-10-2005, 09:15 AM
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I personally do both..some are from "Santa" and some are from me. My youngest seems to think that parents have an "in" with the big guy and we talk to him on the phone. I wont spoil that for her, it's her imagine at work and it's healthy : )
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#74 Old 12-10-2005, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by skylark View Post

This is a debate for a different time--and has been debated many times on VB--but I know that some childless people consider it condescending for those with children to tell them, "Oh, you'll change your mind when you have kids." While that may be true, it devalues what the person wanted to say without even addressing the argument itself. That strikes me as ad hominem, which is generally invalid.



I dont believe I said "Oh, you'll change your mind when you have kids." because I dont know if you (or anyone else) will. I was pointing out that unless a person does have children, you just really dont know what you are going to do because you have not had the experience yet. Many things change after having the experience.
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#75 Old 12-10-2005, 09:26 AM
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I always said that I would never feed my kid things like poptarts for breakfast or let him drink pop.
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#76 Old 12-10-2005, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovemydragon View Post

I dont believe I said "Oh, you'll change your mind when you have kids." because I dont know if you (or anyone else) will. I was pointing out that unless a person does have children, you just really dont know what you are going to do because you have not had the experience yet. Many things change after having the experience.



That's all well and good, but in the context of this thread, it does come across as telling those who disagree with you that they'll similarly change their minds after they experience parenthood. It's still devaluing the opinion not based on the opinion itself but because of the person holding it. It begs the question, "What about parents, who after years of experience, decided Santa was not a good thing for their kids?"

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#77 Old 12-10-2005, 09:43 AM
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Again..I did not say anyone will change thier mind. I was making a general point agreeing with what someone else said. What I'm saying is "never say never" because it might come back to kick you in the butt. All very general. I am not devaluing anyone or any ideas.
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#78 Old 12-10-2005, 10:35 AM
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I don't really remember what my parent's told me about santa. My mom signed the presents "love Santa" but I knew it was her handwriting. I knew where she hid the presents (i was a sneaky kid) and I would open them up and re-wrap them before the big day lol. We had a card board fire place lol...it was the 70's, so cheesy! and I new Santa wasn't coming threw that thing. It was all very magical and special for me though and I spent as much time as I could laying under the tree looking up at all the lights and watching Christmas specials on the tube. It was a fantasy world that I could escape to and still do till this day. I don't remember taking anything literally and certainly wasnt irked by any of it. The only thing I remember getting upset over as a child was some of the sermons in church and teachings in catechism, which my mother tried to play off as real/literal. I guess it depends on the child.
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#79 Old 12-10-2005, 12:19 PM
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"You don't know what you'll do when you're a parent" is something parents say when non-parents express an opinion that's different from theirs. I know this because I've never seen someone say it when the non-parent was agreeing with them.
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#80 Old 12-10-2005, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MollyGoat View Post

"You don't know what you'll do when you're a parent" is something parents say when non-parents express an opinion that's different from theirs. I know this because I've never seen someone say it when the non-parent was agreeing with them.



I have not much of an clue who here is a parent or not. ::shrug::
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#81 Old 12-10-2005, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by skylark View Post

I shortened your post to quote it because it was so long, but I absolutely loved this post.



Santa was never presented as literally real to me. My parents' logic was that they didn't want to lie to us knowingly, and there was little benefit to the ruse. The most annoying part was that I was sworn to secrecy that Santa wasn't a literal being! When the neighbor kids talked about all the presents Santa would bring them, I was under strict orders by my parents to pretend not to hear them and change the subject.



I'll never forget the Christmas when I was about nine, and my grandparents labeled all the presents from them as "From Santa." No one believed in Santa in our house, so it just ticked me off. Being the little bugger I was (and still am, just taller), I took a marker when no one was looking and scratched off "Santa" and put "G & G" (for Grandpa and Grandma). Then I got in trouble.





I also was ordered not to ruin the Santa fantasy for kids who believed in him. I thought that was kind of my parents.



In my extended family, everyone knew who believed and who didn't, so my cousins would get presents from Santa, and my brother and I would get presents from my grandparents. Somehow that didn't arise any suspision in my cousins.



I remember when my youngest cousin at the time found out the truth. He whispered it in my older brother's ear so it wouldn't spoil it for me, and my brother was like, "She never believed that." Heh. My cousin felt jipped.
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#82 Old 12-10-2005, 01:29 PM
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my mom wouldn't admit that it was her, but my parents never actually told me santa was real or a fat man or whatever. they just played along, like goettling said. i thought most parents were like that. none of my friends' parents ever talked about santa claus like he was a real person.
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#83 Old 12-10-2005, 01:40 PM
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I dunno. I think just by mentioning Santa Claus one is implying it's a real person. I've said this before but Santa Claus is in anyone who is thoughtful enough to think of someone during the holidays. There's a little Santa in almost everyone and perhaps it's just a little more entertaining and fun for the little ones to think Santa Claus is a happy chubby old man with flying reindeer.
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#84 Old 12-10-2005, 02:23 PM
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I think the book I had in mind that talks about lying to children is Sissella Bok's Lying. She talks about a category of lies called "paternalistic lies."
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#85 Old 12-10-2005, 02:34 PM
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I think the book I had in mind that talks about lying to children is Sissella Bok's Lying. She talks about a category of lies called "paternalistic lies."



Like eat your veggies or you'll get sick and we will have to take you to the doctor for shots that will be huge long painful needles?
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#86 Old 12-10-2005, 04:33 PM
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"You don't know what you'll do when you're a parent" is something parents say when non-parents express an opinion that's different from theirs. I know this because I've never seen someone say it when the non-parent was agreeing with them.





No, it's something we say when condescending non-parents start spouting their bull****.
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#87 Old 12-10-2005, 07:15 PM
 
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No, it's something we say when condescending non-parents start spouting their bull****.



Where was that happening in this thread?



I don't agree that the original comment was a slam...it seems rational to think that one's views may be affected by such a life-changing event as having a child. But I saw disagreement, not condescension.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#88 Old 12-10-2005, 09:36 PM
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When I was a kid I used to lie to my parents about Santa. ...They say he didn't exist, and I'd say, "...But I sawr him!!"



I'm thinking it's about time I told them the truth.
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#89 Old 12-11-2005, 01:09 AM
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Where was that happening in this thread?



Re-reag MG's comment that I was directly replying to in this thread. If she wants to make blanket statements that have nothing to do with the thread, then I will gladly join her.
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#90 Old 12-11-2005, 03:02 AM
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Actually, it did have to do with the thread, since goettling and ilovemydragon were pulling the "you're-not-a-parent-you-wouldn't-understand-when-you-are-a-parent-you-will-agree-with-me" card.



It's a mantra for folks who can't find a better argument. I'd only buy that argument if it was said about something parents all agree on. Never seen that happen...



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No, it's something we say when condescending non-parents start spouting their bull****.



Riiiiiiight. Bull**** like "presenting something untrue (Santa, chimney, presents, etc etc) as fact is a lie." That's really bull****.
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