Is it bad to lie to a child about "Santa"? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-07-2005, 01:14 PM
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Does anyone here think it's wrong or not good to tell a child that Santa is real, only to tell him/her you were lying later on if he/she doesn't find out on his/her own? This is just a new thought that popped into my head, and I was curious about what other's think. (I don't think it's wrong or right, I'm kinda just brainstorming)



On the good side, it's some thing very enjoyable for a child to believe in.

But on the bad side, it can be very hurtful when they find out Santa isn't real.



I still remember when my parents told me Santa didn't exist, I was in total shock, lol.



What do you think about it?
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#2 Old 12-07-2005, 01:35 PM
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This was discussed in another thread a few days ago.
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#3 Old 12-07-2005, 06:44 PM
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Oh really? Could you please direct me to this thread please? Thanks.
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#4 Old 12-07-2005, 11:01 PM
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Santa's a good thing. It's a little overwhelming for a child to know that mommy and daddy provided everything there.
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#5 Old 12-07-2005, 11:13 PM
 
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<<<not a Santa fan.



I was going to link to the other thread, but I couldn't find it. ?

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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#6 Old 12-08-2005, 12:42 AM
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If it means anything, I didn't really care when I found out santa wasn't real.
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#7 Old 12-08-2005, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by IamJen View Post

<<<not a Santa fan.



I was going to link to the other thread, but I couldn't find it. ?



...pourquoi?
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#8 Old 12-08-2005, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Formerbaboon View Post

If it means anything, I didn't really care when I found out santa wasn't real.

I remember when my parents told me. (I was 19.) ...They were both in the room pretty pleased with themselves. They came up to tell us after me and my sister got in a huge theological argument about it. They were smiling when they told me, eagerly awaiting to see what reaction it would produce. ...And all I remember feeling was odd, like wondering if I was supposed to do something.
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#9 Old 12-08-2005, 01:41 AM
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My boyfriend and I were just discussing this the other day. He claims that Santa was a totally positive thing for him...wasn't upset at all when he realized it was a lie. I, on the other hand, was really upset by it--the whole charade bothered me a lot. I guess it depends on the kid.



There are other ways to make Christmas magical that don't involve deceiving your children. I tend to dislike the way that adults promote an unrealistic, magical worldview for children. It makes for a rude awakening later.
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#10 Old 12-08-2005, 02:19 AM
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The moment some sense was knocked into me about santa claus and his existence, I began to wonder if other things I had been taught to believe were real.
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#11 Old 12-08-2005, 03:08 AM
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I never really understood it, I thought the whole finding out about santa was something to make movies about. people really tell kids he's real? isn't it just as magical to tell it as a legend, as part of a tradition?
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#12 Old 12-08-2005, 03:20 AM
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I don't think it's wrong at all. I think it's all part of what makes christmas magical for little kids. Having said that, I DO think it's wrong to keep up the pretence when the child starts asking questions. I have an 8 year old stepson who has been asking continually for the past few months whether Father Christmas is real. His mum insists he is. My partner (his dad) just kept changing the subject (not knowing what to say, mainly because he doesn't want to get into a fight with the mum). In the end my stepson asked me directly, and very seriously, a couple of weeks ago whether Santa really exists or not. I bit the bullet and said he didn't. He wasn't the slightest bit upset, just glad that he finally knows the truth! I was a bit concerned that his mum would go ape, but he actually told me he'll find it easier to go along with the pretence now just to keep her happy (he's wise, she's not!). My partner was just glad that someone else had "done the deed" !!
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#13 Old 12-08-2005, 03:28 AM
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I'm kind of on the fence on this one. I get the whole "we shouldn't deceive" kids and all, but I don't remember it being traumatic or anything. But I imagine it would definitely depend on the child, as far as how they would react to finding out. It definitely made me ask about the Easter Bunny. I was like, "so then if Santa isn't real, I guess the Easter Bunny can't be real either?" This may sound crazy, and I don't really get it myself, but the thing that killed me was finding out there was no tooth fairy! I had her built up to be such a beautiful, magical creature that I actually cried! Bottom line, if I had to do it again with my kids, I would definitely tell them there is a Santa.
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#14 Old 12-08-2005, 03:41 AM
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Karen--I was SO upset about the tooth fairy too! That was the first one I found out about, and it bummed me out so much.
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#15 Old 12-08-2005, 06:28 AM
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I was glad my parents "lied" (or told me the story of) Santa. And the Tooth Fairy. And the Easter Bunny. Even as a child when I found out the truth...my world didn't collapse around me *shrug*. It was just like...ok that part is over. Now I know it's from Mom and Dad (who, to this day, still put Santa on one gift). I'm glad they didn't keep me from experiencing it. (Or my brother)
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#16 Old 12-08-2005, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by vggiegirl View Post

I was glad my parents "lied" (or told me the story of) Santa. And the Tooth Fairy. And the Easter Bunny. Even as a child when I found out the truth...my world didn't collapse around me *shrug*. It was just like...ok that part is over. Now I know it's from Mom and Dad (who, to this day, still put Santa on one gift). I'm glad they didn't keep me from experiencing it. (Or my brother)



Very well said. Childhood should be magical : )

I can understand if a small child gets told by an older child that Santa, Tooth fairy etc is not real and gets upset but I'm guessing most kids just sort of outgrow the belief and are not bothered at all.
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#17 Old 12-08-2005, 06:45 AM
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Yeah that's true. I guess the good feelings definately outweigh the temporary bad ones.
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#18 Old 12-08-2005, 07:10 AM
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what do you mean Santa isn't real???? He is real! He is !
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#19 Old 12-08-2005, 07:11 AM
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I've never believed in Santa, and to be honest I don't really see the point of inventing this story *shrug*
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#20 Old 12-08-2005, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Azalea View Post

I've never believed in Santa, and to be honest I don't really see the point of inventing this story *shrug*



Why does there have to be a point?
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#21 Old 12-08-2005, 07:26 AM
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I did not want to do the Santa thing, but my wife and my family all wanted to and I get enough of the Scrooge thing so I decided to go with the flow. Then I added to the “big lie” by adding Treebeard to the mix. My son had seen a treebeard figure at a gaming store and asked who it was. I told him that Treebeard is the protector of the forest and looks out for all the animals and plants. I also told him that Treebeard has a special place in his heart for people who are kind to animals and plants. Every time we go by a forest I tell him to look for treebeard. I had contemplated having “treebeard” do something for Arbor day but that seems like over kill. Is it a good probably not but I figured if I am lying about something I don’t like, I might as well lie about something I like.
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#22 Old 12-08-2005, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebutterfly05 View Post

Does anyone here think it's wrong or not good to tell a child that Santa is real, only to tell him/her you were lying later on if he/she doesn't find out on his/her own? This is just a new thought that popped into my head, and I was curious about what other's think. (I don't think it's wrong or right, I'm kinda just brainstorming.)



On the good side, it's some thing very enjoyable for a child to believe in.

But on the bad side, it can be very hurtful when they find out Santa isn't real.



I still remember when my parents told me Santa didn't exist, I was in total shock, lol.



What do you think about it?



I think that it's not a lie. I think that people get confused about the function and nature of myths and how they hold and delinate truths.



a lot of people think of 'truths' as 'facts.' Facts are only one type of truth. There are other types of truths that we do not consider facts. For instance, it is a fact that the sky is blue. For some, blue is considered beautiful so a blue sky is a beautiful thing. This is true, but not necessarily factual. If everyone agreed that blue skies were beautiful, then perhaps it would be 'factual.' but, that would be difficult to prove. the subjective nature of the truth of a blue sky being beautiful keeps it from being 'factual' but it is still no less true. it is simply 'differently true.'



The same is 'true' of myths and legends. i think it is important to share with children our myths, legends, and fairy tales. A child may take them literally for a time, and when they begin to see that these are not factual, you can still direct them to the truths of the stories--the morals, the reflections of one's own psyche and our cultural psyche as well.



i do not think that Santa is a 'lie.' Santa is a truth that is simply not a factual truth (though parts of it are based in facts or historical figures that then morphed into legend and from there morphed into myth). There's nothing wrong with explaining to a child that while Santa doesn't exist factually, he does exist as a spirit of giving, a spirit of love, and a spirit of joy. That we, ourselves, are Santas who can give these things to others.



I had an experience recently where i 'slipped up' around a child and the mother 'rescued' me. The little girl was explaining how santa left his gifts next to the fire place and how her mom put their gifts under the tree. And i said "my parents did that for me too!" and Mom 'rescued' me by saying "i think that santa puts the gifts there because i take up all the prime real estate. i put the gifts under the tree and the go to bed. when santa comes, he must think--where will i put the gifts? so, he puts them next to the tree because there's no space under it!" and i then added with "i always love my stockings best. Santa puts my favorite things in there--an orange, some chocolates, and usually a little game such as cards of jacks."



i was saved, because the little girl still hadn't moved from the magical thinking of believing in santa as a fact, rather than a legend.



My mother, on the other hand, builds my stockings--but it's "Santa" too. Sure, my mom is the hand of santa, or the helper elf, or whatever you want to call it--but she has such a heart and spirit for christmas and she really focuses on what to put in our stockings and what to bring us from santa. This is what i love most about christmas anyway.



the stocking that my mom spends time thinking about and being Santa. So there's no lie. Santa exists and he looks exactly like my mother's heart.
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#23 Old 12-08-2005, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azalea View Post

I've never believed in Santa, and to be honest I don't really see the point of inventing this story *shrug*

I agree. If you think about it, you're teaching your child it's ok to lie.
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#24 Old 12-08-2005, 11:19 AM
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I'm definitely not a member of the "Santa Myth" club, my folks always presented him as a folk figure and story-book character but never "real" enough to come down our chimney or land on our roof - I still enjoyed the whole Santa thing at Christmas, sat on his lap at the mall, etc...



I've done the same with my kids - they love Santa stories and the magic of the Holiday season, but Christmas has many ways to make it magical without adding any fanciful stories that are later found out to be deception - no matter what you call it, in my house, when you tell someone something that they later find out not to be true/real/(whatever title you want to give it) - then you're telling a lie.
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#25 Old 12-08-2005, 11:22 AM
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I believe in Santa Claus so I guess I'm not lyin' : )
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#26 Old 12-08-2005, 11:29 AM
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We weren't allowed to have Santa as part of our Christmas celebrations when we were little---Santa was the 'anti-Christ' of Christmas. And we found delight in telling other little kids that Santa wasn't real and that their parents were lying to them (our father encouraged this). Sick, no?



I remember, though, as I told one kid that his mom and dad were liars, that I wish I'd had Santa to believe it. It just seemed so fun and more exciting than a baby in a manger. But it was too late for me---we only believed in 'real' things at my house. Like Creationism and Jesus walking on water.



I think my kids will have some sort of Santa, though I'll have to keep them away from my parents during the holidays!
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#27 Old 12-08-2005, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemydragon View Post

Why does there have to be a point?





well. why would you do it if it were pointless?



you obviously have a reason for telling your kid(s) that Santa is the one who brings presents to them at Christmas (tradition, to make Christmas a little more magic, because it's a nice story, etc etc), otherwise you wouldn't do it.



and hey... I'm not saying it's wrong to do so. Of course it's up parents to figure out for themselves if this is something they'd like to do.



Personally, I don't think such a things is necessary, and the fact that some kids feel betrayed when they find out about the truth is enough to turn me away from this tradition (though I'm sure many enjoy the story, and don't get disappointed when they find out how it really is).



But obviously, I'm biased, seeing as I've never believed in Santa. A little like I'm biased in religious matters (like everyone else) seeing as I've never been religious.
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#28 Old 12-08-2005, 01:11 PM
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Santa was fun for me. I don't know anyone who had to be told that Santa wasn't real, it seems to slowly become obvious. I always had my doubts, and I think by the time I was nearly 10 (January birthday) I knew for sure. Having a younger sister allowed me to 'play along' for a while after that, and it was just as fun, though, so I guess presenting it to kids as a fun but not real story would work to bring the 'Christmas spirit'. It certainly didn't break my heart when I worked out he wasn't real.
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#29 Old 12-08-2005, 01:12 PM
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Thats the point! It's fun! Sometimes it gets them to behave too LOL
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#30 Old 12-08-2005, 01:31 PM
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Yes, Virginia, there is a santa claus. Click below to see the famous letter.



http://www.barricksinsurance.com/virginia.html
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