WARNING, SPOILER ALERT!
As you do on a Christmas day morning, my family & i were talking about Santa Claus/Father Christmas & a particular aspect of that story in particular.
My son, who is 19 years old by the way, just happened to say "Why do parents tell children that Santa Claus is real?"
Now, i think this is a very good question & one that really got me thinking. Hence this blog post.
So, why do we all do it? Knowing that it is untrue.
I am a parent of two children & quite happily went along with the great Santa Claus deception.
I admit, that when your children are young & believe in Santa Claus, it does add to the whole atmosphere & experience of the Christmas period. When the children get older & no longer believe, it is never quite the same is it?
Maybe that is the reason we do it? We remember what it was like for us, as children, when we too believed.
But, that doesn't really answer the question as to why i effectively told my children lies & let them believe in something & someone that i knew was false. And, something that i knew they would find out to be a big lie, at some time in the future.
It could be argued that by perpetuating this big lie & by effectively encouraging it as well, that we are being cruel to our children. After all, can you remember how disappointed & upset your own children were, or even how upset you were as a child, when you found out that Santa Claus was not real?
Do you remember when your child came home from school & asked you whether Santa Claus was real? Because their schoolfriends had found out the truth. And, if you remember that question, what was your answer?
I wouldn't be surprised if you told them, like i did, "Not to be so silly. Of course Santa Claus is real. After all, who do you think brings you all of those presents?"
Does that sound familiar?
It is only when you start to think about all of this, that you realise how bad it all sounds!
Throughout their lives & especially when they are younger, we try & teach our children to tell the truth. I know that i have certainly done that. And yet, right from their earliest years, we have done exactly the opposite! What example does this set?
And we then wonder why children are confused & don't listen to their parents?
So, do i regret telling that big lie to my children? No, not really & there lies the problem i guess?
The great Santa Claus deception will only stop when parents have the guts to actually tell the truth, straight away & not allow their children to believe in Father Christmas.
So, who will be the first parent brave enough to do that?
Maybe it will be my son?