I got into a short discussion on Twitter about lying to kids in reference to imaginary beings who infiltrate our homes to do weird things like leave presents, hide eggs, steal teeth, or just make a mess.
I have to say I have never understood the idea that it is lying to kids. To me, it is just a way to incorporate some magic and imagination into childhood. I mean, my kids think the Muppets are real, why not Santa and his crew?
The make believe of the holidays is such an ingrained part of my memories of growing up. I remember being sure I hear reindeer on my roof. Santa called us at Christmas time. (My uncle does a great Santa and reindeer fart impressions.) We giggled forever over the sheer audacity of the leprechauns who wrecked havoc on our second grade classroom. We had to make sure the dogs were locked inside on Easter because they ate the eggs otherwise. I got a treasured teddy bear pin under my pillow because the tooth fairy forgot my tooth three days in a row and felt bad. I want the same fun in my kids’ lives.
Maybe I am inclined to keep the myths alive because my discovery of the truth was not traumatic. No one burst my bubble too early. I didn’t have a schoolmate or a relative slap me in the face with the knowledge that parents are conniving. Somewhere between third grade when I wrote an eloquent persuasion piece about Santa and the reindeer on my room, and fifth grade when we got to write responses to the second graders’ letters to Santa, I stopped believing. But I have never felt like I was duped or lied to. The fun was worth it. The magic was worth it.
Kids have so much access to information today, good or bad. The world is open to them in ways each previous generation cannot comprehend. It’s a lot of truth and a lot of facts but not much magic.
I want my kids to have as much magic as possible for as long as it lasts.