I’ve had enough with the whole Santa Claus drama, seriously. I was perturbed enough as a child by the thoughts of a large stranger secretly entering my house, no matter how generous his intentions were. Now, I’m disturbed by the (apparently) complete abdication of responsibility by parents – of control over their own children – in favor of a lie.
The linked article above describes schoolchildren “burst[ing] into tears” when told by an exasperated teacher that it was their parents who put the gifts under the tree, not Santa Claus. Ask yourself the question – why would this cause children to cry? Loss of innocence, perhaps? At 7 years old can they really conceptualize that? Maybe it’s the fact they realize their dreams have no hope of come true – there’s never going to be that pony waiting under the tree on Xmas morning? Perhaps.
Personally, at that age, if I had (not already!) come to the realization that my parents were liars, I would have burst into tears too. At age seven, your parents are pretty much the only people you can trust – them and your teacher. And if your teacher rats out your parents, which way do you turn?!
I smelled a rat early on – the careful interrogations during the writing of letters to Santa regarding gifts; the subsequent threats should behavioral standards be breached; the ultimate reception of said gifts, no matter how much the limits had been pushed – everything pointed to a conspiracy. Easily revealed, given the opportunity to accompany my father to work one day – I couldn’t find anything at home, so I figured everything was being stored at his office. A quick foray into his filing cabinets confirmed my suspicions.
I was a precocious 5-year old.
Kids are not stupid. They apply the same yardsticks to the world around them as we adults do – and sometimes they measure things that we (in our wisdom?) neglect, such as sincerity, logic, and honesty. Trust is a highly-valued commodity when you are still aware that the world is constantly teaching you. It’s your filter. When that trust is breached, it is often traumatic – and on occassion, fatal.
Don’t lie to your kids, just because you are too lazy or irresponsible to discipline them yourself. If you want your child to be calm at Xmas, here’s an idea: stop feeding them refined sugar, and prevent them from getting agitated by the constant bombardment of advertisements by turning off the goggle-box and sending them out to play.
I have spoken. Act like you know.