We tell our children not to lie but then as parents, we lie to our children about the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy and Santa Claus.From a psychological perspective it is interesting to consider whether this deceit can have a negative impact upon our children.
On the one hand, inviting these fictitious figures into our families can encourage creativity and fun. The downside to this is that we may be betraying our children’s trust by inventing stories. What is ultimately the deciding factor is the spirit in which the stories are delivered. Most children will understand why their parents allowed them to grow up believing in Father Christmas, the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny. Childhood is time of no responsibility, feeling loved and cared for and believing that anything is possible. parents do need to consider their own children’s individual characteristics and personalities when deciding the right time to reveal their deceit. Some children may desperately want to know the truth, and these children are the ones that may be harmed by continually lying about the existence of Father Christmas et al.
For other children, they revel in the fantasy and fun. It is almost as if they want to keep the fictitious existence of Father Christmas and Easter Bunny for as long as possible.I remember finding out that Father Christmas was not real when I was about five years old.My aunt mentioned this nonchalantly leave while we were driving in the car somewhere. It obviously had an impact upon me as I still remember it today. I felt crushed at the realisation that Father Christmas wasn’t real. It affected me more than finding out about the Tooth fairy and Easter Bunny not being real.
I never held a grudge against my parents though. If as a parent,you wish to encourage critical thinking in your children, it is best to deal with their nagging doubts when they arise. Stifling doubt, believing based on the desire instead of evidence, all being fooled by ad hoc explanations are all examples of lazy thinking. Research has shown that adults with the most deeply entrenched bad habits are often those who believed in Father Christmas for too long, often far beyond eight years old. Keep it fun but don’t persist with the lies when your children begin expressing doubts.if children are forgiving these things out for themselves it is a sign of maturity and shows that they are reasoning according to the evidence presented. In general, keep lying to a minimum and practice what you preach Happy Easter! 🙂