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Is it harmful for kids to believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, etc?

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

Do you think it's healthy or unhealthy for kids to have beliefs in things like these?

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2735
Joined: Jul 2006

I'm kind of middle of the road. I'd have Santa/easter bunny stuff sitting around and read my kids stories and put the money under the pillow but my kids knew it was all in fun. The presents they knew where they came from. We just had fun with it.

I was hopeful that I could get a job as Santa's elf...I'd love making toys and having cocoa and cookies! I believe...I believe... well it doesn't hurt to dream.

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

After thinking about this for a while (and giving myself a headache from thinking - LOL) I've decided that no, in my opinion, it doesn't hurt the kids to believe in Santa, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, etc.,etc... As kids grow older they learn that these things aren't real and they understand that it was all just a fun part of growing up. As a child I grew up believing in all of them and don't feel that it harmed me when I finally realized that none of them were real.

Now, if someone grows up and never realizes that they were all a fantasy, that could be a real problem ;-)

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2735
Joined: Jul 2006

I think I believed more than my kids did. At least the spirit of it. They were just going along for the goodies. I think I've been had! I still read A Christmas Carol every Christmas to myself. The kids don't even want to watch the movie. They are in their thirties now. If I didn't get the tree out and decorate, there'd be no Christmas at all. I wanted a Christmas picture of all of us and santa hats on and we didn't even get the picture. I may have to use photo shop and create one.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5936
Joined: Apr 2009

I have always told my children the truth about these things and they never had any problems with it.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

Even when they were real little you told them?

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5936
Joined: Apr 2009

They found out about Santa and the bunny from there friend. We had Christmas and Easter just like everyone else and enjoyed it very much with them and with our families.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

I think it's a magical time for kids. One still kind of believes but the older one doesn't. We did bring the idea of having the kids forfeit a gift and instead we had them make a donation to a charitable cause. One sister in law didn't like the idea but everyone else did. When I explained it to Grif that by giving up this one toy, a family can have food for many months. The thought kind of blew him away, it was great. I think it's important they have a childhood but they also need to realize that there is more out there in the world than them and what they see (too often) on TV.

But then they grow up more and find out that there is no Santa yet they still want to believe. We had mean-spirited nuns who told us there was no Santa. I don't think some people ever really get over that. It's mankind's nature to want to believe in something. This way it can "explain" the unexplainable.

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

My daughter didn't know about Santa until she was 4 1/2 years old. We had also spent Christmas in Niger which is celebrated without Santa. She found out about it at preschool and asked why Santa had never given her a present. At the preschool Christmas party Santa came and gave each kid a gift under $5. My daughter didn't care what the gift was, she was just so happy that Santa had given her something. The preschool director had to distract her when Santa left as she wanted to see him fly away on his sleigh. For several years after that Santa left her a small present a week before Christmas and she was very happy with that.

I didn't want my daughter to get wrapped up in the commercial aspect of Santa and Christmas particularly since we had spent many a Christmas where no-one knows about Santa and no-one has money for toys or any extras. When she learnt about Santa, it was hard for her to get her head around why Santa brought gifts to some and not others. Of course at one point she was one who didn't get.

Not easy navigating two worlds with a child.

lcarper2
Posts: 638
Joined: Dec 2009

My kids believed that they got gifts under the tree from some one they couldn't see cause they had to go to bed early. I always explained to them what the real reason for the season was and we celebrated the birth of baby jesus by buying a new ornament for the tree each yr.My kids knew it was impossible for any one man to get around the world and deliver the stuff like they saw on t.v. but never said anything about it. As for the easter bunny they would just say "mom do you know what it would look like if he had an accident in our house" I just laughed and said let's hope he don't...so they knew that it was make believe...

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

And I'm waiting for that leprechaun to bring me a pot of gold! In my opinion, there is no harm - what about an imaginary friend or believing in Superman or Spiderman? It's all a part of being a child - we have to grow up soon enough as it is.

And there is no reason why Christmas cannot be celebrated as a commercial event and a religious event. Never understood why people get so worked up about this. But, Halloween is my very favorite holiday - I still dress up and I'm 54! Gotta have fun in life - it's too short as it is!

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

I still have some reservations about the commercial aspect of Christmas, largly because of the impact it has on less priveldge families in the US and the environmental aspect of all the stuff, packaging and wrapping and not to mention sweatshop. Okay that has just taken the fun out of that!

However in saying that I do enjoy spending time finding just the right gift for various close family and friends, the ones that say I appreciate and love you. Of course this can be done anytime of the year but it somehow seems to get left mostly to Christmas. And I do enjoy decorating the house with lights and decorations in the winter, it makes it magical. Admittedly, I do like enjoy my daughter's excitement around opening Christmas presents even though we keep it low key.

Never grew up with Halloween but appreciate my daughters love of it.

You are right, life is short gotta have fun in what whatever way feels good.

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

I don't like the total impact either - I use newspaper to wrap gifts!!! My family is used to by now. I used to use baskets or reusable bags but how many of those can you give? Frankly, I would love to forgo gifts and just have the family over for good food, good company and games - that's the best! I love lights - I have them on my back patio year round - it's just festive. I think your year round idea of celebrating is phenomenal - that's the best yet!

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5936
Joined: Apr 2009

One Christmas my Children and I decided to get away from the norm and do something different. So my Son and I went into the woods and found a small pine tree that we cut down and a lot of pine cones. We put the pine tree up in the house and the kids had a ball painting the pine cones to hang on the tree. Sometimes it is the little things that mean a lot, we all can still remember that Christmas, but can’t seam to remember any others.

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

And I suspect that was probably the most beautiful ever! That's a wonderful memory - very special.

DennisR
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

I don't think it has a darn thing to do with health....mental, physical, or spiritual. Kids these days need a break from much of the new so called,"healthy", ideas being foisted upon them everyday at the behest of educators, advertisers,etc.... and a gift under the tree from Santa is just as much fun today as it was when I was a child. To tell the truth, I still put gifts under the tree for my 40 year old daughter....and my Grandkids...and they all know perfectly well who Santa actually is. I still fill their stockings after they go to bed as well...and even eat the cookies and milk they leave on the table for Santa...and even write a few words on the little note they leave for "Santa".

I have never felt the need to sit down and tell my kids that "There's no Santa, or Easter Bunny, or Tooth fairy"..heck, they're not stupid, neither was I when I was a kid.
When I asked my identical twin Granddaughters what they wanted for Christmas last year they said," We don't want anything for Christmas Grampa, we already have the only gift we asked for.....YOU, surving Cancer, and that's all we wanted."
Now..every year we all dress up, me as Santa, my wife as Mrs Claus, and the Granddaughters as elves, and we go to the VA hospital with christmas stockings filled with stuff we've gathered all year and give them to the Vets being cared for there on Christmas eve.

When one of the delighted Vets asked the girls where they came from several years ago, they answered with one voice, "Why...the North Pole, of course".
Have our Old Fashioned Chrismas traditions been harmful to their mental Health? I think NOT.

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