Shining children’s eyes, days full of anticipation, perhaps a poem that is learned by heart, if he personally stands in front of the door: The fairy tale of Santa Claus is simply a part of December. And I love them! I myself believed in Santa Claus for a long time (in spite of my big brother, who kept quiet for a long time). And also, when I was older and had long since "checked" everything, there was still this running gag at home on Christmas Eve: My brother and I had to go up to the second floor and my father rang the doorbell and spoke very loudly to Santa Claus – but he was mute and had to go very quickly, too. I don’t know who liked this tradition better: Us or our dad.
In any case it was nice.
And I also told my daughter that Santa Claus brings the presents. Yes, also including loud knocking on the front door, when she was on the toilet – and afterwards found the presents on the doormat. This year, for the first time, she smelled the (Christmas) fire and asked if we were actually getting the presents? That’s what I’ve got for you here already told. With the result that she knows a half-truth, which she finds completely okay and with which I old romantic can also still live to some extent. Your dad, by the way, doesn’t give a damn. He thought it was "silly" to go through with this "Santa Claus nonsense" anyway ?. Honestly! Well, but he has bravely participated, for my sake.
Others are much stricter about the Santa Claus lie
Because (at least) two psychologists are of the opinion that it is just that: a solid lie that we tell our children. And which, in retrospect, can have nasty consequences.
Christopher Boyle and Kathy McKay have published an essay in which they address exactly this issue. You are sure that it can have serious consequences for our children if we tell them "one of the horse", er, reindeer and his red-coated boss.
Your arguments sound conclusive at first:
Because, even if parents don’t like to imagine it at first: At some point, every child realizes that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. And then knows that his parents (and many other trusted people too) lied to her for years. Psychologists believe that this realization deprives some children of the fun of Christmas for the rest of their lives – because every year they remember that they were betrayed for the first time at this festival.
Hmm, so – what do you think about it?
I would even go so far as to write a sentence here, which is actually not possible at all: That didn’t hurt us in the past either! In this case I am firmly convinced of it. Boyle and McKay see it differently. You mean that almost everyone who was once told the fairy tale of Santa Claus, more or less got a crack of it! Okay…
Worst of all, they find it, and I can even understand that to some extent, if you insist that there is Santa Claus. Meaning that the child asks or even says that it doesn’t exist – and the parents vigorously oppose it. Of course, this can really confuse the child, I can see that.
Oh yes… But isn’t it somehow too bad if the children no longer believe in Santa Claus?? Won’t all the magic of Christmas be lost then? That’s too cute when the little ones are excitedly waiting for him to finally come…
Ha – that’s exactly where the psychologists are trying to get me!
They think that parents tell their children about Santa Claus only for themselves. Because then we see ourselves surrounded by that magic again. And then because we have such cute stories to tell about our little ones… Are we enjoying this Santa story about much more than our children are?
Well, no, I don’t think so. Yes, I really like (liked, boohoo) telling my daughter about Santa Claus, klaro. But she found it much more exciting than I did.
But: How to make it "exemplary?
Fortunately, everyone can decide for themselves. I don’t know if the two "Grinch psychologists" actually told their kids from an early age that Santa doesn’t exist. If so, that’s okay too. I would not have liked to do without it, and now it is just (almost) out that Santa Claus does not come by us.
Does my daughter have a chip on her shoulder now?
I believe (and hope) of course not. I think more like another psychologist, Gail Heyman from the University of California. In fact, she believes that children’s trust in their parents depends on too many different factors for a Santa Claus to destroy trust all by himself….
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As a true Hamburg native, I live with my family in the most beautiful city in the world – moving is out of the question! Before fate brought me to Real Moms, I worked for several magazine publishers. Since 2015 I am mom of a wonderful daughter.