Thursday, December 09, 2010

What's this?

Today, Jake saw a picture of Santa Claus and asked me, “What’s this?” Inwardly, I panicked slightly. But then I remembered he’s still only 28 months old. So I answered, “Santa Claus” and with that he was satisfied.

Later, pushing him on the swings in the playground, I thought about what to say to him about Santa when he inevitably pops up again. “He brings you presents on xmas day if you are good,” just doesn’t sit well with me, not least because the one thing I don’t ever want to do to Jake is lie to him, not even about the small things. But I didn’t come up with anything better and pushed the worry aside for another day.

Then, some friends on facebook posted a link to this post on the blog Parenting beyond belief.

I like his point of view but I still can’t imagine myself pretending that Santa is real.  I can, however, present it as a story that a lot of people tell. I would do that about religious beliefs anyway, so why not Santa. And when he’s older, he can decide for himself whether to believe it or not. Is it so farfetched an approach anyway, given the many characters and stories, not least in advertising, that children are bombarded with these days? Why should Santa be any more real than Shrek?


Anonymous said...

Mmm. Been wondering what to say about this too. I don't want her to be The Child - the one who disillusions all her little friends! But I'm absolutely sure my parents never pretended Santa was real or expected me to believe it, and I don't want Snow White to think he's real either. It's just a story. But some children think it's real. How to explain all this to a two-year-old?

Anonymous said...

I must admit, we still pretend Santa is still real in our house. Jesus is a story people tell which some people believe, God is a story, heaven is a story...Santa is real. Though I'm not sure who's pretending and who isn't at the moment...