On teaching your kids to believe

Chesterton on fairy tales

Svellerella writes,

I’m the parent who’s informed her children that Santa Claus is St. Nicholas, a Catholic Bishop who secretly gave to the poor. That St. Nicholas no longer lives on earth, but in heaven, with the Triune God, and that he prays with us and for us to Jesus. That the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and not a fat, unaffiliated man in red sneaking into our house with his flying reindeer to bestow either gifts or lumps of coal depending on if my children are “naughty or nice”.

I’m a harsh B, I know’t.

I particularly wanted to raise my children this way because little girl Carolyn was not only devastated when she learned that Santa Claus was a farce, she later experienced a period of extreme doubt in the existence of God. Santa was a Lie. The Tooth Fairy was a lie. So how on earth was I supposed to think that God isn’t just the same as Santa Claus? That we “have to be good because God is watching us”? Ffft.

But the reason I’m writing isn’t to discuss whether its good or bad to let my children believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny. To me it’s one of those parenting choices that each parent makes out of love and good intentions and I’m not about to argue with that, ever. The above reasons are ours, and I’m learning that parenting has a funny way of making me eat my words so bad.

But there’s the issue of fairy tales. Of course our boys read fairy tales. But if we’re teaching them the truth about Santa, how are we supposed to approach fairy tales? Where’s the line to be drawn when letting our children grow in their wonder over fictional, magical characters? Is there a line to be drawn?

Read the rest of this EXCELLENT BLOG @ http://www.svellerella.com/on-fairy-tales-and-letting-my-children-believe/.

And when you’re done, scroll down for my two cents in the comments.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “On teaching your kids to believe

  1. One of my favorite quotes from CSL.

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      • Actually, I thought the quote might be mis-cited, but after re-reading, I think it’s possible that both GKC & CSL have nearly identical comments on this. So you’re right, yes, GKC. Now I’ll have to look up the quote I thought was in The Abolition of Man to see how it differs.

        Ok, I’m back. You’re right about this being GKC. Since I also found many CSL refs to the quote, I suspect that CSL, himself, was quoting Chesterton when I first read it. They apparently corresponded about the notion, and Lewis used the idea, with attribution. Thanks for catching my error, Bob!

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