The fairy tale con - does it hurt kids?
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12-03-2014, 09:00 PM
The fairy tale con - does it hurt kids?
You know the drill when you're a kid most of us are taught about santa claus and the easter bunny - later we find our parents were just screwing with us. Do you think these are stories harmless fun or lies that shouldn't be taught to kids? One of the things that inspired me to start this thread is a personal story I have:

Even when I was a kid I was very curious about things. When I was about 7 or 8 I wanted to do a test to see if the tooth fairy was real - since I already suspected my mother. The test I did was to put my tooth in an envelope and then mark it - by scribbling on it. If it was my mother I would know if the envelope was opened and because it was marked I would know if it was replaced. Well unfortunately my mother was aware of this test. In the morning I woke up, looked and got the envelope - it was unopened and the scribble mark was there. Inside was money and no tooth. Being a kid I concluded something magic must have happened. A few years later I was talking about santa with my mom and she fessed up to everything saying I was old enough now. I mentioned my tooth fairy test and she told me it was easy to copy my scribble mark. I remember feeling so angry at her. I felt that if I had been smart enough to ask questions and do a test like that she should have told me the truth. So do you think what she did was allright?
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12-03-2014, 09:03 PM
RE: The fairy tale con - does it hurt kids?
I think it does hurt kids, but that's just me.
It's one thing to teach the fairy tale AS fairy tales... but teaching them that it's true while knowing it isn't is just a deception (even though nobody is intending to do kids any harm, I'm not saying that). I understand that it's all for the purpose of having fun and a sense of childlike mystery and imagination and all... but it's still often traumatizing later on.
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12-03-2014, 09:06 PM
RE: The fairy tale con - does it hurt kids?
I was told the usual stories as a kid about Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Seems to me it was harmless fun...with those kinds of stories there is an end and the adults that are playing along know that. For me, those secrets then became mine to join in the fun for my younger siblings. After I had kids I realized the joy of making those magical moments come alive and I also knew of the short shelf life for those fantasies.

I was also read a lot of fairy tales and the like and had a good grasp of the fact that they were fiction - not real.

When a lie is presented with the intent of keeping that lie going and making it seem as though it's the truth, I think that's a very different thing. Then I think it is deception pure and simple...especially since there is no intention of the lie ending.

My two cents anyway.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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12-03-2014, 09:09 PM
RE: The fairy tale con - does it hurt kids?
Sure. I think that fostering the imagination of children is important, as long as critical thinking skills are also taught and the fairy tale is revealed at an appropriate age.

What would a childhood be without magic? How would we learn to discern between reality and myth without first being introduced to what it's like to be duped? I think that the childhood myths are innocent enough to not be damaging while being useful for life lessons.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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12-03-2014, 09:11 PM
RE: The fairy tale con - does it hurt kids?
(12-03-2014 09:09 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Sure. I think that fostering the imagination of children is important, as long as critical thinking skills are also taught and the fairy tale is revealed at an appropriate age.

What would a childhood be without magic? How would we learn to discern between reality and myth without first being introduced to what it's like to be duped? I think that the childhood myths are innocent enough to not be damaging while being useful for life lessons.

But what about in my case where my mother lied to me even though I was asking questions?
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12-03-2014, 09:15 PM
RE: The fairy tale con - does it hurt kids?
(12-03-2014 09:11 PM)john2 Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 09:09 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Sure. I think that fostering the imagination of children is important, as long as critical thinking skills are also taught and the fairy tale is revealed at an appropriate age.

What would a childhood be without magic? How would we learn to discern between reality and myth without first being introduced to what it's like to be duped? I think that the childhood myths are innocent enough to not be damaging while being useful for life lessons.

But what about in my case where my mother lied to me even though I was asking questions?

As a mom, I know that having to fess up to those childhood tales being made up is a step toward your child growing up that can be hard to take. Moms often want their kids to stay little and innocent and full of wonder and it's actually kind of cool to make that happen for your kids while you can.

I don't know how to explain it better...it makes sense in my head.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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12-03-2014, 09:22 PM
RE: The fairy tale con - does it hurt kids?
(12-03-2014 09:15 PM)Anjele Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 09:11 PM)john2 Wrote:  But what about in my case where my mother lied to me even though I was asking questions?

As a mom, I know that having to fess up to those childhood tales being made up is a step toward your child growing up that can be hard to take. Moms often want their kids to stay little and innocent and full of wonder and it's actually kind of cool to make that happen for your kids while you can.

I don't know how to explain it better...it makes sense in my head.

Playing games and making up stuff is ok I have no problem there. It's when you try telling the kids that the stuff is actually real. I know in my case I was pretty young and if my mom had told me then I would have been disappointed but would have been proud that she knew I was smart enough to be told the truth. When I found out later that she purposely deceived me that traumatized me alot - it actually started me on the road to atheism as I realized people were lying to me.
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12-03-2014, 09:25 PM
RE: The fairy tale con - does it hurt kids?
(12-03-2014 09:22 PM)john2 Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 09:15 PM)Anjele Wrote:  As a mom, I know that having to fess up to those childhood tales being made up is a step toward your child growing up that can be hard to take. Moms often want their kids to stay little and innocent and full of wonder and it's actually kind of cool to make that happen for your kids while you can.

I don't know how to explain it better...it makes sense in my head.

Playing games and making up stuff is ok I have no problem there. It's when you try telling the kids that stuff is actually real. I know in my case I was pretty young and if my mom had told me then I would have been disappointed but would have been proud that she knew I was smart enough to be told the truth. When I found out she purposely deceived that traumatized me alot - it actually started me on the road to atheism as I realized people were lying to me.

I hate that you felt/feel that way. If I had any issues with finding out the truth as a kid it was gone when I got to be the one being Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. Maybe one day you will experience the same - seeing your kids eyes light up at the 'magic' of it all. I actually miss it...the whole thing...the decorating, the figuring out the right gifts, buying the right wrapping paper, making bows, figuring out better and better hiding places...all of it.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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12-03-2014, 09:26 PM
RE: The fairy tale con - does it hurt kids?
(12-03-2014 09:22 PM)john2 Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 09:15 PM)Anjele Wrote:  As a mom, I know that having to fess up to those childhood tales being made up is a step toward your child growing up that can be hard to take. Moms often want their kids to stay little and innocent and full of wonder and it's actually kind of cool to make that happen for your kids while you can.

I don't know how to explain it better...it makes sense in my head.

Playing games and making up stuff is ok I have no problem there. It's when you try telling the kids that the stuff is actually real. I know in my case I was pretty young and if my mom had told me then I would have been disappointed but would have been proud that she knew I was smart enough to be told the truth. When I found out later that she purposely deceived me that traumatized me alot - it actually started me on the road to atheism as I realized people were lying to me.

And so the seeds of skepticism were sown. I can't imagine you were that traumatized over the tooth fairy.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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12-03-2014, 09:33 PM
RE: The fairy tale con - does it hurt kids?
(12-03-2014 09:26 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 09:22 PM)john2 Wrote:  Playing games and making up stuff is ok I have no problem there. It's when you try telling the kids that the stuff is actually real. I know in my case I was pretty young and if my mom had told me then I would have been disappointed but would have been proud that she knew I was smart enough to be told the truth. When I found out later that she purposely deceived me that traumatized me alot - it actually started me on the road to atheism as I realized people were lying to me.

And so the seeds of skepticism were sown. I can't imagine you were that traumatized over the tooth fairy.

I was traumatized in the way *I found out.* I thought my test that I mentioned was pretty clever for my age and I was angry when I found out later that she got the better of me.
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