Every year, millions of parents around the world lie to their kids.
They not only celebrate this lie, they cherish it.
They might say that it teaches their children the gift of generosity. Or that it enriches imagination and faith. Or gives their children them some wonder and joy while they can still enjoy it.
All jolly euphemisms — for lazy parenting.
Teaching children “generosity” — the lazy way
Santa only brings presents to children who happen to live in industrialized nations. With parents who have enough dough.
He doesn’t bring presents (or food, water, and shelter) to poor or hungry kids, no matter how good they’ve been all year long.
But parents omit this from the fairytale. So the lie isn’t just a direct one, but a euphemism about the world.
The Santa myth perpetuates ignorance about what’s really going on. Children need worldly context to understand what they have and what generosity means.
If parents really want to teach their children about generosity, they’ll breach the topics of poverty and world hunger. Such topics don’t have a place in the Santa story.
Helping children expand their imaginations — the lazy way
Children don’t need their parents to foster their imaginations.
They need their parents to get out of the way.
A child already has a vivid imagination. It’s the adults who tell them that their invisible friend isn’t real.
Too many adults have been conditioned out of imagination and innocence. Yet they think it’s their job to “teach” this lost art.
If a parent really wants to foster their child’s imagination, they’ll first take a hard look at their opinion on the difference between “real” and “imaginary.” Then respect their child’s right to their own opinon.
It’s not easy looking into the scientific and clinical research on the paranormal and the complex nature of physical reality. It’s not comfortable questioning your beliefs, and deconstructing dysfunctional ones.
The easier, lazier thing for a parent to do is give their child a manufactured version of “imagination” — that commercialized Santa fellow.
Helping children develop their faith — the lazy way
When a parent teaches their child to believe in Santa, they set them up for disappointment, possibly heartbreak, later on.
Finding out that Mommy and Daddy have been deceiving — shatters faith in the whole world, even if just a little.
Parents who respect their children don’t mess with their faith. Or manufacture it just to tear it down later.
Giving children a sense of wonder and joy — the lazy way
No child wouldn’t want presents, but they don’t have to be from a made-up man.
Christmas doesn’t have to be all about presents either. If it is, children will have a pretty hard time with happiness later on in life.
Research shows that things don’t make people happy, quality relationships do.
Long-lasting wonder and joy comes from teaching children how to develop and maintain healthy relationships. And creating memories with family and loved ones. And setting a damn good example.
Modeling healthy relationships isn’t easy. That’s why many parents opt for laziness instead — focusing on the superficiality of a single day.
Those other 364 days of the year are what matter.
The lure of the Santa myth
Lying about Santa Claus is so alluring to parents because it lets them off the hook.
With him on their side, they can go on believing that they’re fostering generosity, imagination, faith, wonder, and joy.
Without having to:
- Actually teach their children about generosity and what it means to make a difference in the world
- Actually respect their children’s imaginations and give them the freedom to explore their own beliefs
- Actually honor their children’s faith, without treating it like a game
- Actually model wonder and joy through healthy relationships — all year long
Does Santa Claus symbolize lazy parenting?
There’s nothing wrong with parents wanting their kids to be happy.
But perpetuating the Santa myth comes with its price. And it distracts parents from what really fosters generosity, imagination, faith, wonder, and long-term joy.
How did you feel when you found out Santa wasn’t real?
Does Santa make parents lazy?
Or is he doing more good than harm?
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never had kids, if you’re young or old, or you don’t celebrate Christmas.
Have you say below.