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Still Waters

Why children really believe in Santa

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Still Waters

Many of us tell our children about a rotund, bearded man in red, who lives in the icy tundra at the top of the world. He is tasked with judging the moral worth of children everywhere. He has a list. He has checked it twice. And there is no court of appeals.

We promise our children that, on a known date and under the cover of darkness, he will sneak into our homes. Here, his judgment will be delivered. In preparation, it is customary to erect and decorate a tree inside one’s home (a dead one, or a simulacrum, will do just fine), and to leave a food sacrifice of high-fat cookies and nutrient-rich milk. He will then repeat this act several billion times, aided by his entourage of flying polar caribou.

Why would children believe something so absurd? And can it teach us anything about how children come to discriminate between what is real and what is not? 

https://theconversation.com/why-children-really-believe-in-santa-the-surprising-psychology-behind-tradition-126783

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OverSword
Quote

Childhood is a unique, evolved life-stage in which sexual maturation is delayed in favour of brain growth and social learning. Historically, the only way to learn about something you haven’t directly experienced was to rely on testimony. Children can differentiate between fantasy and history, evaluate the strength of evidence and prefer claims with scientific framing. Children in many cultures are less likely than adults to appeal to supernatural explanations for unlikely events. In fact, children learn to make supernatural claims.

So that explains organized religion.

Edited by OverSword
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Desertrat56

I never understood it.  I figured out who "Santa" was when I was 3 and thought everyone knew Santa was made up.  I got in trouble for telling my brother "Santa is not real, like the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy."  He was 5, I said that out of surprise that he actually believed in any of that.  I think we need to quit lying to our kids about this stuff.  It was very traumatic for my brother to find out he had been lied to for 5 years.  And I was told to keep my mouth shut about santa in front of my 7 year old grandson, who I know is very smart, but his mother is attached to him believing in magic.

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OverSword

I was seven.  Sitting in class a few of the kids that had older siblings started talking about it matter of factly to the shock of the rest of us.  

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Desertrat56
11 minutes ago, OverSword said:

I was seven.  Sitting in class a few of the kids that had older siblings started talking about it matter of factly to the shock of the rest of us.  

That is so sad.  I don't get it but I feel for you.  My mother pretended like she believed in Santa when she was in high school because then she got a present from Santa and from her mother.  The other girls who made fun of her only got one present.  :lol:  She knew there was no santa but her mother enjoyed the illusion so much.

Edited by Desertrat56
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Essan
1 hour ago, Desertrat56 said:

I never understood it.  I figured out who "Santa" was when I was 3 and thought everyone knew Santa was made up.  I got in trouble for telling my brother "Santa is not real, like the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy."  He was 5, I said that out of surprise that he actually believed in any of that.  I think we need to quit lying to our kids about this stuff.  It was very traumatic for my brother to find out he had been lied to for 5 years.  And I was told to keep my mouth shut about santa in front of my 7 year old grandson, who I know is very smart, but his mother is attached to him believing in magic.

I'm not sure what age I figured it out, but I have no memory of ever believing it was anything other than my parents.

Mind, I realised that god wasn't real at a very early age too

 

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lightly

Little children believe in Santa because they are still smarter than adults.

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Kittens Are Jerks

Thankfully my parents never played the Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy game — for two reasons: (1)They never wanted any of us to think that they would lie or betray our trust in any way, and (2) they did not want us buying into fantastical, out of this world, nonsensical stories.

From the article: Children can differentiate between fantasy and history, evaluate the strength of evidence and prefer claims with scientific framing. Children in many cultures are less likely than adults to appeal to supernatural explanations for unlikely events. In fact, children learn to make supernatural claims.

So why teach them to? 

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OverSword
4 hours ago, Kittens Are Jerks said:

Thankfully my parents never played the Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy game — for two reasons: (1)They never wanted any of us to think that they would lie or betray our trust in any way, and (2) they did not want us buying into fantastical, out of this world, nonsensical stories.

From the article: Children can differentiate between fantasy and history, evaluate the strength of evidence and prefer claims with scientific framing. Children in many cultures are less likely than adults to appeal to supernatural explanations for unlikely events. In fact, children learn to make supernatural claims.

So why teach them to? 

Because believing in Santa Claus is fun.  The proof is that most kids who know that there is no Santa will continue to pretend he is real for a few years around the Holiday season.  I did it, I see my nieces doing it now.  It's a game.  

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Kittens Are Jerks
3 minutes ago, OverSword said:

Because believing in Santa Claus is fun.  The proof is that most kids who know that there is no Santa will continue to pretend he is real for a few years around the Holiday season.  I did it, I see my nieces doing it now.  It's a game.  

If kids can have fun pretending Santa Claus is real, then why lie to them in the first place? Why not simply tell them the truth, teach them the difference between fantasy and reality, but encourage them to enjoy the myth and have a magical Christmas with it.

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OverSword
3 minutes ago, Kittens Are Jerks said:

If kids can have fun pretending Santa Claus is real, then why lie to them in the first place? Why not simply tell them the truth, teach them the difference between fantasy and reality, but encourage them to enjoy the myth and have a magical Christmas with it.

Didn't seem to hurt the rest of us too much and we probably really enjoyed it at the time.  You have an entire 90 years to deal with reality.  Do you think that 30 years on you're better off in this area than your peers who's parent's made the fantasy real?  

edit:  In conclusion it hurts nothing and is fun.  

Edited by OverSword
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Tatetopa
14 minutes ago, Kittens Are Jerks said:

If kids can have fun pretending Santa Claus is real, then why lie to them in the first place? Why not simply tell them the truth, teach them the difference between fantasy and reality, but encourage them to enjoy the myth and have a magical Christmas with it.

Capitalism and money not mythology is what keeps it going.  

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Kittens Are Jerks
2 minutes ago, OverSword said:

Didn't seem to hurt the rest of us too much and we probably really enjoyed it at the time.  You have an entire 90 years to deal with reality.  Do you think that 30 years on you're better off in this area than your peers who's parent's made the fantasy real?  

edit:  In conclusion it hurts nothing and is fun.  

I don't agree that it hurts nothing. Undermining a child's trust in their parents is not nothing. Terrifying (or manipulating) a child with an all-seeing fat man in a red suit is not nothing. Trying to explain to a child why Santa was unable to bring them anything (and have them still maintain their sense of self-worth) is not nothing. And whilst the Santa Claus lie may not cause long-term trauma, it still causes some damage, and I cannot understand why any parent would want to be that cruel to their children for the sake of a little 'fun'.

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Kittens Are Jerks
6 minutes ago, Tatetopa said:

Capitalism and money not mythology is what keeps it going.  

That and parents who are not necessarily doing it just for their children, but for themselves as well — as an opportunity to relive certain aspects of their childhood.

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OverSword
8 minutes ago, Kittens Are Jerks said:

I don't agree that it hurts nothing. Undermining a child's trust in their parents is not nothing.

:lol:  Yeah, yeah.  I hate them still.

4 minutes ago, Kittens Are Jerks said:

That and parents who are not necessarily doing it just for their children, but for themselves as well — as an opportunity to relive certain aspects of their childhood.

What, the traumatic part where their parents destroyed their trust?   Why would they do that?  Oh, probably because your completely wrong about that part and in fact believing in Santa was good fun that harmed nothing.  You may be here arguing about it because deep down you're jealous you missed out.  

Edited by OverSword
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Kittens Are Jerks
1 minute ago, OverSword said:

What, the traumatic part where their parents destroyed their trust?   Why would they do that?  Oh, probably because your completely wrong about that part and in fact believing in Santa was good fun that harmed nothing.

Because it's obviously easy as an adult to forget all that, isn't it. So they repeat the nonsense and put their children through the same crap. Why? Why would any parent want to cause their children even the slightest bit of stress or anxiety? It doesn't matter that they will eventually get over it. What matters is that they had to experience it in the first place.

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openozy

It would be terrible in a World with such a s--- future for little kids to have something magical and fun to look forward to instead of doom and gloom 24/7,Grinch gits.

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Coil
Spirits of cold, natural elements really exist and when winter comes they also move to the continents.
 

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OverSword
13 hours ago, Kittens Are Jerks said:

Because it's obviously easy as an adult to forget all that, isn't it. So they repeat the nonsense and put their children through the same crap. Why? Why would any parent want to cause their children even the slightest bit of stress or anxiety? It doesn't matter that they will eventually get over it. What matters is that they had to experience it in the first place.

You poor, poor person. You missed out. Sorry but I guess you’ll never get it. 

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MainerMikeBrown

When I was a child, I believed in Santa because I wanted to believe it.

And man was I saddened and disappointed when my mother finally told me that it was all made up!

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onlookerofmayhem

Children believe in Santa because their parents lie to them and tell them he exists. Just like the tooth fairy, god and the Easter bunny.

While I understand the sentiment, if I had children I would not be portraying the concept as anything more than the fairy tale that it is. 

I feel most adults get a bit of vicarious excitement out of the tradition. 

It's not the end of the world. To each their own.

It not like I run up to my friend's kids and call them a moron for believing in such nonsense. But don't ask me to go along with the charade.

 

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Kittens Are Jerks
4 hours ago, OverSword said:

You poor, poor person. You missed out. Sorry but I guess you’ll never get it. 

Ditto.

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openozy
2 hours ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

Just like the tooth fairy, god and the Easter bunny.

Don't put those three in the same category,two of them have never caused any trouble with humanity.

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third_eye

Merry Christmas and a happy new year, happy holidays.. 

Quote

 

[00.03:12]

~

Poor lil ' Michael never got over it I guess... 

~

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Golden Duck
6 hours ago, third_eye said:

Merry Christmas and a happy new year, happy holidays.. 

[00.03:12]

~

Poor lil ' Michael never got over it I guess... 

~

That he would've laughed at his father's cuckold horns, suggests Santa was not the one he had an issue with.

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