Santa Claus and kids
I never realized how much of a contested Issue that kids believing in Santa Claus was until I became a dad. It’s the parents, not the kids you see. When I was thinking about writing this post I was kind reading up on other parenting blogs about this subject when it came to others kids believing in Santa or not and was surprised. Some are for it while some are against it for the dumbest reasons. Since my son is just a little over 2 years old that time is arriving soon.
I guess I look at this way; there are worse things and far more dangerous things that my son could believe in at a young age. Back in the day when I was a young Scottish lad in west Michigan, believing in Santa was something every child did and was more than fine, in fact, it was normal (whatever normal is). I even knew kids that believed in him until they were in 6th and 7th grade odd but true. BUT, It wasn’t the end of the world when they found out the truth either. They didn’t blame their parents for ruining their life and filling it with a life of lies. I didn’t hold it against my parents when my cousin informed me that Santa wasn’t real in 3rd grade even though I didn’t really believe it for a few more years.After all back then, things were a little more calm and the internet didn’t exist.
In this world of fast-paced technology and in your face reality, simpler things and magical things run their course far sooner than they used to. Kids are introduced to the “real” aspects of the world far sooner than what their blind parents would like to admit. Shielding them from it doesn’t work but putting a bag over your head as a parent and pretending it’s not there doesn’t either. Kids are much smarter and more aware than parents will ever be willing to admit especially now. The world is a less dangerous place now than it was when I was younger despite what the older generation and even some who are my age want to believe. However, we hear about it more than we used to and that’s part of the problem in addition to inaccurate information shared by our family and friends on social media sometimes. The news cycle is nearly instantaneous sometimes with how fast news is on the internet. Back in the day if you were from a smallish town like I was something like a murder, robbery, rape or terrorist attack might be reported hours later on your local evening news but often not until the next day and maybe not in the newspaper for 24 hours or longer.
Kid’s now (much like adults) are visually assaulted almost daily on social media with all of this right away so it makes it seem more prevalent than it is especially when negative news is reported far more than good news. If you have 3 local TV news stations and 2 murders happen within a day, then those murders will be talked about on social media at least 6 times in a 24-hour period on various postings. Then they are “shared” by sometimes half of our Facebook friends. Then they are rehashed, retitled and reposted so you hear about the same two murders 12-15 times in 48 hours; just from the news sites. This is because murders and robberies get clicks and are read more than a story about some kid donating his or her time at a shelter reading to orphan children from Syria so it’s no wonder paranoid and less informed people act like there are massive crime waves taking over small town USA and big city America.
When it comes to that jolly old elf an article in the Britain’s Mirror from 2015 said that “A third of English children stop believing in Santa by the age of six”. SIX! What’s more is that they play along to make the parents happy according to researchers. For the parents who think it’s horrible that kids believe in Santa, I would like to point out an article in Huffington post from 2013 where psychologists say it’s “healthy for kids to believe in Santa”. In a referenced article from Live Science, Dr. Matthew Lorber a child psychologist said when talking about Santa, “It’s a real story, it’s a real value and it’s something that inspires children,” he said. In this, he is talking about the very real St. Nicholas and said that story is the embodiment of the “Christmas Spirit.”
I see it like this. The carefree exuberance of children and childhood only lasts so long. As I stated before its replaced by reality far sooner than it used to and maybe sooner than it should be but that’s the era we live in. So, if that means your kids or my son believe in the happy wonderment that is Santa Claus before the negativity of life and consumeristic ideals get pumped into them then so be it. It’s not hurting anything or anyone. So, I will let Jax believe in Santa, and in fact encourage it. I will let him be a kid for as long as it lasts because once it’s gone it’s gone and any adult will tell you that. Some things you just can’t get back no matter how much you wish you could.
Besides, billions of adults around the world believe in some invisible made up deity. So what’s it going to hurt if a few million kids around the world believe in Santa for a couple years before they get told they are too old to believe in made up things. Wait.