A Tough Question

easter eggs

Image courtesy of jannoon028 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In honor of Easter, and to make up for the fact that I missed my post last week, here’s a bonus. Easter is one of the holidays (Christmas being the other one) with a made up figure that parents pretend is real. They actively lie to their children in order to do this. Some say it’s all in good fun. Others feel this discourages critical thinking and encourages belief without evidence.

Personally, I lean towards not lying to my (hypothetical) kids because I don’t want to do either of the aforementioned things. I realize that means my kid may ruin it for someone else’s kid, but I also feel like, why lie to a kid if that can be avoided?

I don’t have kids right now though, so for me this is all hypothetical. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment! All opinions are welcome. Just be respectful and think things through first.

Happy thinking!

-Nancy

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3 thoughts on “A Tough Question

  1. I have kids, older now, and here’s how we did it:

    Santa and the Easter Bunny are such cultural things that we never needed to tell our children all that much about them, they just soaked it up. We went to see Santa, hung up stockings each year, put out baskets for the Easter Bunny to fill, and teeth put under the pillow were duly replaced with money. But we never said “You should believe this” or “This is True”. And when one of the kids would ask “Is Santa real?” we would reply “Well, what do you think about that?” followed by “And why do you think that?” and then, “OK”. And we talked about critical thinking a lot, and also read ancient mythology. My oldest daughter eventually designed an experiment on her own to test the Tooth Fairy (which the Tooth Fairy failed) and the next day asked me “Mom, is the Tooth Fairy really you and Dad?” “Yes, that’s right,” I said. “So you’re also Santa and the Easter Bunny too then?” That did it for all those beliefs, but she played along until her little sister figured it out too.

    It was a good exercise in critical thinking for them. Both kids also thought there might be a god when they were young, since our culture is full of preaching and their fundie uncle would give them preachy gifts. But when they figured out about Santa, that did it for Jesus too. Both are solid atheists now, without us having to push it on them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a very interesting way to do it. I had not thought of it as a way to teach critical thinking, but you make an excellent point. Really for me, it’s mainly when kids ask something like, “How can Santa visit all those houses in one night?” and the parents say, “Magic!” that I get frustrated with the idea of playing along. Turning that on its head and making it a learning experience sounds like a fantastic idea to me. I’m glad to hear it worked for your family.

      Liked by 1 person

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