Is convincing a young child that Santa Claus exists considered "child abuse"?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Relic, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Yes, I actually overheard that charge this weekend while Christmas shopping.

    Standing in line behind two sort of soccer moms, eavesdropping in on their conversation (because I'm shameless and nosy), one mentions that "Santa's pack is full this year" gesturing at the brimming shopping cart. This prompts the other to go on a tangent about how "lying to your kids about some stupid fat guy who does the impossible is like child abuse because it shows such little respect for them". This prompted a bickering session which was a bit entertaining to a guy stuck in a long line at a toy store behind soccer moms..

    But anyway, it got me to thinking about how I never thought about it that way. When I was little, the whole "Christmas magic", Santa Claus, and the religious aspect behind it was this amazing, incredible, magical thing that I loved dearly.
    it's such a fond memory of mine that even now as I'm fast-approaching fogey-hood, I still remember the "magic" and the great feelings it gave me. It was awesome.
    When my two oldest were little, I did the whole Santa bit and we still do this with my youngest. I always thought it such an innocent, pleasant thing.
    But lying to your kids for your own enjoyment...even if it's well-intentioned - do you feel that it's "child abuse" and/or does it show a "lack of respect for them" as this woman said - how do you feel about it?
  2. Ziltoid


    Apr 10, 2009
    You're right, it was awesome. To me taking the magic out of Christmas is worst than the "Christmas lie".
  3. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA

    Consider it present payback for the future, when your children will constantly commit "parent abuse" by lying to you nonstop.
  4. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Bah. We lie to our kids all the time. As long as you lie with love in your heart, it's cool.
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  6. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    The spirit of Christmas continues in me at least. Christmas eve is a magical night. It's not a tuesday or a Saturday, but Christmas eve, when Santa comes. Even as an old adult, the feelings tingle inside with childhood memories, and now memories of our children when they were young. Santa was real for me. It became even more real for me as an adult playing Santa for a charity in Calgary for three years in a row, where we visited families dealing with despair on Christmas eve: death in family, divorce, broke, single mom's....people that had bottomed out, were visited by Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Santa came with toys, clothes, food, cash, cash, cash...all donated.

    Santa does exist. Santa is about love and hope. Santa takes on different froms as we go through life.

    The lady suggesting we are damaging kids, wears underwear that is far too tight.
  7. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Brian - great post, I can definitely agree with that.
  8. adivin

    adivin Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    New Orleans, LA
    I think telling a child there is no Santa is child abuse.
  9. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    Wait a's Jesus H's birthday, and then his dad, duh...."God, Santa, whatever, NOT the phoney grocery store entrance ones ringing the bells" comes down in a red suit, beard, the whole get up....but so not to be selfish he showers the world with presents under a lit up dead tree that just so happens to smell a lot like those air fresheners that look similar (but smaller). I mean, that's it right? What's the "lie" part?
  10. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Banned

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    Didn't this thread come up last year around this time?

    And no, it's not child abuse. That's such a gross misappropriation of that term it's sad.
  11. It trivializes actual child abuse cases by saying it is.
  12. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2011
    San Franciscco, CA
    Definetly abuse. My parents lied to me about it and I have had to spend years in therapy trying to recover. Evey time I see and overwieght gentleman with a white beard my right eye starts twitching and I have an overwhelming desire to steal barber poles. The mere sight of a douglas fir brings on cravings for Tinkertoys and Lincoln Logs. One year I had a serious episode at the Great Mall in Milpitas because I saw a Santa pull up in an old Pinto. I started shouting reindeers, reindeers where's the freaking reindeers. My wife tried to calm me down but it was no use. I ended up in his face screaming at him "Your not the real Santa, if you were you wouldn't be driving this piece of excrement Pinto. The mall cops tazed me and the lawsuit in still pending. One of these days I hope to get through the month of December without pulling off people's hats to see if they have pointed ears. :rolleyes:
  13. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Things like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny et al sparks a child's imagination and provides a foundation of belief, and that, to me, is well worthwhile. Child abuse? That's ridiculous. :scowl:
  14. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    "Child abuse" is a bit much.
    However, my parents vowed to each other that they'd always be honest with me, and I'm eternal grateful. The fact that it included sitting me down when I was in preschool and telling me that there was no Santa Claus does NOT change my opinion. Actually, I thought it was cool that I knew something none of the other kids did! Furthermore, I never wrecked it for those other kids.
    Finally, I think encouraging "belief" in something unreal is not helpful to humans in our current stage of evolution.
  15. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK
    I wouldn't call it abuse, but I wouldn't call it being responsible either.

    My daughter is 9, and I've never bothered with the Santa Claus thing. Her mother did, after the divorce. Her mother filled her head full of a lot of nonsense I have had to undo. Santa Claus, God, pots of gold and rainbows, etc. We have a great time during the holidays. This year, we are making our own Yule celebration, with some traditional Yule aspects, but mostly our own thing.

    Instead of marveling at fairy tales, I have taught her to marvel at the real mystery and wonder of the world, and the universe, etc.
  16. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    Preposterous ! Implausible ! Inconceivable !

    Sadly, what little magic is left has been relegated to sappy hallmark christmas special movies. Political correctness is on a mission to stomp the living crap out of whats left of childhood innocense and wonder.
  17. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Santa is the personification of the Christmas spirit and, as such, makes giving easier to understand. Can it be 'child abuse'. Anything can be 'child abuse' if it's used the wrong way. Religion can be child abuse, if used to manipulate behavior.
  18. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    Its not worse than telling your child that a god exists
  19. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Not "political correctness." Truth.

    And kids have perfectly good imaginations. They can come up with all of the magical stuff and wonder that they require. I just don't exactly agree with parents proactively and deliberately misleading their kids.
  20. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
  21. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2011
    San Franciscco, CA
    Or teaching them that things like materilism and/or hedonism will bring us joy. Lead by example that the universe exists to bring them happiness. That a narcissistic life pursuing your own selfish gains at the expense of friendship and love are what life is all about as long as you come out on top.