Social Question

Aethelwine's avatar

Were you damaged by the lies your parents told you when you were young?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) December 1st, 2010

I’m specifically talking about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy.

When you found out the truth, were you traumatized? Does it affect you now in your adulthood? Are you upset your parents lied to you?

I have great appreciation for the lies my parents told me. They bring back a magical time in my childhood. A time of good memories.

I ask because I know there are some people that think it is wrong to lie to children about these holiday/special moment figures. I’d like to know if anyone has been damaged by these lies, and if you resent your parents for it.

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36 Answers

DominicX's avatar

Nope. :\

I have nothing but fond memories of such things.

chyna's avatar

I believed it all, Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy. I don’t know when I stopped believing, but I don’t think it hurt me in any way. I love that I have the memories of believing in fairy tales.

tinyfaery's avatar

It was all in good fun. I appreciate the whimsy of these childhood fantasies.

AmWiser's avatar

Most children probably realize the truth long before the parents decide to tell them otherwise. If a child is traumatized by learning the truth about these fictitious characters, that child might be a candidate for some kind of psycological counselling

lillycoyote's avatar

I’m with @DominicX. None of the lies my parents told me were at all damaging, though I did kind of resent it when it finally hit me that when my mother read Dr. Suess’s Sleep Book and she started yawning and making it seem like it was tireing her out and making her sleepy, that that was just a big show and manipulation to try to get me to go to sleep, but I pretty much got over it.

Aethelwine's avatar

@AmWiser My six year old daughter is more traumatized by the stuffed singing surfing chicken that starts singing Surfing Safari out of nowhere because the batteries are dying. Santa is nothing compared to this thing!

Kafka's avatar

I never believed in Santa, tooth fairy or the Easter bunny. My family never encouraged belief in such things, but it there were other non holiday related lies that my mom told us that were more like practical jokes. For example, when I was four my mom bought me some hot chocolate and put a stir straw in it, I went to the bathroom and when I came back my hot chocolate was gone. I asked my mom what happened and she said it was the straw that absorbed my drink. Anyway I believed her and never put one of those straws in my drink until I was 15 and suddenly realized she had lied. Somehow that changed the terms of our relationship and now we always play pranks on each other. So in conclusion, as a parent you should lie to your kids because it’s sometimes funny and because it can be positive in the future.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I have nothing but good memories of all those things as well. When I learned the truth, things changed a bit. Since I have a younger brother, it meant I got to stay up late and help Santa or the Easter Bunny get things ready for when my brother woke up in the morning. It was all fun for us.

fundevogel's avatar

The only ones that had recognizable repercussions were religious. Perhaps if I was expected to pay tribute to Santa Claus every day, observe his commands and love him as a father it would be a different story. But Santa, the Easter bunny and tooth fairy all have a very limited role in every day life. There is very little difference between life lived by a child that thinks a rabbit hides the eggs and the life of one that knows their dad does.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

No. There were a lot of lies that damaged me, but those weren’t on the list.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@jonsblond : Perhaps the Stuffed Singing Surfing Chicken has been possessed by Party Favor Fish ?

MissAusten's avatar

Curse you, Party Favor Fish!!

No, I was not at all upset when I learned Santa and those other imaginary beings were not real. I was more like, “Ha! I knew it!” I look back on it as being a lot of fun. My mom used to write letters to us from Santa, and she was really good and disguising her writing. My brother and I were totally fooled! My parents had a lot of flaws, and my mom in particular has some serious issues. Christmas was one of the few things my parents managed to pull off with flying colors every year. :)

JilltheTooth's avatar

Party Favor Fish aside I believe in you, Party Favor Fish! I was delighted with all that stuff, I never felt “betrayed”, and I had a lot of fun with Katawagrey, and I firmly believe she did, too. She still seems to trust me, bunnies, elves and dental sprites notwithstanding.

Supacase's avatar

Goodness, no! Christmastime was magical. I used to ride home from Grandma’s and look into the night sky to see if I could see Santa and the reindeer flying through the sky even after I was pretty sure it wasn’t real. One particular Easter egg hunt is one of my best childhood memories.

Children are able to understand pretend play and make-believe. In fact, they are pretty much the masters of it! They may not know about it at the time, but they understand it after they are in on the secret. It is a way to have fun and play, not deceive.

@jonsblond My daughter has hated all of those singing and dancing stuffed animals (including the band at Chuck E. Cheese) since she was a baby. If it wasn’t meant to talk, then it shouldn’t talk!

J0E's avatar

Not in the least.

This gets asked every year.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Not even close! Although, I still hold out hopes that Santa exists!

Aethelwine's avatar

@J0E Does that mean I can’t ask this myself then?

chyna's avatar

@J0E New jellies, new year, new answers.

Ivan's avatar

I don’t think that’s the point.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Ivan This question is not about asking repeat questions. Why don’t you go ask your own question about the relevance of repeat questions? Oh wait, that’s been done before, so you shouldn’t ask.

J0E's avatar

@jonsblond I think he was speaking of your question, in that it doesn’t matter whether or not we were damaged, it’s still wrong.

free_fallin's avatar

Christmas was once magical. I helped my parents bake Santa cookies, my eyes glistened on Christmas mornings, I felt I heard Santa coming down the chimney, I held onto the notes left from Santa thanking me for the cookies and hot cocoa and when I discovered these things to be false my heart sank. The word “damaged” doesn’t quite fit but I did learn to distrust my parents. I discovered early on that Santa was not real. You can have that magical feeling without the lies, in my opinion. My kids will know where the presents actually come from.

MissAusten's avatar

@free_fallin Santa and the Easter Bunny fall very, very low on the list of ways my parents taught me to distrust them. I’m sure some day my own kids will have their lists of things I did wrong. Maybe Santa will be one of them. Maybe instead it will be my inability to keep up with the laundry, or my ill-timed sarcasm. Who knows. I just try to compensate by plying them with wondrous baked goods on a regular basis. It’s hard to resent someone who presents you with warm, gooey cookies a couple of times a week. ;)

free_fallin's avatar

@MissAusten I think the issue with me was discovering it at such a young age. At 5 years old I could barely understand the concept of what happened, why I had been told something that was clearly false. I was hurt. I had spent years believing in something that seemed so completely magical that nothing could ever take it away from me. I tried to discuss this with my parents but they refused and continued to pretend Santa was real. Maybe they thought if they ignored it that I would also ignore it. Like I said, I think “damaged” is the wrong word as I am definitely not damaged by the lie. It just made me realize very early on that adults will lie to kids no matter the consequences.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Ivan What is your point then? Please share.

Ivan's avatar


I’ve been instructed not to.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I wasn’t damaged in the least! I have nothing but wonderful memories of my childhood and everything magical that I believed in!


JilltheTooth's avatar

Ooh. Think I’ll get some Hot and Sour soup. That’ll make my cold go away. Thanks, @WillWorkForChocolate !

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@JilltheTooth No problem love! Enjoy your soup. Ni!

Aethelwine's avatar

@Ivan I hope you can understand why I misunderstood your first response, since it came directly after @J0E‘s and @chyna‘s concerning repeat questons. “I don’t think that’s the point” isn’t really answering my question. You could just not answer the question if you can’t take the time to explain why you answered the way you did.

free_fallin's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I don’t see anyone not playing nice. I may have a differing opinion regarding teaching my kids about Christmas but that doesn’t mean I think any less of anyone for teaching their kids about Santa. It’s nice to see that it didn’t really damage anyone; happy stories make me happy. :)

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@free_fallin I wasn’t complaining about people teaching their kids about various holiday figures, I was actually referring to the repetitive, annoying bickering that “this question has already been asked in the past.” Happens on half the questions here, and it’s just irritating.

Response moderated
Dog's avatar

[Mod Says:] Please do not derail questions, even in social, bringing up matters that should be addressed to moderation. Please flag questions if you are concerned that they do not meet guidelines.

If you have nothing productive to add to the conversation please move on.


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