December 1, 2004

Santa as a tool of The Man

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at December 1, 2004 12:00 PM

Via James Wolcott, we are told that it's good for kids to believe in Santa Claus, because:

"On balance the tale of Santa Claus is a powerful tool that may serve to nurture social and cognitive development, particularly in a technological society where children mature earlier."

A child's belief in Father Christmas was also an act of faith and many youngsters draw parallels between him and God, she said.

But she argued although they might question their belief in God when they find out Father Christmas does not exist, they do not lose their faith in the long term.

She said: "Their capacity for faith in a higher, transcendent power is not lost just because Santa proves to be mortal."

Put differently, it teaches them to believe lies told them by authority figures in order to keep them obedient. Yeah, that sounds real good. Much better than teaching them skepticism or critical thinking.

Actually, one might hope that when a kid learns that Santa doesn't exist, he will be more apt to question other things he is told, so it's a bit disappointing if this psychiatrist is correct.


"Santa Claus does not exist and there's no Easter Bunny"

---Dennis Leary in his children's song "Life's Gonna Suck (When You Grow Up)"

Did I mention that Nessy is my housemate? (I have a big apartment.)

Posted by: Mason | December 1, 2004 4:33 PM
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