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  1. #21
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelhair45 View Post
    We've always been honest about Santa and the tooth fairy, or asked, "what do you think?" etc. We have let him take the lead, but when flat out asked, I tell the truth. He's six, we've never told him Santa was real, in fact we've told him the opposite when he asked, but he decided he believes in Santa Claus anyway. So there you have it...
    We did the same with Santa and some of our kids did as your son did and believed in him anyway. We told them about the man the tradition is based on a bit.

    We did/do a lot of the traditions sans mythical creatures. We color and hunt Easter eggs (all three teenagers still like participating along with their younger brother) but they know it's dad and I who are out hiding the eggs and they get baskets and/or candy. I don't put the tooth fairy money under the pillow, but I do give them money for lost teeth. They have generally been pretty happy with the arrangement as far as we can tell.

    I did actually find it pretty disappointing to discover there was no Santa and felt deceived, but it was in a greater context of deception.

    If one of my kids asks about something I try to explain it the best I can and if I think they need to know about stuff, I tell them. Too much information can be as bad as too little/incorrect information. If I don't know the answer to something, I tell them that, too. And sometimes I tell them several different schools of thought if it's something based on opinion.

    I'm also dealing with autism with my sons. I know they are capable of blurting things out at inopportune times, so I take that into consideration. I also take into consideration that they often see things in a very black and white way, so the relative value of truth is not always there -- a lie is a lie is a lie to them. There aren't little and big lies or malicious/harmless/polite lies . . . yet. And I spend time explaining that while we may not think something is important, people have to be humored to some degree and explaining/translating social concept that other kids often grasp intuitively.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #22
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Ivan Turgenev once said that an intelligent man's task is to gently open one's eyes rather than tear them out, however, there are compelling reasons to question that the intelligent man will have the incentive to even attempt to open them.

    There are economical and moral benefits of "lying to children". Books of popularizers who simply scientific, spiritual and philosophical ideas tend to sell with far greater success than those of writers who display intellectual honesty. In the heyday of modern capitalism, money dictates much of our rational self-interest and as a result there is simply very little room for the community activity of truth-telling.

    We also ought to remember that although many of us are adults by law, we are still children with respect to our intellectually development. Very few forum members enjoy reading challenging material or for that matter have even had a single intellectual challenge in their lives. The same can be said about the majority of contemporary Western persons. It is therefore questionable whether it is possible to open the eyes of most people without tearing them out.
    Ahem, that was just out and out insulting.
    I (and others) may not post like I swallowed a dictionary, but I do not need to prove to others just how intellectually superior I am, or wave in the face of others, that I have a better comprehesion of the world at large than they do.
    I do not disagree with the sentiment of your post, I agree, there are a large degree of people largely wrapped in the concerns of thier day to day lives, and barely have a glimmer of understanding of how thier lives and even their thoughts are manipulated, but don't you think you should step down from your ivory tower, and mix it with the common people so they may eventually come to understand the underlying currents. It can be done gently, and one person at a time. Just kick starting thought processes is all you need.
    Your tone of disdain irritated me immensely.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

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  3. #23
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    I don't have kids, but if my childhood was anything to go by, I always figured it out anyway, so lying was pointless. I do believe you have temper the truth to the understanding of the child in question.
    The only thing was I did cling on to believing Santa Claus etc, more because I loved the fanatasy, and whimsy, rather than not comprehending the truth. I don't think my mother understood that....she rather cruelly destroyed that small refuge of whimsy when I was eight. Not understanding I actually knew she brought the presents....she screamed at me (and I'm sure hit me, can't remember, don't want to), saying I was an ungrateful brat. I also kinda understand what it is to be given too much truth as a child. I really didn't have a childhood, and was faced from a very early age with very harsh realities, plus my mother used me as her confident (the gift of being fairly perceptive) so I was struggling with fairly adult concepts . It's made me the person I am, but I kinda wish my children (if I have them) have a more innocent childhood. I want them to think for themselves, but I don't want them bogged down with it.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

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  4. #24
    . Blank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    and consequential thinking doesnt develop until 19 or 20 and very possibly later in life now.
    That's bullshit. I've been consciously thinking about the consequences of my actions since I was at least 9 years old.
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  5. #25
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    I fear already for my future children, because I'm unable to lie. But I think it's necessary at first because you've got to simplify the world. I don't fear questions like "what's a prostitute?" but questions like "how does a television work?"
    Because a television needs electricity, waves, fosforescence (or LEDs),... I fear I will make it much too complicated just because I don't want to lie about television fairies or something! I really need to find out simplified versions of everything.
    My ENTP dad would do that. I'd ask a question about something and he'd go on and on until I tuned him out. Maybe that's why I eventually just turned to books instead. That way I could learn at my own pace and skim over parts that didn't interest me.

    When I'm with kids I usually give a very simple answer to start with. For the TV question, I might just say, "Electricity comes out of this outlet and through this wire, and the TV uses that to make pictures and sound". Then if the kid wants to know more, (s)he can ask further questions. That way kids can guide the explanation and decide what they're interested in and what they want to hear about. Sometimes just having a name for something is enough, and they don't really want any more details.

    I actually would have a harder time with the "what is a prostitute" question (depending on age). As others have said, you don't want to tell them anything they can't put into context yet, but kids often sense when you're leaving things out or when you're hesitant to discuss something. And they'll often fill in details on their own. My brother was maybe seven or eight years old when he heard the word "hooker" mentioned on TV, and our mother just told him, "they sell their bodies for money" and didn't elaborate further. Then one day out of nowhere, he worriedly asked me, "Won't hookers eventually die?" It turned out that he'd been imagining people literally cutting off parts of their bodies and selling them for money until they died. So much for protecting his innocence.

    The Santa Claus business doesn't bother me in itself, but I hated how my mother kept trying to push it on me after I'd figured it out and refused to tell me the truth. I also hate how some parents threaten their kids for lack of belief (I guess you won't be getting any presents then...). I like the idea of acknowledging the truth but carrying on the traditions anyway, as cafe and ceecee described. Or letting the kid decide as in angelhair's post.

  6. #26
    . Blank's Avatar
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    The Santa Claus thing traumatized me as a kid.

    Fuck that shit.
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  7. #27
    Senior Member guesswho's Avatar
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    I think kids should know the truth from their parents. They're gonna find out from older kids anyway.

  8. #28
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    I think it's contextual.
    For example, if my child asked me about sex i have no problem discussing the truth with my children because i think it ridiculous to make it taboo, i think it's good to talk to them about it from an early age, even diagrams. As long as it is talked about in a respectful way, that is very important.
    However, my father recently tried to take his life, i do not discuss that with them because i think it would make them feel very unhappy, insecure and fearful for their grandad. Instead i say that he had to go into hospital because he is not very well in his mind... i explained it in terms of psyical ill health but affecting the mind.
    When they are older and more independant i can talk to them about it.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  9. #29
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    In my eyes, if you're old enough and smart enough to comprehend the truth.. than you are also smart/old enough to understand why someone would lie to you about it. If you cannot see the entire picture, maybe you aren't as wise at your age as you think you are.
    Why should the adults be lying to kids in the first place, though? That's the question.

    Obviously, kids can be misled (adults, too). It's not the kids responsibility to separate truth from lies (well, it is if the parents are liars, but that's what we're talking about!). I think ideal parents would tell the truth or explicitly state that they aren't going to explain. Telling a straight up lie will have more consequences than a refusal to tell the truth -- the kid will figure it out eventually, and then they'll label their own parents untrustworthy.

    Not a good way to encourage learning and asking questions, IMO.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blank View Post
    That's bullshit. I've been consciously thinking about the consequences of my actions since I was at least 9 years old.
    Yeah you could very well believe that but this is based upon brain scans, in younger people they can behave in such a way and even believe they are behaving in such a way that reflects consequentialism but its a variety of other things which are incentivising the behaviour, ie attachment, affect and emotion, bonding.

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