Part of what inspired my "digging into the Santa thing" was my son's recent question after school one day, "Can Santa see me all the time? Can he see me now?" He seemed concerned. As I've made it my mission to lie minimally in regards to Santa, I quickly changed the subject. Below, I consider my most dire concerns around the Santa thing.
In my last post I shared that I "do Santa" in my own way now, but due to my observations over the years, and in light of recent events, I'm leaning towards ending the Santa thing. So what does Harvey Weinstein have to do with it? The Santa thing sets children up to respond to the Harvey Weinsteins of the world in ways I don't want my kids to respond. It also conflicts with what I value most as I parent my kids. I continue on below with which specific values it is incompatible with and why.
Everyone likes a thankful and happy child who appreciates everything done for them. But helping a child become this grateful is not easy. It requires more than just training a child to say "thank you." A child might say thank you all the time, but still have a bad attitude. What they really need is gratitude. Having gratitude means doing more than being thankful. It also means valuing the kindness of the giver. For a child to have true gratitude, they must be able to see the difference between what's owed, what's earned, and what's a gift. Gratitude is an attitude of the heart and a sign of good character. It is the cure for entitlement, needed for contentment, and leads to generosity.
In part 1 I shared that I "do Santa" in my own way now, but due to my observations over the years, and in light of recent events, might put that tradition to rest. So what does Harvey Weinstein have to do with it? Some of what parents do with Santa has turned him into a bit of a groomer and a few other things that I don't want shaping my children. I'm continuing on with comparing the Santa paradigm as it relates to what I value most as I parent my kids.
I know I sound like a jerk for even making the comparison, but just hear me out.
- From my new book, "Parenting in Christ: Lessons from the Parables" available for 99 cents on preorder from Amazon until Christmas.
No matter how good we talk about ourselves, our behaviors and attitudes are what reveal what's really in our hearts. The truth is that the good and bad things we do and say start with our thoughts. Who we really are is revealed when no one is watching. What we value becomes obvious when we face hard choices. God knows our thoughts, who we really are, and wants us to be the same whether or not someone else is watching. This is called having integrity. Integrity is important in relationships because it builds trust and creates closeness. A parent with integrity is a blessing to their child.