Parents are doing themselves an injustice when they tell their children to believe in the Easter Bunny.
Little children believe what their parents tell them. Their little trusting eyes light up at the thought of a cute bunny coming to give presents in the spring. The cute chocolate bunny-shaped candies, colored eggs and jelly beans are abundant during the holiday. The candy, the Easter egg hunts, and the presents are what the young ones look forward to around this time. What happens when they find out that the Easter Bunny is not real?
Children trust their parents. If you have a good relationship with your children, you should tell them the truth, otherwise you can damage their trust in you later on. There is nothing wrong with coloring eggs and having fun with your children. Telling them myths about how they get their presents or making up stories to explain an important holiday like Easter can plant a small seed of distrust in your children. You may not see the effects of this until years later, but they won’t forget the time they found out you told them something that wasn’t really true.
Some people say, “Let them believe, don’t take their innocence away.” I don’t think telling them the truth is taking their innocence away. It’s alright for them to play pretend, but you shouldn’t create stories in their mind, and teach them to believe in things that you don’t even truly believe yourself.
After a childhood of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth-fairy, it is no wonder that teenagers withdraw from their parents. When they are old enough to know that they can’t trust certain people, you do not want to be one of those people on the “do not trust’ list. It can be fun and a great bonding time when you give your children presents and stuffed bunny toys, but you can enjoy their innocence without lying to them.
For a person of faith to teach a child to go to church and believe in God, and then tell them to believe in fictitious characters at the same time can be harmful. Confusing them in this way can lead them to a place where they don’t know what to believe. It can make it much harder for you to pass down religious beliefs with this contradictory behavior. You should encourage your children to play and enjoy childhood as much as possible. At the same time, you should pass down your values and traditions.
There is nothing wrong with the Easter Bunny, the Tooth-fairy or Santa Claus, as long as you teach your kids that it’s just a game of pretend. They can have just as much fun with it. Why not tell them where their gifts really come from? Telling them the effort that you put into providing those things for them can help them appreciate your love through that gift giving. Why should you credit someone else with loving and giving to your kids? Think about it, wouldn’t you rather your children believe in you?
Share your faith with your kids, and show them to believe what you believe. In the long run, it will prove much more valuable to your child than to remember that what Mommy and Daddy said wasn’t true.