The monster under the bed

authority figures, Bible, God, Santa Claus,

The monster under the bed

We were all told stories as children. Stories to teach us life lessons but mostly to stop us from misbehaving. At first, this sounds great. But what effects can these stories have in the long run?

A doctor from Pensnsylvania, America, says that telling your children stories is perfectly normal and should indeed be practiced for the sake of moral teaching. But he adds that this stories should never be told as though they are true, and when asked, the parent has the responsibility of telling the child the truth. Anything other than the truth could cause children to have irrational minds when it comes to belief. They would deem “good behaviour” as something that should be rewarded rather than as something that is done because it is the right thing to do.

He claims that filling our children’s heads with fairy tales such as Santa Claus and the monster under the bed can indeed teach them good things. But once they find out that these stories or characters are not true, the result can be distrust not just between parent and child, but also between the child and all authority figures.

There have long been different methods for teaching children. Some are welcomed as the norm, while others are frowned upon. But it is important to note that educating children in our own beliefs, such as in God, is completely different from teaching them fictional stories when we know those stories are false.

Some parents may say it is harmless to allow their child to run around the house with a cape on like superman pretending to fly. It seems harmless. However, it becomes a problem the moment the child climbs on the roof and tries to fly because the child believes it is possible.

When we use myths to alter our child’s behaviour, is it really the right way to go?

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