Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thoughts to Ponder this morning

This time of year in a preschool  classroom are always tough for me.   Here is a scene from yesterday.

Big Bird:   This is December, Santa comes and brings us presents!
Bob The Builder: No, Santa isnt real.
Big Bird: Yes, he is .  I saw him.
Bod The Builder:  No he isnt. My mom says he isnt real.

Big Bird: Ms Debbie, Bob the Builder said Santa is real..isnt he?

I absolutely hate this.  We did have fun with Santa in my house  when the kids were little but brought the focus always back to the real reason we celebrate.  I think there is a way to both.

Some may say:  Well, that is a lie  and we teach not to lie.

It is also a lie when a child asks you to play a game and as a mom you say---- " Just a minute" knowing it will be a while if ever.. before you do it.   

My job is to protect the safety ( physical and emotional) of all children in my care.   It is my job also to respect the way a family has chosen to raise their children.  

Is there a good way to say both are right?  Is there a way to make Big Bird  feel like his mommy is right ( and in fact she really is)   and not crush the spirit of imagination that many families over generations have fostered?  I tell fairy tales all the time because they generally teach you something.  When Pinocchio would tell a lie, his nose would grow.  The kids all know in real life that doesnt happen, but it makes them " think".   I don't have to say - he isnt real.

During circle time today we did a Venn Diagram... What you know chart -  In the middle I wrote Christmas .  I asked the children to tell me what they know. We went on for quite a while but not one told me it was Jesus birthday.  I expected it atleast from Big Bird. Finally I said, who's birthday is it this month.  Two of the children that have birthdays this month proudly said " ME!"  Then I talked about Jesus birth.  

I am very confused ( every year ) on how to deal with this issue.  I guess you could say I am a fence straggler.  I wish I could profoundly be both ways but there is not denying that Santa is not real and to say he is is a lie.  But I also love the magic that Santa brings at Christmas and enjoyed  it with my own children and would never take that away from another family.

Does that make us less Christian than folks that don't celebrate Santa?

During all our discussion yesterday one little girl got so confused. She said " Ms Debbie , when Jesus comes at Christmas, I am going to teach him Spanish."  :)

Usually at the end of a blog I feel relieved or even work my own little problem out. I dont feel that today - still confusion.   

I guess I better get up and get ready, my 16 little elves will be coming in shortly and I will have to be on my toes to keep on top of this one today!


AdamandKaylasmommy said...

LOL at the nicknames you have given to the kids. I struggled about blogging about people I work with, because some know about the blog and some do not, so I came up with nicknames!

About Santa, We choose to believe in Santa, however I respect the right to not believe in him. With that said, I wish that parents who teach there kids that there isn't a Santa would explain to there child that some familes like to believe in that and to keep your "Santa isnt real" comments to yourself. It really it magical in our house and I love seeing things in my childrens eyes.

Last year Todd and I explained to Adam that Jesus' birthday is the reason for Christmas day, and he got REALLY confused. He thought that Jesus was coming to bring him presents.

Just one last random thought. What about people who do not believe that Jesus was actually born on December 25th? Isnt that a lie???

Jessica said...

Teach the Jesus story, and keep up the Santa tradition. That's all I know to suggest. I'd be downright pissed to find out my 3 and 5 year olds found out from another kid that Santa isn't real. Blah. That's like one of the biggest fun traditions worldwide and you shouldn't feel obligated to tell "the truth" Mrs. Debbie. I agree with Adam's mama, just tell that kid he's right technically but that lots of other kids do believe in Santa so let's keep that secret to ourselves, or something.

I will also say, this explains why Elliot went to great lengths last night to explain to us how he KNEW that Harry Potter wasn't real (our family loves HP.) But Tim ventured a tentative question about Santa and Elliot acted like "duh of course Santa's real." So that was good. :)

I don't understand why religious people seem to think they have to exclude secular traditions to honor the religious ones. Why can't we have both Jesus and Santa, Jesus and the easter bunny. It's double the fun.

Anonymous said...

Anything you can do to keep the magic alive for preschoolers is worth it, I think.

I enjoy your blog, and I've tagged you!