Teaching Kids to Tell the Truth
Teaching kids to tell the truth has implications that will shape their emotional and social development. From an early age, children know how to avoid unpleasant consequences or try to get what they want by lying. While this is troubling to parents, it is normal. But at Learning Zone, we address these incidents as “teaching moments.”
Another normal stage in development for children from two to six years old is magical thinking. This stage involves imaginative play, possibly imaginary friends, dressing up and pretending. Believing in fantasies also accompanies this developmental phase.
The Santa Claus Dilemma
The Santa Claus fantasy is a perfect example of the magical thinking stage. Many parents are conflicted about how to handle Santa Claus with their children. Some parents like to fully engage their children’s imaginations and embrace the fantasy with whole-heartedness.
Other parents may tell their children that Santa Claus is just a story and discourage them from “believing” in Santa. (This approach makes it easier to explain why there are so many different Santas around.)
Teaching Kids to Tell the Truth Doesn’t Have to Mean Kicking Santa to the Side
If you are in the first group that embraces the fantasy, there will come a time when your child questions Santa’s existence. When children begin questioning, they are ready to hear the truth. While children are in the magical thinking stage, the Santa story doesn’t seem like a lie. But once a child starts to grow out of this stage, persisting in the Santa story definitely will seem like a lie. So, it’s best to explain the Santa fantasy at your first opportunity.
Find a Learning Zone Preschool Near You
At Learning Zone, we use imaginative play to make the best use of the magical thinking stage. Children learn so much through imaginative play because it’s fun and doesn’t feel like “learning” at all. We invite you to learn more about our teaching philosophy and to visit one of our facilities.