My three year old grandson looked directly into the eyes of his Lightening McQueen Car (The car does have eyes) and said,
“It’s okay, I’m right here.”
Some adults feel uncomfortable with pretend. Yet it is a very real developmental stage of children.
Piaget’s animistic thought means children give life to objects that are not living. It is their brain’s way of figuring out their world. There is so much literature and statistics and theories about the why’s and reasons. Some children keep pretending well into their early tweens and this is normal behavior. To play is acting out and creating social stories about real life and how they fit into it. Some pretend play is quite involved.
But what you should ask yourself is why you are so uncomfortable with it?
In the matter of Christmas the con chatter is a BIG lie you are initiating with the Big Man in the Red Suit.
“My children are smarter than that!”
But they are forgetting that children are not adults and their brains are not adult brains. Yet, even after they tell them…their children still want to believe and question why others do.
Do you remember the Christmas when you finally figured out yourself how it works, without anyone telling you? Surprise! That was your brain growing up. So many parents ruin the beautiful surprise of wonder and fascination by worrying that if they encourage enchantment it will give children false hope. Yet on the contrary the ones who get to believe in the magical already are using their brain muscles to learn how to believe and have faith. Their own brains figure it out when they are ready and that is the key.
Give them time to be children. Give them time to believe in enchantment and encourage it. It will be delightful for you as well as them. Santa Claus is so wonderful. But he is because you make him so…
Isn’t it fascinating that much of the world makes it so too…
How great is that!