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The Lies Parents Tell: Truth in Magic

Lies Parents Tell: Truth In Magic via Magic, Believe, Imagination, Childhood, Wonder, Creativity, Inspire

As parents, we have encouraged our children to use their imaginations and to look at the world through a different lens. To see the possibilities – the magic – in everything around them.

We knowingly nurtured a talent to suspend belief because we recognize value in a world of make believe. We believe that in the ability to see things outside of someone else’s perceived truth exists the building blocks of great change. Of potential and creativity. Of originality and ingenuity. Of innovation and art. Of leadership.

Enthusiasm danced in the thrill of each new mystic adventure. Joy lived in my children’s squeals of delight. My heart swelled at the look of wonder in their eyes.

Magic truly lived in those special times together

Together, we spied fairies in rainbow reflections on the wall, or the twinkling dust diamonds in the air, as the sunlight snuck through the window at dinner. We crafted wee treasures for magical creatures to find and built small dwellings to offer refuge from the Muggle world. We wondered aloud whether each tooth fairy were assigned a family or a ‘route’ and whether she turned the water the colour of her dress.

In those cherished moments, we were unburdened by someone else’s version of truth.

Truth in Magic: Lies Parents Tell via Fairy, Fairies, magic, Believe, Imagination

We fuelled our creative spirits. Our children’s minds were lit. Their imaginations soared, free from the overly large and heavy realities that rest on the shoulders of adults – an enchanted carpet ride.

Magic truly lived in those special times together.

Until an adult relative told my kids that the belief in magic we have fostered in our home is all based on lies. Who would do that? Why, right?

In a word – Religion.

Spending time with my children during the holiday season, she-who-shall-not-be-named thought it the perfect time to make sure the kids knew about the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas. Whether her religious beliefs are shared by our family apparently held no weight when inspired by God to share the truth as taught by her church.

‘What about Santa?’ my son asked. 

Which was when she decided to tell ‘the truth’ – she told him we were lying to them.

Our decisions – and what we value for our children – are threatened by others’ need to validate their own belief system, story, or choices

Suddenly, no longer fueled by belief, the magic ceased to exist. An innocence vanished. And potential futures faded like Tinkerbell herself.

Truth in Magic: Lies Parents Tell via Angels, Religion, Magic, Belief, Children, Make BelieveHow does the supposed truth of the invisible Holy Ghost, or Angels on high, give anyone the authority to deem Santa or winged fairies mere lies we tell our children? Can you imagine the outrage if I destroyed someone’s religious beliefs to their child, dismissing them as fantasy? Because, while I’ve never said it, I can’t say I believe in her magical beings either, with their grand promises if outdated instructions are blindly followed. But I would never call her out as a liar.

Because here is where fact actually resides: others may not be as respectful to our truth as we are to their version of reality. Our decisions – and what we value for our children – are threatened by others’ need to validate their own belief system, story, or choices. This is the truth at the heart of the ‘Mommy’ wars: the debate on co-sleeping; breast is best; and every other parenting choice people feel strongly about. 

Truth in Magic: Lies Parents Tell via I believe, magic, Santa, Childhood, Wonder, Christmas, Magic of the Season

In our home, we will continue to clap our hands and loudly shout “I believe” so that all things magic – all things possible – continue to exist for our children.  And we will teach our children to respect that others will hold a belief system – with associated practices and values – that are different than their own.

We will teach our children that truth and lies are relative – Especially in parenting.

Even more so in Magic.




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  • Reply Jenn May 18, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Aww, it’s no one’s business but a parent to tell their kids the “truth” like that!
    We don’t “do” Santa, but I would never presume to tell a child that’s not mine what he should believe about the Big Guy! Similarly, I tell my son that it’s not his job to tell kids that Santa’s not real – he should just smile & nod.

    • Reply Joan May 18, 2016 at 11:22 am

      And that is the thing of it, isn’t it Jenn? Realizing that other family’s belief system may be different than your own but that it holds value for them and deserves respect. This ‘Golden Rule’ can be applied to magic as it can all other things.

  • Reply Victoria Ess May 18, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    I can’t believe she did that! I never thought of this issue in this way, but I agree that it is like disrespecting another person’s belief system.

    • Reply Joan May 18, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      I am honoured that something I wrote has helped you to look at magic in a new way. My work here today is done…*Drops Mic*

  • Reply Mike Gismondi May 18, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    That’s crazy! Who do that to someone else’s kid?

  • Reply Mary McLaurine May 20, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    While I agree it was a terrible thing for a family member or anyone to do, the fact of the matter is no one can steal your magic or that of your children. It’s like love – it is love. As you wrote so beautifully, you will continue the journey of exploration and whimsical possibilities with and for your children and for that, they will remain in the land of Oz, flying with Tinkerbell and waiting for Santa. There is magic everywhere and I am so happy you have instilled such a sense of wonder and wisdom in your children. No one can ever take that away.

  • Reply Book Review / Y.A. Fantasy : Shadow Shifts Tour - mADD worldmADD world May 21, 2016 at 10:25 am

    […] Read more about how we encouraged our children to see the possibilities – the magic – in everything around them in The Lies Parents Tell: Truth in Magic. […]

  • Reply Kyla Matton Osborne (Ruby3881) May 22, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Fortunately, we haven’t encountered anyone who was quite so overt in their efforts to convert our children to their world view. I definitely identify with the vulnerability of not following the dominant path, but I do believe it’s possible for our children to come through their youth with magic still intact. My almost-19-year-old still believes, and at this point I don’t think anyone can shake her faith.

  • Reply Sarah L May 28, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Ah, the evils in the world that are fueled by ‘religion’. Teach your children to respect the views of others but not to give up what they believe. Fairies live at the bottom of my garden.

    • Reply Joan May 30, 2016 at 9:31 am

      I agree – respect is key. And lucky is the garden where fairies dwell and magic blooms.

  • Reply Carole D, May 29, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Wow! I don’t know what to say but I was raise with religion and we knew the true meaning of Christmas but we also believed in Santa, tooth fairy and Angels and fairy dust! I actually still believe in Angel. I’m not sure if religion should be blame for this, but then I don’t know what religion you are talking about. But I really thing, this person was very ignorant, rude and not minding her own business. How could you brake a child dream???

    • Reply Joan May 30, 2016 at 9:27 am

      It’s was tough to be respectful of her beliefs and still tell this story – but I think I managed fairly well. 🙂 My intent is not to blame one religious belief, or any one belief at all. (I actually didn’t talk about what our spiritual beliefs at all other than to share that we believe in magic). I really wanted to show that no one’s beliefs are more “true” than our own and that we need to try to respect one another’s choices in all things.

  • Reply Krista M May 30, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Oh wow, that is so sad to hear. I would be devastated if someone were to crush my child’s dreams like that. Whether someone believes or not, they have no right to push their own agenda/opinion on others.

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