People love mythology. Basically every culture has some kind of mythology. Myths tend to be used to explain and understand the world around us. Our own culture essentially has its mythology as well. Our mythology tends to involve characters and creatures people have fun with, such as Santa Claus. Just about everyone takes enjoyment out of characters like him.
The ones who truly love mythology in our world are children. It it not hard to understand how kids would love fantastic make-believe characters. In fact, a lot of our myths are specifically for children, again like Santa Claus. Parents often teach and encourage their kids to believe in mythical creatures like Santa and the Easter Bunny even though parents, of course, know they are not real. In essence, parents lie to their kids about mythical creatures, but for very benevolent reasons.
Parents certainly are not looking to hurt their kids. For the most part there is nothing wrong with that. However, some of the things we tell kids about mythical creatures can actually do some harm to kids that many parents probably never have even thought of. There are 15 lies we tell kids about mythical creatures that actually do harm.
15 Tooth Fairy - Easy Money
One of the most exciting things that can happen in a child's young life is when they lose a baby tooth. Kids tend to be very excited when they lose a baby tooth. It means that they are growing up, and are no longer babies. Of course, there is always the Tooth Fairy to get excited about as well.
People tell kids that the Tooth Fairy will come and take the kid’s tooth and leave some amount of money behind in exchange for the tooth. All kids love the idea of getting money for their teeth. The only issue is parents need to be careful their child does not develop to big a love of money and become somewhat greedy. This might not be too likely to happen, but is a clear possibility.
14 Leprechauns Are Fun - Offensive Stereotype
Whenever anyone thinks of Ireland it is kind of hard not to think about leprechauns. The little elf-like creatures practically go hand and hand with the Emerald Isle. Of course, leprechauns are practically the mascot for St. Patrick's Day. Kids in particular seem to love leprechauns. They are on kid's cereal boxes, after all.
The only issue is that leprechauns are not necessarily the best ambassadors of Ireland or the Irish people. You could argue that leprechauns are something of an offensive stereotype. People, especially kids, could get the idea that the Irish are all largely leprechaun like, and not in a good way. It is fairly easy to imagine the Irish being green clad, merry tricksters just like leprechauns.
13 Scary Clowns - They're Real
The notion of the scary clowns has become somewhat of a mythical creature in it’s own right. Clowns have long been the subject of nightmares. Famous scary clowns like the comic book villain the Joker and the title character from Stephen King’s 'It' only helps to drive the notion that clowns are scary and dangerous. In order to ease whatever fears kids may have, parents often assure them that scary clowns are not actually real.
The one big problem with that is that scary clowns are very real. They are not exactly the murderous demons popular culture may show them as, but they are trouble makers. It was not all that long ago that people dressing up as clowns simply to scare people were popping up seemingly everywhere. The clowns, as far as anyone knows, did not hurt anyone, other than the reputations of professional clowns. They are still most likely not people you would want your kids to be around though. It might be best if parents did not blanketly say that scary clowns do not exist since that actually do, in some form anyway.
12 Witches Are Pretty Much Real Too
Anyone that has seen the Wizard of Oz as a child knows just how scary witches can potentially be. Of course, with the popularity of Harry Potter, witches are no longer something that is simply to be feared. Whether that or good or bad parents likely explain to their child that witches are make believe and do not actually exist. However, this is a falsehood. Witches do exist.
Witches as they are often shown in popular culture pretty much do not exist. Nevertheless, there are those that are self described witches. They do not actually worship Satan, and are probably not a danger to anyone. Rather than tell kids that witches do not actually exist it might be best to explain to kids that witches as we see in movies do not really exist, but there are people called witches in the world.
11 Ghosts May Exist
Whenever there is some kind of strange noise in the house it is easy for a child's imagination to run wild and assume it is the work of some kind of ghost. In order comfort the child, parents will more than likely explain that ghost are not real. Though the are those that believe ghosts, even malevolent ghosts, to be real most simply view them as being merely mythical. So it is probably best to explain to your child that ghost are simply make believe.
The issue is that ghosts not being real is not entirely accurate. After all, almost everyone believes in some kind of life after death. You could argue that in essence ghosts do exist but only in the afterlife. So rather than simply explain that ghost are not real make sure kids realize (as much as their age permits) that an afterlife is real.
10 Aliens Likely Exist
The notion of UFOs and alien abductions have become somewhat of an American myth. Also, alien characters like Spock and Superman have certainly taken on a mythical quality. Due to how they are portrayed in urban legends and popular culture, parents are prone to dismiss aliens as being nothing more than myths. However, aliens do exist, probably anyway.
It is true that aliens as we see them in movies are not real. However, it is important that children realize that the concept of intelligent life on other planets is very likely according to most. Most scientists agree that aliens almost certainly exist somewhere in the universe. Parents are not really doing their kids any favors by simply dismissing aliens as make believe.
9 The Easter Bunny - The Holiday Is About Who?
If you are a Christian, Easter is a very important and frankly holy holiday. Of course, if you are a kid Easter is all about egg hunts, chocolate bunnies and fun. In other words, for kids Easter is all about the Easter Bunny. There is nothing wrong with parents playing along and pretending the Easter Bunny hid eggs and left the kids presents.
However, if those parents really do view Easter as a sacred day they should make sure their kids know that as well. It is pretty easy for kids to get caught up in all the Easter Bunny stuff and forget about Jesus, which is who the day is really about. Parents need to make sure their child does not get too caught up in all the Easter Bunny stuff. Kids need to know that the holiday is really all about Jesus and not a giant bunny rabbit.
8 Guardian Angels Will Not Protect You
Angels are not mythical to a lot of people that actually believe in them. Guardian angels are a bit different. It is nice to believe that heavenly creatures are watching over people, and many believe that. However, some might make guardian angels into something like superheros. Some parents may lead children to believe that their guardian angel will protect them from harm.
The problem with that is that it is by and large not true. It is fairly safe to assume that no guardian angel is going to protect a child from harm if they fall off of a slide, for example. Kids might get a certain sense that they cannot be hurt as long as a guardian angel is protecting them. Parents need to make sure their kids know that a guardian angel does not give them the power of indestructibility.
7 The Boogeyman Kind Of Exists
When a child goes to sleep for the night it is not uncommon for them to become afraid. The child may likely claim that there is some kind of boogeyman in their closet. In an effort to calm him down the child’s parents will likely tell home that there is nothing to fear. This is where the problem comes in.
There is no such thing as the boogeyman is not entirely true. While it is true that there is no supernatural boogeyman after your child there are very human boogeymen out there. Children need to be made aware that the world is a potentially dangerous place, and there are people that want to hurt them out there. They should not be made so aware that it keeps them up at night, but aware none the less.
6 Elf On The Shelf Can Make Kids Paranoid
In recent years, Elf on the Shelf has become very popular. It is essentially a toy doll that has been folded into the Santa Claus myth. The idea is the doll is really one of Santa’s elves that stays in a child's house to report to Santa what the kid is doing. In other words someone in their house is spying on kids.
Therein lies the problem. Kids believe that there is someone in their own house watching them all the time. It might not be all that likely but the Elf on the Shelf can potentially make kids a little paranoid. After all, how would parents feel if they honestly believed someone in their house was watching them all the time.
5 Frosty The Snowman - Death Is Permanent
Like the Elf on the Shelf, Frosty the Snowman is very much part of the Christmas myth. The famous snowman might just be right up there with Santa as an unofficial mascot of Christmas. In the popular song about Frosty, the snowman must go away because winter is ending. However, he does promise he will be back again someday.
This might seem like an innocent claim, but it could create the wrong impression in the mind of a child. Kids could be left with the impression that anyone who leaves can and probably will come back. This belief can give kids the wrong idea about death being final. If Frosty can melt and come back, who is to say grandma could not die and come back?
4 Rudolph - Different Is Good If It's Useful
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is yet another beloved Christmas character. He is one of Santa's reindeer that was somehow born with a glowing red nose. All the other reindeer make fun of him for this, but their tune changes once Rudolph's glowing nose is needed to guide Santa's sleigh on a foggy night. It is a nice little story about how ultimately it is fine to be different.
The only problem is that the other reindeer only learn this when Rudolph's difference proves useful. Parents need to make sure that is not the lesson that kids learn. Kids need to know that it is okay to be different no matter what. After all, most things that make people different will not end up that way somehow.
3 Bigfoot Is Not Entirely A Myth
A creature that has become something of an American myth is the ape-like creature known as Bigfoot. He has been the subject of talk and speculation for years. Parents may be quick to dismiss Bigfoot as not real to their kids. Of course, saying Bigfoot is not real is not exactly true.
Though it is very possible, and probably most likely that Bigfoot is not real no one can truly say for certain. If parents insist to their kids that Bigfoot is not real it could have a negative effect on their sense of curiosity. Parents should be sure to never do anything to cause a child to not be curious about the world around them. That includes passing their views onto kids about something that may or may not be true.
2 Santa Claus Is Great - But Also Kind Of Creepy
One of the most famous mythical characters out there is Santa Claus. He is an icon of Christmas. Many parents take their kids to see Santa Claus every year. Kids are taught to love Santa, and to look forward to his annual Christmas Eve visits. That is actually what most kids do.
The only thing is that if parents think about it, Santa is actually kind of creepy. He is a guy with God-like power who watched kids at all times and knows when they are awake and asleep. He then breaks into people's homes and leaves kids gifts according to how he judges their behavior. Parents need to make sure kids are not in anyway frightened by the Santa Claus myth.
1 Superheroes Are Good Guys - But In Reality...
If there are any characters that have become myths in modern times it is without a doubt comic book superheroes. Superheroes seem to be everywhere these days, and they are beloved by kids all over the world. Both kids and parents view superheroes as just that - heroes. That is all fine and good to a degree.
Nevertheless, parents need to realize that if superheroes existed in real life that they would not be heroes. Anyone that puts on a costume to fight crime would not be a hero, but rather a criminal vigilante. Also, anyone that would put on a costume to fight crime would probably be at least a little crazy. At some point parents need to make sure kids realize superheroes are entirely make believe and what they would be in real life.
Sources: bfro.net, TheGuardian.com, PhilipKosloski.com, CrazyBoards.org, Cosmopolitan.com