A Tree Grows in Brooklyn A Tree Grows in Brooklyn discussion


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Kris Kringle and Lies

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Little When Kate is a new mother, her mother tells Kate to teach her child to believe in Santa, fairies, ghosts, etc. When Kate objects (Sure, maybe there are fairies and ghosts, but I KNOW there isn't a Santa, I’d be lying to my kid), her mother opines: 1) you have to believe in an imaginary world, 2) learning the truth for yourself is a good thing, and 3) being disappointed will prepare her for other disappointments. I would counter: 1) even small children can understand “real” vs “pretend” and enjoy playing pretend. Santa can be a game, something we all pretend together, even for a 2 year old. An imaginary world that you know is imaginary can be as active a place as one you actually believe in. Knowing the truth didn’t stop me from my endless games of pretending I could fly. 2) Children should be able to trust their parents, and having the force or trick the truth out of them is not beneficial to kids. Learning the truth for yourself is good, but not having to undo knots of lies is good too. Take cults as an example. 3) There are enough disappointments in the world without adding to them intentionally.


Brigid ✩ I don't think that little kids need to be told that fairies, ghosts, etc. are real or not real. It's something that they sort of decide for themselves. When I was younger, my parents never told me what to believe; they let me decide. And I think parents can trust their children to figure out on their own that these fantasy worlds do not exist. I was never told to stop believing; I did it on my own. It isn't something that parents can control. They can try, but there really isn't a point.


message 3: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz I don't think that Kate's decision not to teach her children about Santa, faeries, ghosts ect. is best viewed as a comment on her parenting. I think it also needs to be looked at as a comment on the families social and financial situation. Kate lives in a very harsh world, she may not want her children to grow up and have these fantasies crushed. -or- to encourage their belief in Santa Claus and not be able to afford Christmas gifts.


Rebecca Grubb I agree with Liz, Kate was knew life was hard and didn't see a reason to hide that from her children.


Kressel Housman When I saw that heading, I thought it was about how Francie lied that her name was Mary in order to get the free doll. I didn't remember anything about Kate and Santa Claus, but it shows a stark contrast to their characters. Kate is a realist. Francie, at least in her youth, is definitely not.


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