Should Children Believe in Myth?

Published: Thursday, 27 March 2014 Written by Gabrielle Henderson

Can we imagine a life without Santa Claus to give us the gifts we cherish, or the Tooth fairy, to award children with the small pocket change they deserve? Myths are often concluded to be stories that offer up great morals to children, which brightly shape their future. How then is it beneficial to anyone to deprive children of this fundamental part of their childhood? Santa Claus, the Tooth fairy, the Loupgarou, such myths should be continued to ensure that children enjoy their childhood and using the morals from such stories, form the basis on which they will build their adult lives. Myths nurture children's imagination and creativity, they ensure the continuation and stability of tradition(culture) and family bonding, and they highlight religious beliefs and offer important morals.

 To begin with, myths nurture children's imagination and creativity. They allow their minds to roam free and conjure up different beings that could represent Santa Claus or the Tooth fairy. Such myths are beneficial to children's cognitive development. The morals gained from myths develop children's imaginative capacities and abilities to conceive strange worlds. Fantastical stories foster a type of imaginative play that sparks creativity, social understanding and even scientific reasoning. Children picture Santa managing his elves at the North Pole, or squeezing through a very narrow chimney. Sometimes children participate in games where they enact the role of Mrs. Claus or Rudolph. These forms of play might cultivate a set of skills known as “theory of mind,” which helps kids predict and understand other people's behavior.

Additionally, myths ensure that tradition continues and strengthens family bonding. Local myths like that of the Soucouyant, Lagabless and Loupgarou, demonstrate culture and the cunning ways of our people. The stories are told primarily to control children and guarantee that they behave well. They also carry with them a sense of pride of the people. These stories belong to them.  Anansi is a commonly told myth, brought to the Caribbean by the West African slaves according to local historian Dr. Lennox Honeychurch. It was their way of carrying on the culture that they had been so harshly uprooted from. The telling of these stories through oral traditions provide circumstances for family bonding and enables children to better understand their ancestors and appreciate their history and culture.

Moreover, certain myths highlight religious beliefs and offer important morals. Santa Claus for example, is also known as Saint Nicholas, a man who did good and gave gifts to the poor. Christmas focuses on the birth of Jesus and the hope He brought to those in need of saving. In a similar way, Saint Nicholas gave hope to the poor and needy. The story of Santa Claus was derived from this, to appeal to humanity, influencing them to be good and giving.

However, some people are against teaching children about these myths, arguing that children are being taught lies and parents are not encouraging truthful relationships between themselves and their children. This is a very absurd opinion to have on these myths since they do encourage social and cognitive development in children, rather than provide harmful consequences for their gullibility.

In conclusion, myths should be continued as they are not detrimental to the personalities of children, but rather they help them to be the best they can be, so that the future society can prosper. Myths nurture children's imagination and creativity, ensure the continuation of culture and family bonding and they highlight religious beliefs and offer important morals.

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