News and Tribune


July 15, 2013

CUMMINS: The Tooth Fairy is a myth

Teaching a child the way it should go began with Cain and Abel. But Adam and Eve didn’t have manuals to go by, nor did they have child psychologists and long, drawn-out therapy. As we learned early in Genesis, the two brothers didn’t get along. Eve used the wait-until-your-father-gets-home approach. When Adam returned after having a bad day at the fish pond, he said to Eve, dressed provocatively in a leaf, “I’m hungry.” We know what happened then. God’s wrath came down, and since then, child-rearing theories and practices eventually evolved into training children to watch television. This worked well until boys and girls went into cyberspace, and now send photos of themselves dressed like Eve.

God stressed honesty in all things. To keep children in line, He said to obey parents, who lead the way to reality. But to reduce friction, parents transfer tension to Santa Claus, who drops down chimneys into a fire. Tell children to never play with fire, but explain that Santa’s red suit is what firemen wear. Parents play politics with children, as if they vote. Promise them anything to keep their mouths shut. Tell them whatever to win their support. Promise them elves, fairies and baskets full. Any babe with any sense at all soon learns parents are faking it.

Other lies we tell. Big business associates the Easter basket with the Cross. Mothers insist their little children draw Valentines to send to grandparents, who shed tears of love by sending money back to grandchildren. This could be a lesson in piggy-bank economics, but, no, parents give in and let their kids buy candy. Holidays are celebrations of, among other things, the candy industry, a time of every color in the rainbow. 

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