The time is almost upon us when the Easter Bunny hits town and dumps mega amounts of chocolate, jelly beans, and multi-colored eggs into the straw-weaved, baskets of millions of lucky kids.
And then gets attacked, ridiculed and scorned for being nothing but a hoax and a charlatan that corrupts the minds of little children who are the unwilling victims of their parents’ baby boomer delusions.
“Shut up, the Easter Bunny’s not real!” Many ‘Generation Y,’ (millennial) parents will shout to their kids, this year. “There’s no such thing as the Easter Bunny. Who told you that, your grandfather?”
And then all the little kiddies will cry.
Who cares, lots of those kids will think to themselves, can’t we just pretend for one day that there is an Easter Bunny so we can get big baskets of chocolate?
Being truthful with your child is more important than encouraging them to play make-believe, say many psychologists and progressively minded, parents. It’s more healthy to raise your children in the honest and realistic approach rather than poisoning their minds with tales of imaginary, cartoon-like characters.
Peter Cottontail is bogus, a huckster and a sham who’s never hopping down the bunny trail.
But aren’t there a lot of other fantasies in life we let our children enjoy that are big, fat lies also?
How about the insanely successful “Harry Potter” series and “Lord of the Rings?” Children’s fascinations and love for these fictional characters and stories give them great joy and an escape from the confining doldrums of everyday life.
Even the wildly popular “Twilight” series uses the lurid romance of vampires to entice adolescents and teenagers into a fantastical, bloodthirsty world. What could be more misleading than letting a 10-year-old believe that vampires (which really don’t exist) can fall in love?
The truth is that we let our children become exposed to multiple aspects of fantasy on a daily basis, but strangely, we become very selective about which ones we let them indulge in.
Okay, maybe the legend of the Easter Bunny is derived from Pagan folklore, but a 5-year-old doesn’t really need to know that, right?
So what if the pagan goddess, Eastre, turned her bird lover into a hare and is considered a symbol of fertility. Is that any different from letting your kids watch Harry Potter ride the fantastical creäture ‘Buckbeak?”
Why do we let our children dress up on Halloween in costumes and go trick or treating for candy, but then tell them the Easter Bunny is nothing but a frightening delusion?
And then, of course, there is ‘Spongebob Squarepants.’
What are we thinking by letting our children believe in a square, yellow sponge that walks, talks and lives on the bottom of the ocean floor in a place called ‘Bikini Bottom?’ Now, isn’t that stretching reality a bit far and beyond the absurd?
It’s sad and quite hypocritical that we would try to exile the Easter Bunny or push Santa off his sleigh while we let our kids sit in front of computers and iPhones for hours and play endless game apps that promote digital worlds of fantasy.
Yes, the Easter Bunny gets a bad rap and lots of it comes from religious zealots and atheists who use the Easter Bunny to promote their own political, religious and social agenda.
Some Christians say that the Easter Bunny takes away from the true meaning of Easter, which is, of course, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Atheists hate the Easter Bunny only because hating anything that cannot be scientifically proven is what an atheist does best.
It’s bad to lie to your children about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus because it erodes their trust in you, say many psychologists and child-rearing experts. When the time comes to tell them the Easter Bunny isn’t real, they may harbor resentments against you, despise you for lying to them and carry those feelings far into adulthood.
When my parents told me the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus were not real, I just nodded and smiled back at them. I already knew that, and so did all the other kids on the block. We always went along with that dumb story because we were afraid if we didn’t then the good times would be over.
We didn’t cry, hate our parents or plot our revenge – we went on with life and found something else to be pissed off about later.
If you are weary of telling your kids there is no Easter Bunny, don’t underestimate the mind of the modern-day child. If they are capable of typing in the words “Easter Bunny” on the Google Search bar, then they are probably already one step ahead of you.
Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer and an Opinion Writer at 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine