Parents of a young girl have hit back at claims her ‘innocence is being taken away’ after they refuse to lie to her about Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny.
Ashley and Keith Nkosana say they agreed from the start they would never lie to their daughter about anything as they don’t want to be “deceptive”. The argue that it doesn’t take away the “magic” and Ashley stresses that Christmas is still “special” for the four-year-old despite not believing in Santa.
The part-time administrator said: “We don’t lie to our daughter. My daughter will ask ‘mum is Santa real?’ and I’ll say ‘he’s not real but we can pretend’.
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“People think it’s not going to be magical if she knows. But you can be creative. We can pretend he’s real. That’s still magical – she still enjoys Christmas.”
Ashley and Keith, a project manager, had always struggled with the concept of lying or deceiving their daughter – even when she was just a baby. Ashley said: “I really struggled to leave her when she was younger.
“People said ‘just run away’ but I didn’t feel ok with that. She’d cry and we’d say we’re going and say goodbye instead of sneaking away.”
When their daughter turned two, the couple decided to home educate and picked their family values – truth, love and fun. Ashely said: “We decided to be truthful. Why do we have to lie?
“Our parenting style is on us than the child. We would model the behaviour we want her to have.”
“People think it takes away the innocence of childhood. We don’t want to be deceptive. You can easily white lie as an adult.”
Ashley’s daughter recently lost her tooth and the parents decided to not tell the tale of the tooth fairy. She said: “People said – ‘Are you going to do the tooth fairy?’
“We will still put money under her pillow and she woke up to confetti. We made it like a milestone without having to lie.
“There are so many ways you can make something special.”
Ashley said telling their daughter about Santa does “ruffle feathers” and their daughter will tell our children Santa isn’t real. She said: “Parents say – make sure you’re child doesn’t ruin it. But I don’t want to raise a child to be fearful.
“Other parents think it’s not a big deal to lie. They are in delulu land. Our family think I’m extra.”
The couple also hold family meetings on a Sunday and will discuss the week – letting their daughter express anything she’d like and planning meals for the following week. The family won’t shy away from difficult conversations and have even discussed the ongoing war in Israel with her.
Ashley said: “If we’re going away we’ll always tell the truth. We tell her ‘mums really struggling’ if I am. I won’t hide from an uncomfortable conversation with her.
“We discussed the war – people are naïve if they don’t think kids won’t hear it on the radio or in your conversations.”
Ashley and Keith hope being “honest parents” will help shape their daughter’s values. She said: “I hope by being honest and having integrity we’ll raise her as a good citizen.”
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