My parents chose to let me believe in Santa if I wanted to, but some parents prefer to tell their kids the truth about his existence – just like one mother from Southern California who told her first-grade son that Santa is not real. When the young boy decided to tell his classmates the truth, other mothers felt betrayed – so much so that this mom receive a letter threatening a possible lawsuit against her for her son’s actions.
The outrage started when this mother posted on Reddit about the incident.
“I received a rather threatening letter from a well-known, local, elite law firm threatening suit due to emotional damage,” she says. “Yeah, seriously.”
Serious is the word to explain the story. The law firm and parents – whose children range from kindergarteners to fourth graders – are serious about suing this parent. But it does not end there. The mother has to host a party hiring a Santa in order to reverse the trauma. He must give out presents and sing songs to the eight children – paid for by this Cali mom.
In favor of the mother, KenPopehat from Reddit offered to call for a pro bono counsel. “Oh my God this is ridiculous,” he says. “If you want I can help publicize this.”
Another user backed up Ken’s claim. “Take this man up on his offer. Ken is somewhere between Robin Hood and Captain America in this area of law.”
But can angry parents sue another parent for alleged emotional distress and trauma? Is there proof that the children experienced damage? The accused mother does not believe so. She met with the school’s principal who believes the incident is not an issue.
Can legal action be taken in a case like this? In 2012, police in Ontario arrested a drunken man after he told children Santa Claus was not real at a parade. They charged with disturbance by being intoxicated. However, it is unclear if the disturbance also counts for telling kids about Santa.
The story of Santa Claus is a big man who lives on the North Pole with winter white hair, rosy red cheeks and laughs, “Ho ho ho.” If you are not nice, he gives you a stocking full of coal. A child is either on a naughty or nice list. Based on the famous song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” he checks the list twice and he comes when you’re sleeping.
Movies are created about him. Children go to malls to see him, sit on his lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. These are all kinds of stories about Santa children grow up on.
Eventually I stopped believing, but I feel my parents did the right thing by letting me choose to believe in him or not.
It is up to the parents how they want to tell the story of Santa. But believing in Santa is not a bad thing. The story of a man who rewards good people is healthy, says child psychiatrist Matthew Lorber in a LiveScience article.
“I don’t think we could necessarily say it’s a good thing,” clinical psychologist Stephanie Wagner says in the article. “But I would certainly say it’s not harmful.”
Sending letters to Santa motivates children to write more often, Wagner adds.
A lawsuit costs money and time. The level the mothers are willing to go has reached its peak and it’s unnecessary.
For the mother to tell her son that Santa Claus was not real is her business. However, it does not mean her son should go out and tell children the same thing. As a parent, she could have prepared him for the outcome – not everyone is going to believe what you do, so keep this to yourself.