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Easter Bunny belief 'good for kids'
Photo: DPA

Easter Bunny belief 'good for kids'

Published: 08 Apr 2012 09:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Apr 2012 09:24 GMT+02:00

“When all their playmates in the kindergarten are happy and waiting for the Easter Bunny, it would certainly be a shame for a child to hear at home that it doesn’t exist,” German psychologist Ute Bayen told Die Welt newspaper.

She said childish excitement and enthusiasm should not be dampened.

And Jacqueline Woolley from the University of Texas in Austin even went further, saying it was good for a child’s development.

“The childish belief in fantasy figures is definitely good for cognitive development,” she said.

“It fuels the fantasy and allows children to consider possibilities that do not exist in the real world.”

But parents must be careful about disappointing their children when they realise that there is actually no Easter Bunny.

“The trusting relationship is put at risk,” said Bayen. “Children can be disappointed when it becomes clear they were being lied to.”

Parents should try to be sensitive about such topics – and perhaps best support critical questions when the children ask about for example, whether a rabbit could really carry such big eggs.

Woolley suggests that such a moment should be used to turn the situation around and ask the child what they believe. She said the idea of an Easter Bunny is usually quietly discarded without much fuss.

Gerd Lehmkuhl, child psychologist at Cologne University Hospital said such belief generally fades thanks to doubts expressed among children’s friends. “Children realise that it doesn’t exist, but still hope that it will come and bring them eggs,” he told Die Welt

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:35 April 8, 2012 by DickShawnsDiction
My daughter loves pretending she's Spiderman... yet she knows she isn't Spiderman: children are much better at utilizing the power of Fantasy than the literal-minded "experts" cited (who are themselves, no doubt, the victims of brainwashing). It's certainly not necessary to fill my daughter's mind with primitive superstitions in the name of "childish excitement and enthusiasm".
12:23 April 8, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
> a psychologist said this week that kids benefit from believing in fantasies.

yes, but one should be careful as to what fantasies kids become exposed to.

It's all good and well to believe in innocent harmless creatures like the Easter bunny... but as soon as kids are being told that there's an invisible man up in the sky who watches over them and punishes them as he sees fit, then that's not such an innocent fantasy anymore.
17:09 April 8, 2012 by Ronald_West
There is a fantasy which has done untold damage to the children of this world .. a fantasy of a 'woman, apple and snake'
10:33 April 9, 2012 by Rana Imran
A lie is a lie in any way or in any case....

when you r bringing your child up with prevarications then how you can expect them to be true in your society.

what if my child asks me ... papa why you have been lying to me when I was an innocent child.... ???
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