It’s winter and the holiday season is fast approaching. It’s a time when many of us feel nostalgic for childhood – a time of innocence, when we believed that anything was possible. But just as many parents around New York are telling stories, singing songs and fostering this seasonal spirit of wonder, an increasing number of parents are choosing science over Santa for their kids.
“We, at a very early age with our son Orin, were able to play games with him: Is this myth or is this reality? Is there a man in the moon? Is the tooth fairy real or not?” said Peter Schweitzer, a rabbi with the City Congregation for Jewish Humanism.
Schweitzer teaches a community of cultural, secular Jews and their families.
“At a very early age he learned that there was no tooth fairy,” he said. “Once he learned that, he was able to make other distinctions between fact and fiction.”
“We like our kids to have open minds,” said Ken Bronstein, the founder of NYC Atheists, a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization.
An increasing number of New York families are reflecting this idea as they raise their children. The trend appears to be controversial. I spoke with a variety of New Yorkers about the whether or not the idea of “honesty with children” is a positive thing.