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These parents who refuse to make their children believe in Santa Claus



Make your children believe in Santa Claus: obvious? Not much! For moral reasons, religious beliefs, or material considerations, some parents choose not to play the Santa Claus game. Deciphering your motivations with Dominique Tourrès-Gobert, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, author of Once upon a time the good god, Santa Claus and the fairies.

Beyond the character and the gifts, Santa Claus is also one of those rites that mark childhood and help you grow. To stop believing in Santa Claus is “to discover that we can no longer take our wishes for reality, that all our wishes cannot be granted,” explains psychiatrist Dominique Tourrès-Gobert. Also, don’t we say “I still believe in Santa Claus”? This stage of disillusionment, or this “experience of reality” as Freud called it, is an integral part of this rite that, by nature, is doomed to disappear as you grow older. However, some parents “deprive” their child of this rite. Why ? Is it harmful to the child? Response items.

Santa Claus, this big lie

“I did not want telling such a big lie to my daughter, whom I deeply respect. For me it was incompatible with another discourse that was close to my heart: that of not lying”, explains Sylvie. The desire not to lie to her son: this is the main leitmotiv of these parents who decide not to adhere to the myth of Santa Claus. A Santa Claus lie? Indeed, it is, and doubly so, as the psychiatrist points out. “What is special about the Santa Claus rite is that it is the older ones who will initiate the younger ones. They initiate not only the belief, but also its downfall. In short, a double betrayal, which some parents consider a real abuse of their children’s ingenuity and candor. “Why start lying to children and embellishing reality at a young age? adds Nadia. “With Santa Claus it is about the wonderful, the magical,” the psychiatrist qualifies. Yes, Santa Claus is a lie, but a nice, nice lie, as opposed to a heavy, destructive family secret. Santa Claus is magic, party, mystery; but also the gift, the generosity, the gratuitous beauty of the offer. “If Santa Claus is not real ‘for real’, the love that he embodies is,” psychoanalyst Claude Halmos responded to a letter from a reader concerned about announcing the non-existence of Santa Claus to his daughter.

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A revival of his own childhood.

Why does this “lie” bother some parents – a minority, it must be said – and not others? As often happens, it is to his own childhood, to his feelings as a child in the face of this myth and to his fall that we must turn, as Muriel’s testimony often shows: “I decided not to believe in Santa Claus because of my childhood experience.” . My parents made me believe what I consider to be a lie, because the day I learned the truth in a brutal way, I was ashamed. Then I realized that my parents could make me believe anything and since then I doubted everything they could tell me. »

“If as children we experience the belief in Santa Claus as a betrayal, it is completely understandable that we do not want to reproduce the pattern,” Dominique Tourrès-Gobert testifies. But if some children experience the discovery of the non-existence of Santa Claus as a betrayal, most accept it well, and are even flattered to now be part of the insiders, the “big ones”. It all depends on how the child learns the truth. The child will better accept this disappointment if he has acquired a reassuring affective autonomy. It is up to the parents to accompany their child in this transition from illusion to reality. Do not persevere in lying in the face of a child who begins to have doubts, but accompany him on this path towards the truth. And if, past the age of reason -age that ranges, according to the children, between 6 and 10 years-, the child still firmly believes in Santa Claus, leading him to question his existence, c is to protect him from bitter disappointment – but also from the mockery of his comrades who will be “initiated”.

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A first confrontation with the feeling of injustice

“It is the parents who buy the gifts with their means. How could a child understand that Santa Claus does not give him everything he wants even though he has been very good? Nadia asks. Des adultes disabusés par l’injustice sociale et financière et qui, avant meme que leurs enfants en fassent l’expérience, quickly mettent them au fait pour leur éviter all desillusionment, et ainsi protect them… Voici un autre visage de ces parents « anti- Santa Claus “. “However, remembers the child psychiatrist, one must not forget that it is usually Santa Claus who decides what he is going to offer the child. He is not supposed to offer all the toys on the list… Such an argument is, in my opinion, symptomatic of the current place of the child in our society: we believe that to be happy, he must have everything, hence the image of a basket overflowing with toys, a mountain of gifts at the foot of the tree… This is forgetting that playing the Santa’s game is also, through the interposition of character of course, setting limits to the needs of her child.

Lack of recognition for children.

“On D-Day, we don’t thank anyone! Where is the recognition towards the parents? The child does not see that his parents remain attentive to his needs and desire to please him by offering him what he dreams of. », he considers Muriel. Like that fierce desire not to lie to their child, some parents evoke the importance of gratitude, which falls into oblivion with Santa Claus. The mark of a high moral sense? The desire to instill strong values ​​from childhood? Not necessarily, according to Dominique Tourrès-Gobert, who sees in this argument a new symptomatic expression of this ever-growing place given to our children: “The rite of Santa Claus is an initiation for children, but also for parents who must accept not to be immediately rewarded for their generosity. However, this is the whole problem with parents today: they fear that their children will no longer love them. “If they expected too much of their offspring, many parents would live much less easily than before of the lack of recognition of his son. However, we must not forget that the myth of Santa Claus is a myth in two phases: that of the marvelous, during which Santa Claus is crowned with all the glories, then the entry into the age of reason that will accompany him, end at the same time as the passage to reality, of a return of gratitude towards the parents. Putting aside his desire for recognition for a few years there is also the myth of Santa Claus.

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To believe or not to believe in Santa Claus: a freedom

So, is it harmful for the child’s development not to make him believe in Santa Claus? Is it risky for his psychic well-being to deprive him of this initiation passage? “No, Dominique Tourrès-Gobert reassures us. The experience of reality, if you do not pass the rite of Santa Claus, will be different. » Whether in the person of the red man or through any other figure, the child will have to make this same journey from wonderful to disillusioned, posing the problem of belief for each human being, individually. And in this sense, two themes are universal: that of origins – how was I born? – and that of death – what is death? “Each child will be led to think, fantasize, imagine about these two big questions. He will invent beliefs that will be personal to him, and he will have a way of following them”, concludes Dominique Tourrès-Gobert, who does not stop remembering that if the rite of Santa Claus is part of our collective magic, it remains at the discretion of each one…

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Family / Couple

Tinker Bell – Tinker Bell Syndrome



Tinker Bell fairies are bright and ambitious women who also happen to be great seductresses and manipulators. Eternally dissatisfied, the Clochettes hide, behind their obsession with appearance and success, great suffering. And they would be more and more numerous in our society. Explanations with psychotherapist Sylvie Tenenbaum.

He receives more and more in his office: brilliant women, who collect successes and professional achievements; hyperactive people who seek to control everything, starting with themselves; The “superwomen” doubled as great seductresses. So much so that Sylvie Tenenbaum, a psychotherapist, called them “Les Clochette”, in reference to the little fairy imagined by the writer James M. Barrie, with whom they share much in common. Starting with great suffering. We knew about the Peter Pan syndrome, or that of Cinderella or that of Sleeping Beauty. Now here is the tinkerbell syndrome.

The Bells are angry

Ambitious, often arrogant, perfectionists… The bells are ready to do anything to achieve their ends. “They are in a form of violence in front of life, because they take a form of revenge, analyzes Sylvie Tenenbaum. It’s also about revenge, in a difficult childhood, where they were often criticized, abused, humiliated, manipulated. During this, they stored a good dose of anger. And anger is energy, which they will later channel towards professional and social success. »

” He symptoms of tinker bell syndrome form a coherent whole, explains Sylvie Tenenbaum. We speak of syndrome when we recognize most of these signs in a single personality. »

The Clochettes are afraid of their emotions.

Tinkerbell fairies are women who have suffered a lot during their childhood. Of toxic fathers, possessive or self-centered mothers, misogynistic or absent fathers… “Most of the time they did not have the same permissions as their brothers, if they did, they did not value them as girls, or they raised them to be the first all. hour. So they told themselves that to be loved, you had to be successful. And above all, that they should not express their emotions. Which constitute, for them, real weaknesses. “They are afraid of them because they think they can take away their strength. And strength, it is true that they have a lot.

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How to manage the hassle?

Sometimes we react inappropriately and negatively when faced with a nuisance. However, it is not always pleasant either for oneself or for those around you.

Clochettes are great seducers

In terms of affective life, the Clochette multiply the encounters and conquests. But they are rarely satisfied. “The men they meet are never good enough. And since they do not have an easy character, at the slightest disappointment they are immediately fired. They have been so frustrated in the past that they cannot bear the slightest annoyance.

In fact, they despise men, having suffered greatly from their father during their childhood. Therefore, they just expect them to be worshipped. But in reality, the Tinkerbell suffers from a form of emotional dependency. “They are still little girls waiting to be loved unconditionally. Very unconsciously, they expect men to repair their psycho-affective life. But it can’t work because nobody can give them what they didn’t receive in childhood”.

The Tinkerbells hurt each other

Their affective, professional and social hyperactivity allows them in any case one thing: not to think about their suffering. Because if the Clochettes seem to succeed at everything, they are actually suffering. Injure. Victims of themselves. “They don’t know who they are. They didn’t even ask the question. They just live to prove that they are the best, the most beautiful, the strongest. They are in a form of intoxication. Most of the time, they realize very late the loneliness in which they are locked up. And then they become aware of their immense sadness for not having been loved enough or badly.

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Childhood stress, difficult to detect and often underestimated

Just like adults, children can become unsettled and stressed by changes in landmarks or unusual events.

The bells hurt

Meanwhile, they do a lot of damage to those around them. For this egocentric womeninsensitive, manipulative, tyrannical and jealous, “others are objects at his service”. They don’t respect them. They would like the world to live just for them. We have been tyrannical with them for so long. Unfortunately, they copied their models. But this damage that they do and that they do to themselves, they don’t even realize.

tinker bells can break free

Fortunately, the Clochettes can change, “live better, have less heartbreak.” On condition of being helped. “It is a difficult path because it generates a lot of awareness. In particular that of having made others suffer. Generally, they are not proud of it. »

The key to transformation? “The repair of the girl that is in them and that she is still waiting for marks of love. It’s time to cultivate it”. Also renounce omnipotence, to meet your own emotions. And above all, “learn to love yourself better, to love yourself better”.

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Family / Couple

Couple: are you in an “invisible divorce”?



Life together is far from being a long and calm river. If some couples end divorce Where break awayOthers stick together, but not always for the right reasons. In a Article From Psychology Today, Barbara Greenberg, Psy.D., explains this new phenomenon she has encountered as a therapist: invisible divorce. Some couples seem to work perfectly on the outside, they look happy on social media and their vacation photos are idyllic. However, under the social veneer, the reality is much less rosy. These couples are nothing more than a partnership that operates almost like a business. Explanations.

The 4 signs of an invisible divorce

We all knew this couple who looked so perfect, to whom everything seemed to succeed. we envy them secretly, wishing they were as happy as they looked. And then what was our surprise when we found out a few years after their separation. The phrase “invisible divorce” might be a good description of what was going on in your privacy : these couples had evolved separately and their union was ultimately just a facade.

the doctor Barbara Greenberg identified some signs that he believes could indicate that a couple is going through a invisible divorce :

  • the couple operates as a business where the main concerns would be children and finances;
  • there is a lack of emotional and physical intimacy between partners;
  • at least one of the two partners feels that their needs are not being met;
  • one and/or the other may go elsewhere to meet their physical or emotional needs.
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These couples would be like “parallel lines, living together but functioning separately”, illustrates the psychologist. So why don’t they break up? He reasons they are extremely diverse and varied according to Greenberg. It may be that one of the two spouses fears the financial consequences After a separation, some remain together for “the good of the children.” Others just aren’t ready to break away and make the decision to stay together even when you are not happy.

A frustrating and toxic married life

“These marriages are emotionally exhausting and frustrating,” adds the psychologist. As good as the reasons that would push you to remain in this type of union may seem, you put endangered his mental health and well-being. These people describe a daily life full of frustrations and disappointments. They feel disconnected from their partner. If you recognized yourself in the signs listed above, have them courage to face the situation, advises the therapist. “Try to renew the dialogue with your partner and restore healthy and harmonious communication. Talk about what worries you and your expectations, being as honest as possible, ”he recommends.

However, yes, the dialogue seems impossible or leads to a dead end, it is better to part when the feelings no longer exist. the invisible divorce it would be “toxic to both partners,” Greenberg concludes.

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Family / Couple

Couple: the 3 worst love killers revealed by Science



A healthy relationship is based on trust, sincere feelings, and a certain amount of personal sacrifice. But the recipe for happiness as a couple does not exist and human relationships are so complex that lovers can sometimes go through some storms. Of the routine small annoyances that can even destroy the intimacy of the couple, the discussions sometimes result from particular behaviors : love kills them. As its name indicates, a love killer is the trigger for a breakup or the end of love. This is what makes a person stop wanting her partner.

Australian researchers have investigated the question to scientifically identify the behaviors that could be the worst killers of love. To do this, they conducted a survey of 5,500 single people between the ages of 21 and 76. Participants had to determine what could turn them off in a potential mate (physical characteristics, behavior, etc.). Result: three answers stand out from the majority of the panel, allowing us to define the most devastating love killers.

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A permanent need for affection.

Finally, it is the excessive need for affection that, for 69% of women and 57% of men, can endanger a love relationship. People who constantly seek attention and displays of affection from your partner You may face relationship difficulties. Therefore, it is important to leave enough space so as not to undermine the other person’s sense of freedom. Lack of affection, also characteristic of Tinkerbell syndrome can be a sign of lack of self confidencewhich must be repaired at no cost to the member.

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