Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Addendum to the Defense

Ryan pointed out to me that some concerned parents might see a child confusing "pretend magic" with the all-too-real version: the occult as far more dangerous- damning, even- than confusing superpowers with well... gravity.  One could result in life-long or eternal slavery to evil, while another could result in very serious, but temporal, physical injury.  

Remember that any fairy tale your child reads will have magic of some form in it, be it a genie, a fairy, a dryad, a god, a talking creature, or a magician.  If you are to be consistent, you must either A) forbid your child from reading, hearing or seeing any story with any amount of magic in it (including all Disney movies and The Nutcracker), or B) have a conversation with your child about magic early on.  I think it's obvious which one is preferable, and better for your child!! :)  

Having had many such conversations with various children already, here's what I've found most helpful:  "Now, in this story, there are ____ (talking creatures, let's say), aren't there?  Are there really ____ in our world?  No.  God made people in His image, so only they can really think and talk like that.  In stories, sometimes people or animals use magic.  It's just pretend, but it sure is fun to imagine, isn't it!?  In the real world, in our world, there is not magic, but there is Power.  Real people who try to use magic are actually trying to use the power of the Devil or his angels.  Do you think that is pleasing to our God?  No! He is the One with all the power, and if we trust Him, we don't need to try to use the devil's power- that would be wicked."  It's really not that hard for a child to grasp the difference between real power and pretend magic- they pretend to be princes and princesses all the time, or monsters or animals, and they know full well they're none of those things. If you don't make it a huge deal, then they won't either. You'll be able to tell when your child is ready to hear about pretend magic.  Just start talking EARLY, and don't stop!  (this could also come up from the "other side" of real power, when you read about the Witch of Endor in 1 Samuel, or a New Testament deliverance from demon oppression)

This can be followed up later with conversations about power-users in our world and how that is something God hates and which is wicked.  Talks about ghosts and spirits should be handled as they come up-- talks about where souls go after death-- not to haunt the earth but to either love and enjoy God in Heaven or to be consumed by endless regret in Hell...  All these will come up readily, especially if your child is a thinker, a story-spinner or an imaginer... a.k.a. a preschooler. :)

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