It wasn’t much of an issue in my family as we were Jewish. I don’t think the propagating of these childish little fantasies are so bad for the little ones. I’m not sure about the “monster under the bed” though. The fantasies of adolescence (apart from dreams and goals) and adulthood cause all the trouble. A society of Walter Mitty’s that live for TV and musical fantasy as well as fantasy books featuring vampires and wizards and witches will fall to a society that lives for work and productivity. Mere dreams without action are the domain of the lazy. I am guilty of this. How many women watch the Bachelor and place themselves in the contestants place? How many women dreamed of what a wife they could have made the Prince of Wales way back in the giddy early 80s?
Fantasies also drive out the time one must spend with God. He loses out to them and becomes less important. The dreamer begins to lose his/her spiritual protection and their life goes to hell, literally.
I’m not all against fantasy. I like certain CLEAN fantasy based video games based on Victorian novels. I think a little escape now and then cannot hurt. But take it from me, I know when the limit is reached and the fantasy becomes more than it is supposed to be and takes on monstrous proportions of its own leaving its owner helpless and nearly hopeless.
Back to the children’s fantasies: I knew that Santa Claus was not real at age 4 and sat on his lap and told him so at a mall many more years ago than I would like to count here. I always thought the Easter Bunny a grotesque figure far worse than the monsters of Sesame Street. I wondered a long time about the huge bunny that supposedly chased Jimmy Carter through a swamp. I always wanted the Easter Candy but was stuck with the Afikomen and Barton’s (priced way too far out of reach now) Candy for Passover. I still miss Barton’s Petit Fours for Passover. Wonder what they go for now? Was at an upscale supermarket and saw Barton’s candy for the first time in years. One dark mixed box was 16 bucks. Osem had some choc covered matzoh for less but I demurred there as well. My food stamps only covering basics for the month of March not Passover delicacies.
One creature I always liked was the Tooth Fairy. He or she always left a quarter on the pillow if a fallen out tooth were left under the pillow. A quarter you ask? How old are you? What does a tooth go for now? I believed in the Tooth Fairy longer than the others. Adults have to pay to have teeth removed then more to have replacement teeth made. NO fair. Plus they don’t have a bigger stronger tooth grow in to take its place. No mention made here of the “clouds that return after the rain.”