Honestly, I have no problem presenting or doing something like that. The problem is when the kid finally asks, and you lie to their face. That's unacceptable. The reason I think this way is because it happened to me. It kind of just came as a huge realization and destroyed my trust of people. I now require proof for every statement, and take everything with piles of salt before I believe it. And I generally just go by the assumption people have no fucking idea what they are talking about. And it's generally true. But I'd rather not have had the soul crushing realization when I was a kid.
About your thing with the birthday parties: I would have a hard time doing that. I don't blame the person in the costume (they are just trying to make some money) but IMO the parents are being deceitful. And I can bet that if the kid asked if that was the real "X" (little mermaid in this case) the parents would probably say "yes". And that is what I have a problem with.
I would argue that your experience learning about truth vs lies vs half-truths is what made you intelligent and analytical today. You wouldn't have that same sort of personality or passion if it weren't for that.
Perhaps. But this is the exact type of attitude that completely severs me from anyone else. Everyone else is perfectly okay to live in their world of lies, and I see it every god damn day. It makes me sick. And honestly, I'd love to still live in that world were everything was amazing and fantastical. But really, looking back, I'd rather had my parents flat out tell me and not lie to me. Because as soon as I was actually interested in the lies they were telling, I just worked it out on my own. Before that, I didn't even care at all.
Some children learn best through painting or imagination experiences or fictional books. They take these stories and experiences and grow from them and develop from them. You would have probably been better challenged reading non-fiction books or "how stuff works" books or science experiments.
I read whatever I pleased. I had access to the internet at a young age, and had a library full of books to choose from. I had no problem with fiction and in fact still love fiction today. The difference is that I know it's fiction. If fiction books were labeled as fact/non-fiction (which some are) I'd eventually figure it out and be incredibly pissed off.
Basically, what this whole lie to your kids until they are 8 or so, came down to was that I learned not to trust my parents and just figure out whatever the hell I needed to know on my own. And it grew to the point where I expanded that to everyone. I didn't listen to teachers. The textbook new better, and the internet new even better than that. No need to listen to other people/friends (most of them lied anyway). No need to ask "how are you" they'll just lie and say "fine" or "okay". Books? Probably lying. Documentaries? Probably lying. And eventually it grew to the internet as well. Random stranger on the internet? Yea, he's probably lying through his teeth as well. Just like everyone else.
So now when presented with information, and I need to go through a good 10-20 google searches verifying the information. And guess what, I've found that people are lying. Or at least, misinformed. The vast majority of them are, actually.
And now I can hardly have conversations with people because I don't care about their opinions since they have the same "opinions" as everyone else. And I don't need to get any information from them because I can just look it up online. And I found I'm actually more informed about things than my "friends".
Honestly. I'd just like people to be honest. It frustrates me to no end when people lie to others or themselves. And when I hear of people (mostly online) who had "cool" parents that explained everything and taught them about stuff. All I can feel is jealous. I basically grew up in a world where no one knew what the fuck they were talking about and they tried to hide it by lying. Fuck that.