Crushing Cryptid Dreams

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on July 6th, 2011

What would you do if your child(ren) believed in cryptids?

Several of my friends are trying to foster childhood beliefs in cryptids.

Mike Esordi & Diana Smith of the Believe It Tour:

Why as children are we so open to believe what as adults we are taught to reject?

Focus Areas: Paranormal, Cryptozoology, Extraterrestrial, Monsters, and Folklore.

Our Vision: To strengthen our childhood beliefs—to think beyond the reality of what we see.

Our Mission: To create a forum for believers in the five focus areas, to share their experiences and interact with one another, to encourage and revive childhood beliefs, and to build a community for all to participate from amateur to expert.

Jesse Den Herder’s Mysterious Creatures™ is a new design project comprised of an eclectic collection of multi-cultural, iconic, colorful and legendary graphical characters…

And then there’s folks like this blogger:

Things I forgot to teach my child

By Brittany Wallman

When you have two kids and a full-time job, it’s easy to forget to tell your child that Bigfoot doesn’t really exist.

Our daughter is 9. We spend a lot of time parenting her brother, the teenager, because he presents one parenting quandry after another.

We sort of assume that she will learn in school a lot of the basics, like the fact that the earth is not flat and the moon is not made of cheese. And we’re teaching her the big moral issues, the character issues.

Who was supposed to teach her about Sasquatch?

A Bigfoot-watching show was on TV last night, and that’s when we found out that Lily is a believer. My husband called me in to the living room to tell me. And Lily said, “No, I don’t think. I know!”

I’m going to have to sit down with her and chat. It might be too late to tell her that UFOs aren’t real, emails from Nigeria should be ignored and there never was a babysitter who got a call from a man who said “I’m calling from inside the house.”

What else have I forgotten to tell her, I wonder!

Hey Brittany, you better make sure she doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy too!

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

16 Responses to “Crushing Cryptid Dreams”

  1. eireman responds:

    That’s wrong on so many levels. Firstly, you may believe that ‘Bigfoot doesn’t exist’, but the truth is there is no conclusive evidence to either prove or disprove the existence of these creatures; hence, the debate that wages daily. A better parent might have asked his or her daughter why it is she believes what she does. Challenge the youngster to think critically about that upon which she basis her assertion. And why would you want to stifle a child’s imagination and creativity? My parents never said any of these things. While my mother is next to a true-believer, my father is a very sober-minded and skeptical individual. However, neither squashed my curiosity and imagination. That’s just shameful to me. Yeah, I figured out Santa and the Easter Bunny on my own–as will this girl. But it allows her to keep those things that don’t so easily vanish with mounting years: cryptids, UFOs, and the like. I didn’t outgrow these, instead I learned to think about them and how plausible they might be. And what’s wrong with a little mystery in the world? Dour agelasts probably make for terrible parents.

  2. Craig Woolheater responds:

    Hear, hear eireman!

  3. Kahil Nettleton responds:

    I think that the best approach in situations such as this is to instil a value of open mindedness with your children. Have them make their judgements based on their own experiences and now what you or others tell them they should believe. I find it to be a value that can be put into practice with all aspects of life.

    As for cryptids in particular, there’s always a chance. In the end you may find that they don’t exist, that they do exist or that they do exist but it isn’t quite what it was thought to be. You always have to leave a little room for the unknown and improbable….just in case.

  4. Redrose999 responds:

    It’s honestly wrong to instill any “belief or non-belief” system in a child as far as I’m concerned. They need to learn critical thinking, and accept the fact that we can’t explain everything in the world, and that people believe in different things. Cryptids are an important part of culture and folklore. You need to show your kids how to respect this, and that our culture is diverse.

    I’m not sure if I’m getting it across very well. But I find when my daughter tells me she believes in Bigfoot, and she does, I will tell her, it’s possible he exists, but we don’t have proof yet, and that it’s ok to believe in the possibility.

    My son Cp is very much into Crypids, and Ghosts and that sort. But he is also a very critical thinker and picks stuff apart, and looks at them very carefully. He has an open mind to possibilities but doesn’t out right say they are real. Anything is possible, but only evidence and scientific study is accepted to prove something exists. Life isn’t magic. Kids need to understand this. They need to know it’s possible, and that we don’t understand the world completely, because of that, there will always be possibilities. And exploring these possibilities is important.

    So I guess I teach them, always question, but don’t close your mind because we don’t have all the answers.

  5. whiteriverfisherman responds:

    Wow that is a bit harsh on the kid. So she believes Bigfoot are real, so what? I have 4 daughters and their ages range from 14-7. They all believe in the possibility that Bigfoot exist. They do not base this on TV shows like finding Bigfoot but by reading, researching the internet and watching documentaries. Even my daughters will tell you it’s foolish to say something is not real that has not been proven to exist or not. This leaves a slight possibility that they do and I believe this causes my daughters to think more logically about the subject. Oh, they do not watch the show I mentioned because they say it’s fake. Even a nine year old can see that apparently. They do watch river monsters though!! That is a cool show!!

  6. gridbug responds:

    There’s more circumstantial evidence for Bigfoot than there is for God. Belief is a very personal thing, and I think everyone should arrive at their own conclusions in their own time and based on their own experiences. To try and coerce a child into believing in something that has never actually been proven to exist is to do them a grave disservice.

  7. Artist responds:

    “There Are More Things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167

  8. darkshines responds:

    As with anything I don’t have the answer to, I would be honest with the child. As with religion, what happens when we die, and other open ended questions, as many choices should be offered and the child should be allowed to choose which they think is the answer for them. I would personally say “some people think they are a fairy story, and some people think they used to be real like dinosaurs but aren’t anymore. Some people have seen them really recently but we don’t have any real concrete proof yet. So they might be real and very good at hiding!”. Make it appropriate to the child’s age.

  9. semillama responds:

    I recently saw a children’s book on Sasquatch, which actually covered the issue of its existence quite well – even had references to Dr. Meldrum! It didn’t come down on either side of the controversy, but presented a variety of evidence and discussed hoaxing and such. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the title or author.

  10. flame821 responds:

    That game looks great, I think more people should be taught critical thinking skills as opposed to this ‘teaching to the test’ and parroting of information.

    As for belief in the unproven LMAO. That’s actually something I go through at least once a month with my brood. Most the of kids could care less either way, however my eldest daughter who intends to join the AF after graduation this year, and one of my sons are polar opposites.

    She believes nearly anything that anyone tells her and that frightens me. She thinks anything ‘can’ be real and gets very upset with me when I try to tell her anything or even discuss the subject. Questions like ‘why do you think that’ or ‘do you have any proof’ or ‘can you trust the person who told you this’ turn into a hormone driven storm. This got especially bad when I found out her science teacher could not discuss evolution due to the ‘teach the controversy or keep your mouth shut’ protocol the school district seems to favor.

    Now my polar opposite son is quite different, he likes to look at evidence. He doesn’t believe in ghosts at all and finds the whole idea silly. He constantly teases me for watching things like Ghost Hunters; but then I will point out how they do try to debunk a lot of things and I explain that I don’t necessarily think ‘ghosts’ are spirits of the dead, I tend to think they are a set phenomena that science simply hasn’t advanced enough to measure and quantify…YET. He and I can easily sit down and have detailed conversations regarding Big Foot, Nessie, sea monsters (I’m always calling him to look at stuff from Nat Geo, Pharyngula and the like) and several of our own local cryptids and ghosts. He’s much more skeptical than I am and that’s fine. Some evidence to me goes into the ‘could be’ pile while he is more of the ‘if its not positive, then its a negative’ school of thought.

    But what I want most of all is for them to be able to think and decide for themselves. Be able to look at evidence; what people say, what people DO and judge from there. And that is in no way shape or form specific to cryptids, that goes for school, religion, boyfriends, girlfriends, acquaintances, job offers….. critical thinking is the gift that keeps on giving. The world has more than enough sheep.

    PS I never taught my children about Santa, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy…they heard about them from other children and I explained the differences between stories, myths and traditions to them. But I did warn them to keep their mouths shut as NO ONE likes the kid who tells the other kids that Santa isn’t real. 😉

  11. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Fetch your hubby’s belt and beat the stupid out of that brat, Brittany!


  12. Bast responds:

    What would you do if your child(ren) believed in cryptids?

    Why wouldn’t my children believe in cryptids? I believe in them, and whilst I have never said, believe or else (grins), I certainly share my opinions and reasoning with them. My son is a firm believer, my daughter is on the fence but doesn’t really care either way. My son’s favourite cryptid is Mothman, and we truly enjoy discussing all shows and books we’ve read, even when we don’t agree with each other.

    I’m proud that he believes.

  13. cryptic_hominid responds:

    what i find most sad about the whole situation is that the mother probably has no problem with taking her daughter to justin bieber concerts or letting her watch ‘hannah montana’… but holy wow… god forbid this little girl should be interested in science, documentaries, expanding her mind… if my children ever want to go find bigfoot, i will put them in the car and take them to the woods so we can find bigfoot.

  14. Joxman responds:

    The thing with children is that they have what is called, in Zen as “Beginers Mind”, This is a concept that is forgotten as we grow up and are taught what is known to humanity as common sense.

    Adults need to see things from a beginners mind to learn anything new. If you know everything, then you will adapt what you see to what you know. Which is fine, but it decreases creativity and new correct knowledge.

    I’m certain many people believe that being in the cold creates getting the “cold”. Is that true?

    I’m just saying 🙂


  15. Carumba responds:

    Humans should not be so pompous as to disallow or deny that other forms of life can exist, both on earth and elsewhere. Basing life lessons on “being prepared” is probably one of the most important things to teach a child. Presenting a scenario (even humorous or a little scary) and then asking your child, “If that happened, what would you do?” is a springboard for being prepared, thinking with a cool head, and reacting as well as can be expected; because when the UFO’s land en masse and Bigfoot gives a speech, about the most our government will be able to do for everybody is hand out diapers. Carumba!

  16. springheeledjack responds:

    I’ve got a seven year old and we’ve already discussed this many times. I watch shows on cryptozoology all the time, and sometimes he watches. He’s asked if Bigfoot is real, and I give him the answer: some people think so, some do not. I’ve told him that personally I believe so based on what I’ve learned, but that so far, no one has captured one.

    In the end, to me it doesn’t matter whether he believes in cryptids or not. It’s his decision and his life. I’ll be happy to present him with the information and evidence I’ve read, and let him make his own decisions about cryptids–even if it turns out he decides they’re a bunch of foolishness.

    I’d rather him think for himself and weigh the evidence for himself to make his own decisions.

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