With the Holidays soon approaching, the letters to Santa are being drafted by my 9 year old middle child and his 6 year old brother.
My 9 year old has started telling me that many of his classmates tell him that Santa is not real. When he asks me about Santa, I reverse the question and ask him what he thinks. My son still clings to his belief that Santa comes to our house every year.
"Santa" leaves subtle evidence each year. An open fireplace door. Whiskers and crumbs on the empty cookie plate. Reindeer footprints in the snow....
At what age should your children know the truth? How do you tell them?
Oh my lord! This topic has given us so much trouble!!! I've written about the tooth fairy quite a bit on my story blog hilarious!
My husband came clean to my oldest when she was about 9 about the tooth fairy, and then when I went into to do some damage control I asked her about Santa, and her response was, "Well, he is a real guy, so I guess it could be true."
We have never formally come clean about Santa, but my 11 year old knows because of talk at school. My 9 year old is right behind her. I don't think you really have to tell, tell them, they sort of pick it up. But you also have to know your child. If your child is one that would be crushed, then telling them face to face and talking about the "spirit" of it all.
When my daughter was about 9 she asked about Santa. I asked her how she would feel if she found out her classmates were right about Santa not being real. She said "I'd be mad that you lied to me my whole life!" She is 18 now and still believes in Santa. We never really confirmed or denied anything.
A few years ago, when I was dropping off my youngest son at his Montessori class, I stayed to observe circle time. A little boy named Max announced to the whole class that his mommy and daddy told him that there is no such thing as Santa Claus.
Without missing a beat the teacher responded, " Maybe that's because they've never seen Santa!"
I have been using this tactic over the years to side-step the issue.
Last year when my oldest son turned 10, Dad took him aside on Christmas day and had "The Talk". My husband told my son that Santa only brings presents for little kids and that starting next year he would be getting his presents from Mom and Dad.
My oldest seemed unfazed. As long as he would continue to get gifts, he was fine. I'm pretty sure he knows the truth about Santa and the Tooth Fairy.
I am a bit concerned about my middle child, he knows the truth about the Tooth Fairy but is still holding on to Santa. I worry about what Tara said about her daughter being "mad that you lied to me my whole life!" One of my former employees warned me about this. In addition to taking part in the Santa conspiracy, I used to create fake family vacations using photo shop. I didn't think there was any harm in creating false memories as long as they were good. Besides, it saved us lots of time and money on real vacations!
I also worry about my son being made fun of by the other boys who don't believe.
This topic has been a sore spot in my family ever since my daughter found out there was no Santa when she was 7. To make a long story short...I told her. She demanded the truth. I tried all the tricks, the avoidances, and the magical "if you believe" stuff. She wasn't having any of it. She wanted to know the truth. If you knew my daugther, you'd know that I had to tell her the truth.
Well, she cried for THREE DAYS STRAIGHT. Seriously, it was like someone died, and I guess in a way someone did. She was not only heartbroken that the big jolly dude was fake, but also that her father and I had lied to her for her "whole entire life" (her words).
When her little brother came along 2 years later, she made a solemn vow to him as he lay in his crib..."You will NEVER be lied to about Santa." Yeah...it was a real drama-queen moment. I swear I heard violins swelling in the background when she said it.
If and when you do decide to tell your 6 and 9 year old, make sure they don't end up bitter and traumatized like my daughter. I'm sure there's a therapist bill in my future for that one.
You mean there is No SANTA? lol... I'm 30 and my parents never told me the truth. This subject was like SEX in our house. It just wasn't discussed. As I grew up I just figured things out on my own. I turned out fine. I think I'll talk about alot more with my girls, so I think we'll end up telling our girls. I will probably wait till the youngest is older. That way once she finds out it's not so devastating as the posts I have read. I certainly agree with the whole let dad handle it. Then Mommy can come in and smooth things over as the good cop!