Was ibu to have told my son the truth when he asked about Santa

(54 Posts)
Charliefarlie1192 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:30:09

Ds 7 told me tonight he doesn't believe in Santa and he knows it's not true. At first I said he was talking nonsense but he was so adamant In the end I told him he was right and that it was me who bought his gifts
I feel terrible now and think I should have tried harder to persuade him I can't even sleep!

WorraLiberty Thu 22-Nov-12 00:32:28

Only you know when the time is right.

I told my kids that santa stops bringing gifts when they start senior school or before that if they stop believing in him.

They had the good sense to pretend they still believed until just after their last Christmas in Junior school grin

mumnosbest Thu 22-Nov-12 00:33:21

You poor thing. My ds is 7 too but i think my lies have worked for another year. If you tried and he didn't believe then sadly maybe he's ready for the truth dreading next year

whatacolddaytoday Thu 22-Nov-12 00:33:53



YABU angry

thebody Thu 22-Nov-12 00:34:17

Tooth fairy?? Easter bunny???? The list is endless..

ClippedPhoenix Thu 22-Nov-12 00:34:53

I love the whole thing about santa and still tell my son that it's true, we both still sort of believe in a weird way and he's 14. It's a beautiful myth. Whilst YANBU at all I can understand that your sad you did the "fact" thing. My dream would still be to go to lapland and see the elves at work.

Charliefarlie1192 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:35:27

I feel so angry with myself I just couldn't keep up the lie when he blatantly knew the truth. He is a very smart kid and switched on, plus his dads db is 13 and they spend a lot of time together- I think it probably came from him

I could cry

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Thu 22-Nov-12 00:35:39

My Dad insisted that Santa was real and that we wouldn't get any presents if we didn't believe right up until he passed away a few months ago. I'm 40 and my sister is 50.grin

WorraLiberty Thu 22-Nov-12 00:36:10

You don't have to dread it you know.

I always ended the conversation with, "But I'm still going to make you up a Santa sack every year cos it's tradition"...and they were happy with that.

My eldest is 21 in January and lives with his girlfriend...they'll be getting a Santa sack from me too grin

Lia87 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:36:12

Don't feel bad it sounds like he already knew for definite anyway, better than him getting frustrated at you insisting he's wrong when he knows truth , could be an older sibling let slip?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 22-Nov-12 00:37:42

Alls not lost here though OP, why can't you just tell him that actually we still don't know, fact says its not true but myths are also very credible in their own right?

WorraLiberty Thu 22-Nov-12 00:38:42

FlaminNora grin

That's the thing...you don't have to let go of the tradition just because they know the truth.

In a way, they kind of felt 'relieved' to know it wasn't true and that they weren't going out of their minds.

But they felt even more relieved to know they weren't going to miss out on their Santa prezzie and all the other novelty shite I'd fill the sack with grin

LucieMay Thu 22-Nov-12 00:38:55

No yanbu. Ds six and debunked the Santa myths over the summer and I admitted it. I was secretly proud of him for working it out. I stopped believing even earlier.

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Thu 22-Nov-12 00:40:22

We used to creep downstairs on Christmas morning because Dad always said if you disturbed Santa while he was working he'd go and leave nothing (cunning plan to get us to stay in bed). He'd then make each of us peek through a crack in the door to confirm that Santa wasn't in the living room and once everyone was in agreement, we were allowed in. We were still doing this last Christmas grin

Charliefarlie1192 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:40:28

I am thinking maybe tomorrow I tell him that I was playing along with him and that of course Santa is real

Oh god, I feel like such a shit mum

ClippedPhoenix Thu 22-Nov-12 00:41:57

Whilst my child knew the truth and I admitted it we still kept up the pretence toether if you like and the magic remained and still does.

aufaniae Thu 22-Nov-12 00:43:12

7 is plenty old to know that Santa isn't real. I certainly did, I still enjoyed Christmas and played along. It didn't make it any less exciting or magical. I love Christmas smile

If he's worked it out himself, you absolutely did the right thing to confirm it.

DS (nearly 4) spends half the day pretending he's spiderman / batman / a jedi knight / tree fu tom and that daddy's car is a spaceship. It's great fun. But I'm not going to insist he still believes that when he's 7! Nor Santa, which is just another lovely make believe game, nothing more or less IMO.

If he does still enjoy living in a fantasy world, fine, but if not I'm certainly not going to force him to if he's growing out of it!

ClippedPhoenix Thu 22-Nov-12 00:43:13

Of course you're not a shit mum, all you do now is pretend together and keep up that sparkle and myth.

LucieMay Thu 22-Nov-12 00:43:36

You think you're a shit mum because of this? For real? It's really not a big deal. At all.

WorraLiberty Thu 22-Nov-12 00:44:03

FlaminNora I actually think I'm the female version of your Dad grin grin

OP, you're not a shit mum shock

Your child is obviously intelligent and you've taken the step of telling him that he's right...there's nothing wrong with that.

The most important thing imo is that you drum it into him not to spoil it for his friends at school or any younger children he knows.

Why don't you tell him you're going to make up a Santa Sack for him from now on?

Start a new family tradition?

Charliefarlie1192 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:45:10

I think I am sad he is growing up so fast too. I worked out Santa wasn't real when I woke up to my dad filling my stocking age. 6 but never told my parents. He only turned 7 yesterday!

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 22-Nov-12 00:45:29

I've got the opposite problem. DC1 is 7 and still really firmly believes in Father Christmas and the tooth fairy and everything. I don't want to tell her, I want her to work it out for herself. Thing is she's such a know-it-all (and really enjoys knowing everything) that she's going to be furious when she finds out!

aufaniae Thu 22-Nov-12 00:45:33

"Oh god, I feel like such a shit mum"

Not at all! You're a a great mum, who treated her son with respect when he asked for the truth smile

Please don't backtrack, you'll look like a mad woman!

Just because he knows, doesn't mean he shouldn't get a stocking btw. It's still lovely to get a stocking even when you know your parents did it really.

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Thu 22-Nov-12 00:45:33


Charliefarlie1192 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:46:50

Thanks for the positive replays! I have to him that under no circumstances must he tell anybody else and he agreed. I asked if he was upset and he said no that he was glad I didn't tell a fib!!

Charliefarlie1192 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:47:50

Damn autocorrect I meant to say replies not replays

BOFingSanta Thu 22-Nov-12 00:48:11

Turn it around and make him feel part of a big adult secret. Say that Santa is the way we explain to little kids the 'magic' of Christmas. The magic is real, because it's about love, and no matter how hard things get, we always try to show the magic of love at Christmas.


Then watch Miracle On 34th Street with him.

WorraLiberty Thu 22-Nov-12 00:48:15

Outraged I doubt she'll be furious.

If you explain about the magical myth and why you wanted her to experience it...then follow it up with a story or two of how you panicked some years because you found it hard to find what she wanted in the shops...I'm sure she'll love and appreciate you all the more for it smile

ClippedPhoenix Thu 22-Nov-12 00:49:14

Now you can say, ah but how do we know for real and keep up the myth. Or am I just a die hard santa believer grin

BOFingSanta Thu 22-Nov-12 00:50:11

Yes, same sort of thing, Worra. That's how I like to think of it. Christmas is still full of spirit, no matter how you look at it.

WorraLiberty Thu 22-Nov-12 00:50:42

Then watch Miracle On 34th Street with him

Yes! And then Jingle All The Way grin

The year after my DS found out, he asked if we could still track Santa on the Norad site and if we could still use the 'email Santa' thing too.

I said yes of course...it wouldn't seem like Christmas if we didn't grin

Charliefarlie1192 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:51:16

Maybe if I label all the presents from mummy apart from one in different paper from Santa on Xmas day? And act shocked and surprised an excited because he must be real!?

BOFingSanta Thu 22-Nov-12 00:53:23

Nah, cat's out of the bag now. Just tell him that it's the best way to explain how special things happen at Christmas. Because that's true, they do.

WorraLiberty Thu 22-Nov-12 00:54:36

OP I wouldn't go back on what you've told him if I were you as that will only confuse him.

If I were you, I'd buy a big gift bag and fill it with bits and bobs 'From Santa' and then smile and tell him you want to keep the tradition.

It's up to you though obviously but I think you'll find as long as the Santa thing remains a part of Christmas morning (no matter what his age as FlaminNora has proved) the magic/tradition will never be lost...even though he knows Santa's not real smile

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 22-Nov-12 00:55:12

Hope so Worra grin

WorraLiberty Thu 22-Nov-12 00:55:32

Or what BOF said with less waffle grin

ClippedPhoenix Thu 22-Nov-12 00:56:46

I still only put one from mummy and the rest from santa and his reindeer grin we watch all the magical dvds together and as I said my DS is 14. Just because children obviously sus it out and need to be told the truth you can still both pretend together and it does actually keep christmas magical.

Charliefarlie1192 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:58:27

Think you are all right, when I finally admitted the truth to him he seemed relieved and I told him it was because I didn't want to lie to him and I wouldn't ever tell him a lie- we have had a tough year and he deserves my respect for how he has handled things

Itsaboatjack Thu 22-Nov-12 01:00:32

I've got to work hard to keep up the myth of Santa after I ballsed up on the tooth fairy this week. I forgot to leave money two nights in a row and came out with the lame excuse that her bedroom was too messy for the tooth fairy to get to her bed blush

WorraLiberty Thu 22-Nov-12 01:00:54

Aww well that's even more reason to start your own tradition now grin

Give him a santa sack, tell him to leave it by the fireside on Xmas Eve...and tell him you'll fill it with a few bits for Xmas morning.

WorraLiberty Thu 22-Nov-12 01:02:42

Itsaboatjack I was a total pro at telling my kids to look harder and shake their duvets out...while I hurriedly grabbed a pound coin...shoved it up my sleeve and then dropped it down the side of the bed whilst 'helping' them look blush

ClippedPhoenix Thu 22-Nov-12 01:02:45

Even more reason to put them carrots out together for the reindeer then ay OP. Do it and keep that wonderful myth going x

Whatdoiknowanyway Thu 22-Nov-12 08:47:16

You treated your intelligent child with compassion and respect, that's the opposite of being a shit mum.

I really, really don't understand parents who insist on maintaining the secret in the face of their child's growing maturity and curiosity.

Mine worked it out at about 7, thoroughly enjoyed helping their younger siblings and then cousins experience the magic and still leave out mince pies, carrots and a drink for Santa, hang their own stocking up etc. Theyre 19 and 20 now.

freddiefrog Thu 22-Nov-12 08:55:29


If he's worked it out for himself, then don't force it. I think that once they start asking questions, they're ready to know if that makes sense

DD1 knows, but we still do the whole Santa sack thing with her, it's as still fun for her, she knows she has to keep her gob shut and not spoil it for her sister. She still writes her list, tracks him on NORAD, eager to leave out the mince pie

MiL told my DD2 out of the blue the other day, she'd never questioned it or anything, full on believer so she thinks that nanny is just being silly for now

My older four DCs know (and have done so for a long time) but they will try to keep the magic alive for their 4 yo sister until she works it for herself, which she is likely to do sooner rather than later as none of them can agree on anything . I am also a firm believer in not lying outright to my DCs, I'll tell them about the tooth fairy and Father Christmas but when they ask me outright whether it's me that fills their sack /puts the money under the pillow I'll tell them the truth. It's really not thta big a deal, and if his friends all still believe then he'll feel grown up keeping that pretence up for them.

valiumredhead Thu 22-Nov-12 09:48:00

You did the right thing imo, he is 7 after all! We all have presents from FC and stockings even though ds has never believed and he is 11 now!

squeakytoy Thu 22-Nov-12 09:54:54

I never got a present from Father Christmas... he just brought the presents from other people. That way I knew I had people to say thanks to for my presents.

Bramshott Thu 22-Nov-12 09:59:18

DD1 is nearly 10 and sussed it last year. It's great now that she conspires with me to get things for DD2's stocking - it's still magical, just different.

SpookTheCat Thu 22-Nov-12 11:20:32

DD worked it out just the other day and i couldn't keep up the pretence any longer.
She saw a "Santa please stop here" sign yesterday she wanted and then said "Oh we cant have that as Santa isn't real"
My response of course we can, we can still have the magic of Santa. That will never stop!!

We will continue with stockings and the mince pie and carrot for Rudolph, She will still sneak downstairs in the morning before everyone else is awake to see if Santa has been.
In fact she was quite happily singing, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town!" last night, with a big grin on her face!!

The whole santa thing is what you make it, whether they believe or not!!

Floralnomad Thu 22-Nov-12 11:29:33

I honestly don't think mine believed in Santa from the moment they could talk and its never made Christmas any less special . We always went to Disney Paris the week before Xmas ( until last year ) and I don't think you can take a Goofy Santa seriously. We always put out a glass of milk and biscuit for the reindeer on Christmas Eve , because dad likes to eat it when he's moving the presents around in the night! If you're a shit parent OP I must be really bad yet both have mine have made it to being teenagers ( ones 19) without too many issues.

Fakebook Thu 22-Nov-12 11:30:07

Meh, my DD is 5 and knows Father Christmas isn't real. No biggie. She still keeps talking about him though.

TwinkleReturns Thu 22-Nov-12 11:30:48

I still half believe it. I obviously know that Santa isnt real <not completely nuts> but I still get in bed early so that he will be able to come and still have a stocking which I convince myself wasnt posted to me via my mum and plonked on the end of my bed before I went to sleep grin

Christmas would be AWFUL without keeping the traditions alive and Santa for me is one of them.

Plus Ive seen Polar Express so know that he is real if you only believe

KitCat26 Thu 22-Nov-12 13:04:52

FC just used to bring us stockings. If we dared hint that we were suspicious Mum would say he won't come if you don't believe in him. Me and DB still got stockings til I moved out at 24 grin.

Your DS will be fine, I was suspicious by 6 (we didn't have a fireplace and I didn't have much imagination) and sure by 8.

We started properly with the DDs last year and even put flour (chimney dust/snow) and boot prints in front of the fire. It was magical so I get where you are coming from.

Pandemoniaa Thu 22-Nov-12 13:13:18

Years later (by this time he was about 20) ds2 admitted to me that he'd sussed the Father Christmas myth the year he'd seen me creep into his room at silly o'clock in the morning. He was 7 at the time.

But because he wanted to believe in Father Christmas and wanted me to believe he believed in him, nothing was ever said and actually, it didn't take any of the magic away really. Children are very capable of knowing the truth but loving the traditions.

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