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At what age do you tell them that he isn't real?

(13 Posts)
Marne Fri 12-Oct-12 10:54:42

Dd1 is 8, she is quite imature for her age and has Aspergers. This morning she said "mum, people keep saying that father christmas is not real and parents give you presents and lie by writing 'from father christmas' on them", she then asked me 'is it true?', i asked her what she thought and she said 'i think he's real and he is magic like Harry potter which makes him able to deliver all the presents in one night' so i left it at that.

I didn't want to say 'yes he's real' or 'no he isn't real' but i dont want to lie to her.

At what age do you tell them? or do you just cary on until they decide 'they dont beleive anymore'?

oreocrumbs Fri 12-Oct-12 11:03:57

My parents never actually told me. I came to know through the play ground and figuring it out. To this day I don't think they actually said "well actually no he isn't".

Obviously there came an age when I knew, and they knew that I knew, that he isn't. So that is my plan for DD. There will come an age where I will not go out of my way to make her think he is real, but will take her lead on that.

Thankfully we have a way to go here!

LFCisTarkaDahl Fri 12-Oct-12 11:06:17

Never. At some point they reach that age (don't know if aspergers means it will be different) where you just wink and say 'only those who believe in Father Christmas get a stocking'.

DD is nearly 15 and happily goes along with the wink.

WitchesWreakinHavoc Fri 12-Oct-12 11:06:48

You dont!

LauraShigihara Fri 12-Oct-12 11:09:17

I didn't want to tell any of mine, but my oldest son still wholeheartedly believed when he went to secondary school and I couldn't do that to him grin

He was genuinely shocked and cried big, fat tears. I felt like bloody Scrooge.

His older sister had worked it out for herself through playground chatter but I never admitted it outright to her and am hoping to get away with it with the youngest too.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Fri 12-Oct-12 11:14:50


Sounds like it may be her last Christmas believing. I'd make it as special as possible and enjoy the innocence smile

Marne Fri 12-Oct-12 11:15:54

I did panic a little when she asked grin i want her to believe for a bit longer (if not forever) though its hard when all her friends are telling her 'he's not real' one even directed her to a you-tube video which showed parents wrapping up presens from father christmas shock.

I love doing the whole 'father christmas' thing with her as i cant do it with dd2 as she has more severe autism and is petrified of the thought of a bearded man coming into our house (so we cant mention him infront of her).

Fingers crossed we will get at least one more year out of dd1.

boredandrestless Fri 12-Oct-12 12:15:48

Marne I have been wondering about this too, my DS has autism but is fairly high functioning. I know when he finds out he will be monumentally heart broken and if I had known about his autism I don't think I would have told him the whole FC thing. He would have been just excited about xmas without FC featuring.

DoubleMum Fri 12-Oct-12 12:20:59

My DD (7) has figured it out in the last month. DS (10) has never really talked about but he knows. We do the magic wink too....but have made them promise faithfully not to say anything in front of their little cousins.

browniebear Fri 12-Oct-12 12:21:35

I think dd (nearly 8) has figured it out but I wouldn't say anything and I'm hoping she'll still go along with it for the sake of younger ds

Theas18 Fri 12-Oct-12 12:30:35

I think it depends how you handle Xmas as a whole.

Here Santa brings a stocking- choc/sweets/books/toiletries/underwear (when they were little it always contained something Mum felt was total advertising hype and a waste of money eg character pants, or memorably a beyblade for DS). The bigger gifts are from us/family.

If " santa" is the fount of all Xmas pressies its really difficult for them to work it out and not believe- they think they wont get any pressies....

I've never told my kids he doesn't exist. It's never arisen but there have been winks about " what a savvy shopper the big man is " for years LOL.

(and they are 19/16/13 now, and yes.... I've been an a trip to Lidl to get choc etc that they wont recognise as as known brand already LOL I'm nore excited about about it than they are !)

My friend has DS with a moderate learning disability. When he went to secondary school she tried to explain to him, and he just went quiet. A while later he announced in a very loud voice, to a man on a train "she doesn't believe in father Christmas so SHE isn't going to get ANY presents"!!

Aww! I don' think it's ever been a problem though at school etc for him, though he is at special school.

eatyourveg Fri 12-Oct-12 12:40:36

I got them a childrens book about the first father Christmas (St Nicholas) and it was all about where the traditions of stockings and presents originated. I told them we re-enacted the story each year and the santas we see in the shops and at christmas fayres are actors playing the part of the original Santa Claus and each year Dad does the same by leaving presents in your stocking.

GossipWitch Fri 12-Oct-12 12:47:35

My ds1 found out 2 years ago, he was 8 from a school friend, he has adhd and possibly asd/aspergers. He was more bothered about me lying to him for so long than the fact he wasn't real, I had to explain that I wanted christmas to be as magic as I could for him to keep his imagination going, and we need to keep it magic for younger children to help their imagination too. He accepted that very easily.

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