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AIBU to be upset at MIL for telling ds this? *title edited by MNHQ elves*

(283 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

rocketjam Wed 26-Nov-14 13:58:40

DS is 9 and for a couple of years, he's been doubting that Santa exists, but we tell him that some children believe he exists, some children don't, and that's ok. I always make a big deal out of Christmas, and try to create a lovely family celebration as I have very fond memories of Christmas as a child and I want to do the same thing for my children. We are a Christian family and attend Church, Sunday School, etc and it's a very special time of the year.

MIL told me many times in the past that she always told her children - DH and his sister - that Santa doesn't exist as she didn't want to confuse them and didn't want to be accused of lying to them as they got older.

When DS (now 9 YO) asked her if Santa existed, instead of saying what we say - (maybe he doesn't, what do you think?) she actually answered 'No darling, he doesn't exist' and then she told me over the phone that DS was upset because we had lied to him.

IABU to be upset over this? She apologised and sounded very sorry, and I told her not to worry about it because she worries about everything and I don't want to cause any more damage/conflict especially at this time of year. But inside I am fuming.

Rinkydinkypink Wed 26-Nov-14 13:59:20

Yanbu! I'd be furious

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Wed 26-Nov-14 14:00:01

what a bitch.

what a spiteful horrid cow.

I would be hitting the roof over this, so horrid on so many levels.

what a bitch.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Wed 26-Nov-14 14:01:11

BTW when your mil has told you about her version of Santa and lying what did you say>

did you say firmly how you want it, or did you nod agree and say nothing..

NoSundayWorkingPlease Wed 26-Nov-14 14:02:12

I would find it very, very difficult to get over this. What an absolute cunt, she had no right.

FreeSpirit89 Wed 26-Nov-14 14:02:29

I'd be so very angry if mil did that! YANBU

ApocalypseThen Wed 26-Nov-14 14:02:40

I disagree. He's nine, he asked a direct question and got an honest answer. There should have been very little mileage left in Santa at this stage of his life - if he asked, he knew well.

TywysogesGymraeg Wed 26-Nov-14 14:03:50

She was out of order, yes. But your DS probably knew (or at least suspected) the truth anyway. He wouldn't be asking otherwise.

rocketjam Wed 26-Nov-14 14:05:22

Yes elf, I did tell her very clearly on many occasions that I don't think it's a lie, that I think we do it for te right reasons. She spends every Christmas with us and knows that the children love the story and the magic!

dirkdiggler1 Wed 26-Nov-14 14:05:30

What would you say if he questioned whether god exists?

strawberryshoes Wed 26-Nov-14 14:07:32

I'd be upset, that question should always be met with "what do you think" until they say "its you really isn't it!"

I am very surprised your son is angry you lied to him, most kids want you to keep lying if it means they get a stocking of presents.

hotfuzzra Wed 26-Nov-14 14:07:36

It is a bit harsh to call her a cunt. It's not like she told him God doesn't exist and that you were lying about that.
He's 9, it's likely he's heard it already at school. (You admit that even you say 'Maybe he doesn't exist' when he asks!)
Sorry he's found out but you can still have a wonderful family time and enjoy his enthusiasm for the time of year anyway!

ThePeoplePleaser Wed 26-Nov-14 14:07:58

It's out of order of your mil in a way but as Christians, aren't you supposed to be honest? As in not lying to your child about the existence of Santa Claus? Plus Christmas is a pagan celebration as far as I'm aware so I don't think a huge deal should be made out of this. Tell her it's upset you and move on

rocketjam Wed 26-Nov-14 14:08:18

It's the way she said it really, inviting the reaction / conclusion that we had lied to him. He'd asked me before and my reaction was very mild, encouraging him to come to his own conclusion, not encouraging him to think that his parents had lied to him!

WelliBeDamned Wed 26-Nov-14 14:08:23

At 9 that is usually when kids at school tend to doubt or just start saying he doesn't exist. She was being honest, no point lying to him as he isn't a little kid anymore.

loiner45 Wed 26-Nov-14 14:11:08

You lied, she didn't. Sorry I'm with her on this, I would never lie if a child asked a direct question like that.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Wed 26-Nov-14 14:11:09

Its not her place to tell him and she has done it according to her much spoken of beliefs which of course by constantly telling op these, she thinks is the right thing.

Now she has got her wish she has finally disabused her GC of this stupid myth....

sorry it stinks and its controlling and vicious and horrible and she had no right.

SomethingSuitablyWitty Wed 26-Nov-14 14:11:11

I expected to say YANBU, but having read the OP, I actually think that MIL sounds like she was doing her best and felt the time had come for an honest answer (though your gentle approach sounds lovely). She clearly wouldn't have gone out of her way to ruin it for him and at 9, he will have been having a lot of doubts anyway. Sorry that you didn't get a last Christmas out of it.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Wed 26-Nov-14 14:12:32

his age, what the questions he asked etc all totally irrelevant.

its simply not her place to tell him 100% and its not her place to do it her way when she knows her DIL has other feelings about it.

she could have very easily batted him off....and changed subject, then told op....

Alsoflamingo Wed 26-Nov-14 14:12:40

Oh poor you - I can totally see why you are so annoyed. The whole Father Christmas thing was always huge when I was growing up and I LOVE IT. I think it's true that by 9 they sort of 'know' he's not real, but don't necessarily want to admit it to themselves as it means giving up SUCH a magical thing. I have been struggling with trying not to let older DD tell younger DD. But I suppose there is no point really losing it with your MIL. You could say calmly that you understand her POV but would rather she left you space to parent as you see fit. That would make the point without being offensive (which would get you nowhere). I suppose the most important thing is DS and how he feels. Making it ok for him and making it clear that it wasn't about lying, but about allowing him some special childhood years.

TywysogesGymraeg Wed 26-Nov-14 14:13:01

My DDs both, separately asked my why grown ups lied to children about FC when they "found out". I think that it's just your DS's lack of vocabulary that made him use that particular word.

My DDs are both in their late teens now, but I tell them every year that FC will only keep coming if they keep believing wink.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Wed 26-Nov-14 14:14:14

It's the way she said it really, inviting the reaction / conclusion that we had lied to him

she has projected her own thoughts about it onto your son and you....and tainted it and made it horrible and I am sorry but I wouldnt trust at all what she has actually said to him.

leading questions " sorry he doesnt exist, are you upset your parents lied to you " and so on.

sounds nutty to me.

Sunna Wed 26-Nov-14 14:14:21

He's 9. He asked her outright and she didn't want to lie to him. Most 9 year olds know the truth.

If a child asked me outright I would answer honestly.

ApocalypseThen Wed 26-Nov-14 14:16:29

sorry it stinks and its controlling and vicious and horrible and she had no right

This is a massive overreaction to a very trivial event. A nine year old looking for confirmation of what they already know does not need to be lied to. I think the grandmother was in an invidious position, really, but I think it's appropriate to be honest when asked directly.

KatriKling Wed 26-Nov-14 14:16:30

She should have left it for you to answer the question, definitely not fair the way it was done. It would have happened at some point soon though.

My children (9 yr old twins) questioned the existence of Santa for quite some time — last year some fellow pupils had told them that really Mum and Dad were Santa. I could see their doubts but said nothing and had decided that if they asked me directly, I would tell them the truth. After Christmas, they wanted to compare Santa's writing to mine -- and then just asked me outright, I told them the truth. One was elated at being right, the other was a bit sad that it wasn't true.

Yesterday, one of them said "Mum, don't you think it's wrong to lie to children about Santa?". He thinks it is wrong. I didn't grow up with the whole Santa thing so I hadn't been sure whether to do it but then thought the magical aspect might be fun for them. It has been but then it is a big let down when they find out, which has to happen. There's probably no perfect way to share that fact.

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