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To think artificially prolonging childhood isn't about the children but the adults

(78 Posts)
onlythedaze Thu 20-Oct-16 06:53:52

I suppose I am wondering about this as Christmas is once more upon us and parents go to great lengths to convince their preteen children that Father Christmas exists when normally they would naturally be coming to that realisation alone.

AIBU to think parents should let children discover the world themselves and not enforce beliefs?

tibbawyrots Thu 20-Oct-16 06:58:36

Children stop believing a long time before they let on to their parents... grin

Bruce02 Thu 20-Oct-16 07:03:45

I have to be honest I don't know anyone who tries to make their preteen (assuming you mean anything from 8 and above) believe in santa.

My experience is that kids know long before they let on. And most parents are relieved when their kids admit it.

My dd is 12, she has known years. But she still participates in putting mince pies and baileys for me for santa. Because we have a 5 year old and she loves being part of it for him. She even likes putting his presents out for him. But at no point are we trying convince her that santander is real. She just enjoys it.

Bruce02 Thu 20-Oct-16 07:04:45

For some reason my phone keeps replacing santa with santander grin

lostincumbria Thu 20-Oct-16 07:06:07

Oh no, not again.

PrincessHairyMclary Thu 20-Oct-16 07:11:04

If you don't "believe" (in the magic of Christmas more so than Santa) in my house you don't get presents. I love the magic of Christmas and the traditions that go with it.

DD is 7 we Elf on the Shelf (without the creepy big brother aspect). Pretty sure she knows it's me because she makes him do tricks and get up to mischief and pretends it was him doing it.

missyB1 Thu 20-Oct-16 07:14:40

It's not that the kids don't know, it's just that for lots of families it's a tradition that everyone in the house goes along with. Where's the harm?

ineedamoreadultieradult Thu 20-Oct-16 07:17:41

No one in my house believes. Including the 6 year old. Santa's unrealness is never spoken about, we still leave snacks out for him and the reindeer we still nibble rudolphs carrot and leave crumbs from the mince pie on the plate after the kids have gone to bed. We still say the presents are from Santa and we still tell the kids to write a list to Santa each year. Some people may say we are trying to 'prolong childhood' but we just think we are having fun.

user1476140278 Thu 20-Oct-16 07:22:32

My 12 year old knows. Of course she does. She's said a few things which have let me know that....but she's also said a few things which let me know that she wants the pretence to be kept up.

So we do. I'm happy to do that. It's just a bit of fun.

My sister is 50 and she says "Of course he's real!" when people bring this up grin and acts all offended. I think it's harmless.

NoooorthonerMum Thu 20-Oct-16 07:25:03

My parents went the other way and told me (actually they asked if I "still" believed in santa which clued me in that he wasn't real) when I was about 6. I was devastated as lots of my friends still believed but I felt the magic had been lost. I think it works best when kids work it out on their own but carry on playing along for the fun of it.

ToxicLadybird Thu 20-Oct-16 07:26:02

My 23 year old still puts out mince pies and milk for Father Christmas. I'm a failed parent grin

Huldra Thu 20-Oct-16 07:27:17

I don't know anyone who goes to any length to get their children to keep believing in Santa. Even if they did it doesn't really come under the heading of prolonging childhood, I thought this post about age of financial supporting themselves or housework. My son got me to admit at 9 that Santa didn't exist but in the grand scheme of things it wouldn't make any difference if he had asked at 5 or 12. His friends are Muslim and from Eastern European countries and of course they talk, he had doubts for years. Since he made us tell him for certain he still gets us to do stockings, he even gets the mince pie and carrot out, eats them, leave crumbs and acts surprised in the morning grin

PlumsGalore Thu 20-Oct-16 07:27:32

PrincssHairy this is our house too!

Mine are adults, I have never said Santa doesnt exist, even now when jokes are made about it I remind them that if they don't believe they won't get anything. They haven't even got up before 10 on Christmas Day for years and years.

They like it this way, they have never questioned his existance but obviously at some point they learned he wasn't real.

I genuinely believe mine were happy to believe it until they went to high school. It wasn't for me this Santa thing, I bloody hate Christmas, it was for them.

20 and 22 they both moan if I say this year there won't be candles, a roaring fire, a carrot and Baileys for Santa and Rudolph and chocolate coins sprinkled over their presents on Christmas morning. I can't possibly change their traditional Christmas grin

onlythedaze Thu 20-Oct-16 07:30:15

Ah, you know I'm not talking about those traditions! I mean the parents who actually seem genuinely upset and talk about 'the magic is lost ... keeping the magic for one more year.'

ShebaShimmyShake Thu 20-Oct-16 07:32:28

Totally agree that kids know long before they let on. I kept up the pretence for years to keep my parents happy....

blueskyinmarch Thu 20-Oct-16 07:32:52

Mine are 18 and 24 and we still pretend Santa is real. They have known for a long time he is not! We leave out whisky and a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph. They also will not enter the sitting room until we are all ready in order to see if Santa has been.

It is lots of fun and is our Christmas tradition. Children are not stupid and get the idea quite quickly that this is something to go along with.

I don't think they believe for any longer than children did when I was young. I pretended for years I still believed in Santa.

CancellyMcChequeface Thu 20-Oct-16 07:35:46

YANBU at all. Obviously not all families who do the Santa thing are like this, but some are. Often it's phrased as 'if you don't believe, you don't get presents' - in effect a punishment for telling the truth! - or parents otherwise acting disapproving when their child questions the existence of Santa.

Elf on the Shelf is downright disturbing. See this:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9Pn16dCWIg

user1474781546 Thu 20-Oct-16 07:39:32

bluesky, same here. We have never had that Santa not real chat- so I guess they must still believe. ( 16 and 19 btw)

My 16 yeal old DD and I make Santa biscuits on Christmas eve, leave out milk and carrots, we all hang up stockings on christmas eve.
And in the morning there are lots of presents and the stockings are full.

OP is it time to have that dreaded conversation do you think?

daydreamnation Thu 20-Oct-16 07:39:58

What?! He isn't real? grin

chibsortig Thu 20-Oct-16 07:40:01

Whats wrong with keeping a little magic alive? Most children probably know he isnt real before the parents click on. Children talk in school, watch tv etc.
But whats wrong with pretending he is for the rest of the family for once month a year?
Seems its completely reasonable as a grown up to believe in other characters that arent real but not Father Christmas sad
It's fun and harmless.
My older children enjoy helping create the magic for the younger children now and one day they'll be doing it for their own children.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Thu 20-Oct-16 07:42:48

When she was about 8 my dd told me she knew Father Christmas was me and daddy, so I needn't keep pretending. She was quite clear and matter of fact about it, so I said OK, but not one word to little sister who still believes..

When she was in her 20s she told me she'd been absolutely dying for me to deny it, so she could go on believing a little longer!

I don't understand anyone wanting to spoil the magic, when it goes so soon anyway.
Funnily enough, though, Father Christmas still comes to everyone in this house, even guests who haven't had a stocking in years.

BearsDontDigOnDancing Thu 20-Oct-16 07:43:07

I told my son last xmas, well we had a conversation about it one day which eventually led to him working it out. He was a month before his 8th bday, but he was being bullied at school, and quite frankly, I did not want him to have one more thing for him to be bullied about.(and the school dealt brilliantly with it, but this was at the the height of it)

He was ok about it, more than ok actually, and had great fun sneaking back down on xmas eve once his little sister was asleep to help us play at being Santa and drinking the milk and munching on the cookie and arranging the crumbs just so.

dd still believes and she is 7 now, but it may well go on for a couple years more for her.

Rosa Thu 20-Oct-16 07:45:58

This is done to death every year ... ( scrooge here). YOU do what you want for your children and let others do what they want. I do what I know my children and family like and having apre teen as well I think I know her better than most ........

MrsJayy Thu 20-Oct-16 07:50:58

Whaaatttt do you mean santa is not real <gutted>. The pretence is silly but its part of Christmas of course children know from a certain age but i still do the Santa for christmas morning my youngest is 18. You can keep magic going if that is what you want to do.

HardcoreLadyType Thu 20-Oct-16 08:01:51

All you need to do is reassure those parents that the Magic still continues, even when their DC don't believe in Father Christmas.

But, yes. It is partly for the parents. Why should my life be devoid of all fun and magic, because I am an adult?

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