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childhood myths - when to tell the truth ?

(21 Posts)
tomps Thu 14-Aug-08 21:46:20

Dd1 is nearly 7 and asked me today "does the tooth fairy really come or is it your parents, really, honestly ?" And I lied ! What's more important - preserving the magic and innocence of childhood or being honest ? It's sad because she was so excited believing that the tooth fairy had been. I think her friend must have suggested that wasn't true. Oh no, is this the year we lose santa too ? Poor dd2 !

DaisySteiner Thu 14-Aug-08 21:48:35

My personal rule is that I will not lie to a direct question about the existence of tooth fairy, Santa, etc. It is sad when they start to question these things, but just a sign that they're growing up!

potoftea Thu 14-Aug-08 22:10:08

I agree with Daisy. I never told a direct lie to their faces when they asked a straight question. I think if you feel uncomfortable "fooling" your dc then the time has probably come to tell the truth.

My dd was only about 7 when she really questioned the myths and I told her the truth; whereas her brothers didn't ask until they were a few years older, so we carried it on longer.

Elibean Thu 14-Aug-08 22:12:21

I agree too. The answer to 'when to tell the truth' is 'when they ask', IMO.

I don't remember believing in either Santa or the Tooth Fairy as a child, but christmas was hugely magical, and losing teeth was very exciting too - I think the magic is there with or without myths smile

tissy Thu 14-Aug-08 22:14:05

I was going to start this thread yesterday!

Dd is happy to believe in the tooth fairy, but is a bit hmm about Father Christmas.

Mamazon Thu 14-Aug-08 22:19:38

ooh i nearly started a thread like this the other day. DS is almost 8 and he said that he knows Santa isn't real because he has found presents before.

I kind of gave a non comital answer as i could see he was hoping i would tell him that he was he wanted to not be right IYSWIM.
i told him that sometimes santa drops thinsg off a bit early but that if he really doesn't believ santa is real he will have to send him a letter without mummy knowing and see if he gets what he ask's for.

How i'm going to get round this i will never know.

amateurmum Thu 14-Aug-08 22:37:42

My eldest ds was devastated when I told him there was no Father Christmas - he had asked and I thought I should tell him the truth.

I think he did know really but wanted to 'play along' for a bit - I remember doing this for years as a child.

Since then I have replied to questions from ds2 by asking 'What do you think?'. So far he has claimed belief - but I think he must know.

DS1 is reconciled by pretending for younger siblings - don't know what we will do when they are all too old to believe!

blithedance Thu 14-Aug-08 22:52:26

Good grief. Just wait a few months and the "AIBU not to want people to suggest that Father Christmas doesn't exist in front of my 12yo" threads will start.

As well as the "AIBU not to want my child exposed to dangerous brainwashing superstitious religious myths at Christmas in the school nativity play" threads.

Children are so worldly wise these days you will end up in contortions trying to outwit them! I can't see how "magic and innocence" is a beter foundation than truthfulness to build yourlife on

tomps Sat 16-Aug-08 14:25:43

I knew I done wrong blush. Thanks for your replies.

hughjarssss Sat 16-Aug-08 14:37:33

You didn't do wrong IMO tomps.

The longer we can preserve their innocence and childhood the better esp. in this day and age.

Tinkjon Sat 16-Aug-08 18:09:56

I struggle with this. Not so much about Santa/Tooth Fairy as they are complete fantasy, but about things like whether his reindeer can really fly. I know it's over-thinking things but I find myself worrying that I'll hinder her scientific knowledge if I let her believe that some reindeer can fly Anyway, if I'm not sure what to say about any such question I say "some people say it's real and some say it isn't, so it's up to each person to believe what they want to - what do you believe?"

wahwah Sat 16-Aug-08 18:35:27

I don't want to tell mine stories, but dh thinks I am miserable killjoy, so am watching this thread with interest.

AMumInScotland Sun 17-Aug-08 17:30:44

Why does "innocence" get so confused with "believing made-up stories"? Do people really believe that children somehow stop being innocent when they know that Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy don't exist? It's as if parents want their children to exist in a little bubble they've constructed!

I always wanted my DS to know that the things I tell him are things that I genuinely believe, and that I could be trusted to give a straight answer to a straight question. It's different if they don't ask, and want to half-believe myths - but if they ask outright if you believe it, you should be honest.

hughjarssss Mon 18-Aug-08 01:24:40

I don't and never have considered my mum a lier because she told me father christmas was real - some poeple really do overthink things

For years my mum told me 'care bears' lived in the sky. I believed this long after I stopped believing in the tooth fairy and Santa. My love of the care bears is a really nice memeory of my childhood. My mum helped create a wonderful happy world for me. One day I asked her if they real as my sister told me they weren't and she told me they were and I able to carry on believing in them and being happy - that was much more important to her than worrying about 'trust issues'.

dontbitemytoes Mon 18-Aug-08 07:14:27

my mum never lied to me, but told me that it's up to me whether i believe or not, but that she had heard a rumour that father christmas might not visit boys and girls who don't believe in him...

i used to tell her i believed in father christmas even when i was about 14 grin. my younger sister never questioned it either...can't remember when/if we ever told mum that we no longer believed, but santa still comes and i'm now 30!

youcannotbeserious Mon 18-Aug-08 07:25:07

I'm also watching with interest....

My parents always made it perfectly clear they were the ones buying the presents, there was never any talk of Father Christmas, although my mum would rather half heartedly write 'from Santa' (in her own distinctive handwriting!!)

A few years ago, I spent Christmas eve with some friends and they did the whole 'footprints', and gold dust from the fireplace... It really was magical...

I def. want to do that for DS... I wouldn't lie outright, but I do think the innocence is wonderful.

I don't think that believing reindeers can fly hinders scientific knowledge, but I do think it is actually great for kids to believe that anything is possible, even if it doesn't appear to be on the surface...

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Aug-08 08:26:22

I think I would have lied too. If they are ready for the truth, they would not need to ask the question.

My 3 year old daughter is asking a lot of questions about death at the moment - very direct questions to which I could give her a very direct answer. But she is not after the truth, she is after reassurance and I am tailoring my answers to provide that.

youcannotbeserious Mon 18-Aug-08 08:28:13

Well put, goosey....

AbbeyA Mon 18-Aug-08 08:37:26

If they ask direct questions then I tell the truth. For example when my DS was wondering how Father Christmas could get all around the world I played along with possibilities.When he said he didn't think he believed in Father Christmas I said that I did (which is true-I think the magic of FC is wonderful). However when he asked my outright if DH and I were Father Christmas I told him the truth. Like GooseyLoosey, you tailor your answers to your DC.

seeker Mon 18-Aug-08 08:44:33

We never really believed in any of these myths in my family of origin, but we did the whole carrot for the reindeer whiskey for Father Christmas deal - it wasn't any less magical and lovely because we all knew it was a delightful myth. I doub;t if my children believe - I think the fact that they have never asked suggests that they don't - but we will continue with the lovely traditions as long as they want to.

Innocence and ignorance are completely different things.

VictorianSqualor Mon 18-Aug-08 08:56:47

My DD is 7 too.
She asked me about the tooth fairy, well in fact she asked me about the Easter Bunny, she didn't believe a big bunny rabbit bought your easter eggs, not surprising really.

I told her the truth, she picked her own fairtrade Easter eggs.

Then her tooth fell out. She asked me about the Tooth fairy, I told her the truth.

She put her tooth under her pillow and said she wondered if the tooth fairy would come. So I asked her what she wanted me to do. Told her she knew the truth but I was happy to go along with the story of the tooth fairy. She has lost about 5 teeth recently. Every one has gone under her pillow to be taken by the tooth fairy.

Children don't lose magic because they know something isn't real.

With Christmas, I like the pretence, I like the snowy footprints and drink/mince pie/carrot out for Santa and the reindeers. She has only questioned Santa in such a way that I don't think she really wanted the answer. So my answer has always been 'What do you think'. I only tell the truth to direct questions, and allow her to make her own mind up about the rest of it.
Watching Miracle on 34th street helpsgrin

I have told her though, that even though I don't believe the tooth fairy/easter bunny exist and that it's me that does the money under the pillow etc, I don't actually know anything for sure because you can't prove a negative, so I can't actually prove they don't exist, just that it isn't them doing the money/eggs.

She believes in God and Dragons and I've never seen those either.

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