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My kid has told another kid Santa isn't real...
235

Santaslittleproblem · 13/11/2021 21:22

Our kids are 9 and at school they have had a discussion amongst a few of them about whether Santa is real.

I've had a very shirty message from a parent, which appears to single out my child having spilled the beans and subsequently spoilt the 'magic of Christmas' for their child, who has also told their younger siblings who've been crying over it. The parents have had to spend a lot of time reassuring the kids that Santa IS in fact real, and have requested that I ask my child not to discuss it further in school.

My child found out about Santa from their older sibling, and wasn't too bothered by it. I've said before that they should not talk about it with their friends, and when I asked them about this conversation, my child was absolutely gutted to have caused upset to others.

How should I respond, if at all? I don't want to fall out with them, but I'm stunned they've approached me with this, tbh.

OP's posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

LetHimHaveIt · 14/11/2021 19:51

@WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll

Sorry, Puffalicious and Lethimhaveit - my misunderstanding Blush

Don't apologize. I get hold of the wrong end of the stick about three times a week, on here. I think I must skim read.
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muldersspeedos · 14/11/2021 19:38

Stop saying he's not real! This thread needs a trigger warning. I feel quite traumatised. If FC isn't bringing those random gifts wrapped in brown paper, tied with ribbon and sealed with wax and a North Pole stamp then who the hell is?! FC magics the presents into the house so if it's not him I need better security.

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 14/11/2021 18:06

Sorry, Puffalicious and Lethimhaveit - my misunderstanding Blush

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MaryLamb · 14/11/2021 17:28

There is no other situation in which it is considered acceptable - much less desirable - for children to be expected to actively participate in adult lies and keep adult secrets.

I know it seems to innocent and is all framed around the "magic of Christmas" and doesn't do loads of children lasting harm but to a parent very aware of safeguarding, parental trust and children not being encouraged to believe less or keep secrets (for various reasons of my own), I won't be participating in any actual lies about Santa beyond playing the "Santa game" at Christmas.

If other parents make different choices, I completely respect that, but it doesn't entitle you to require me and my child to play along with you. I would never encourage my child to declare the truth in this scenario because there's no particular need to but I won't require them to actively lie and keep adult secrets either.

If it upsets some parents that we're doing it differently, I'm sorry, but there we are. All lies, however innocent, are inherently fragile and one consequence you risk in telling them is that the truth will be uncovered in a way you are not in control of.

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BewareTheBeardedDragon · 14/11/2021 17:21

I read on FB last year someone who had explained to their older kid that Santa was the embodiment of kindness and generosity towards others, and that little ones need the man and reindeers and fantasy in order to understand that, but as they get older they can understand what the fantasy represents - which I think is lovely and I will use for my 10yo when they work it out,

We have already had some (child initiated and led) discussion of the traditions that have lead/fed into the modern Santa and I think that understanding that he is derived from such exciting traditions as Odin from Norse mythology makes the whole thing magical for me personally, despite knowing that I carry out the actual deeds for my dc. I am fairly sure that my dc will enjoy the feeling of connection with their distant ancestors.

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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 16:15

I don't think the "lie" of Santa is harmful in itself. But something has gone badly wrong when you start using threats and manipulation to stop children's natural development around it, or if your Christmases are so lacking in anything else that they'll be ruined once your child inevitably figures it out.

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MajorCarolDanvers · 14/11/2021 16:10

I would just ignore. That's life. It happens.

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Brieandcamembert · 14/11/2021 16:08

The sooner a child learns the truth, the better in my opinion. There’s nothing “magic” about being lied to.

To be honest I agree. The magic of Santa is lovely whilst it lasts but I actually think that mum is being quite damaging to tell a child he does exist when they have questioned it. It's one thing not knowing any better and following the fantasy but quite another to ask your mum something and for her to outright lie

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BogRollBOGOF · 14/11/2021 15:35

DS (10) has been cynical about Santa for a few years. I just say "what do you think". We do a Santa's Grotto most years, but don't make a big deal out of it, or believing, and the DCs play along quitely. We do like the Norad tracker on Christmas Eve. But the more elaborate you make the story, the bigger the fall.

The tooth fairy is totally rumbled... mainly because she has appalling organisational skills like mine, and the crafty sod woke at 3am and failed to believe that I was just checking he was asleep Grin

It's generally fun to believe the story for a few years and it's a natural developmemt of critical thinking for doubt to set in or to work out different stories. I would do nothing about playground talk between junior school peers. It is a shame when younger children have their imaginative bubbles popped for them.

I still live with a vestige of hope that there might be a magical world at the back of wardrobes Grin

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peboh · 14/11/2021 15:29

@ImInStealthMode sorry emojis didn't show on my phone for some reason!

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Cupcakeschocolate · 14/11/2021 15:25

We don't celebrate Christmas. Muslim family. I have to have this chat every year with my kids. I still don't get how it is 'magical' though. A fat strange man sneaks down your chimney. Which is effectively breaking in to your house whilst you sleep. Yes he leaves presents but surely that's a but weird... we tell kids not to speak or accept things from strangers but on Christmas and Halloween this is fine.... I personally don't get it. But every family has its own traditions. Just remind your kids not to do it again. We avoid santander discussions at school like the plague!

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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 15:14

It is like accidentally injuring someone.

A child telling another child that they've discovered Santa isn't real is equivalent to accidentally injuring them?

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LolaSmiles · 14/11/2021 15:11

I think the problem is, people get so twisted up in knots trying to make themselves blameless and they see a simple apology as an admittance of blame rather than what is actually is, an expression of sorrow that something happened
But a couple of 9 year olds realising santa is a fictional story doesn't require an expression of sorrow, especially when it wasn't even the OP's child who informed other people's siblings.

Children grow up and learn to question the world. If adults are so fragile they need to cling to their children saying/doing the right things to make Christmas magical then the adults need to take a long hard look in the mirror.

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BoredZelda · 14/11/2021 15:07

Even if it's for bursting a bubble you set up yourself in the full knowledge it was going to come down one way or another, and it's a bit of a surprise it lasted as long as it did?

I’m not sure you can claim that the OP herself created the bubble of Santa. 😆 But yes, regardless of previous actions or intention, if you upset someone, saying sorry is the right thing to do.

This isn't like accidentally injuring someone. It's a perfectly normal developmental stage that the parents themselves choose to set up for future destruction.

It is like accidentally injuring someone. And actually in my example the child injured herself. But something I was in control of made it worse.

I think the problem is, people get so twisted up in knots trying to make themselves blameless and they see a simple apology as an admittance of blame rather than what is actually is, an expression of sorrow that something happened.

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Puffalicious · 14/11/2021 15:03

Thanks Lethimhaveit

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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 14:57

[quote ImInStealthMode]@peboh I'm clearly joking, I thought that was clear from the emojis Confused [/quote]
I wasn't sure myself. A number of people on the thread have said that they do tell their kids that if they don't believe then they won't get any presents.

Once you have to start using threats to maintain the illusion, the "magic of Christmas" (I am really starting to hate that phrase) is truly gone as you know it and I have to wonder who the whole thing is actually for.

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ImInStealthMode · 14/11/2021 14:42

@peboh I'm clearly joking, I thought that was clear from the emojis Confused

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Puffalicious · 14/11/2021 14:31

@WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll

Thanks very much, Puffalicious - for very interesting, informative and considered response to my question Smile

I don't think the parent in the OP sending texts is right, I don't know where you've procured that from?

OP only originally mentioned receiving a 'message' from the angry parent - I don't know whether that was a text, WhatsApp, Facebook, email, handwritten note or whatever - but does it make a big difference which format was used?

No, I wouldn't be a pedant like that! I meant that you sounded like you thought I thought the text sending was right. I don't think it's right at all, I think it's shitty and not helpful to anyone, especially since it was their child who told the younger siblings.

Hope that clears it up. Thanks for your reply.
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Lavender24 · 14/11/2021 14:21

@3scape

I'd send a laughing emoji. They must be joking. 9 year olds are hardly unable to spot the disconnect.

I would do the same. Your kid did their kid a favour.
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LolaSmiles · 14/11/2021 14:19

Do people stop the santa thing once their kids no longer believe? My parents still did the stocking until I was 18 and had moved out. I would bet they still put mince pies and q glass of brandy out the night before on our Christmas dish for my dad to 'secretley' have in the morning when making everyone breakfast.
DH and I did stockings for each other before DC came along and our parents also continued stockings with us through our teens. It's the tradition and the fun that's enjoyable.

Why some people get overly emotional about children discovering a fictional tale is fictional is beyond me.

If the magic of Christmas is ruined because a child realises that a big old man doesn't sneak into millions of homes overnight then I'd question how magical Christmas actually is for those who are slightly uptight and desperate to push santa stories. It seems like they're using their children to meet their own emotional needs.

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lobsteroll · 14/11/2021 14:12

I think at age 9 this is to be expected. It's a shame but it's happened.

I don't know why they are annoyed with your kid even though it's their own 9 year old who has told the younger siblings 🙄🙄 surely if their kid can do it then they understand how it can happen.

It's a shame your older child told your 9 year old too though. They are old enough to know better.

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Whiterose23 · 14/11/2021 14:02

I have a 9 year old and the Santa talk between the class has been ongoing for a couple of years.
Some still believe, some don’t and some are unsure.
My own 9 year old still believes but her best friend doesn’t. They have frequent debates about who’s correct Grin
It’s never entered my head to text her mother, in fact we laugh about it.
DD has told me that if Santa isn’t real I can tell her when she has her own children so that they don’t miss out on presents.

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LetHimHaveIt · 14/11/2021 13:45

'I don't think the parent in the OP sending texts is right, I don't know where you've procured that from?'

'OP only originally mentioned receiving a 'message' from the angry parent - I don't know whether that was a text, WhatsApp, Facebook, email, handwritten note or whatever - but does it make a big difference which format was used?'


No, it doesn't - but that's not what @Puffalicious meant/said. She meant she didn't understand where you'd got the idea that she thought the parent sending texts was in the right. She wasn't hung-up on the format.

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 14/11/2021 13:36

Thanks very much, Puffalicious - for very interesting, informative and considered response to my question Smile

I don't think the parent in the OP sending texts is right, I don't know where you've procured that from?

OP only originally mentioned receiving a 'message' from the angry parent - I don't know whether that was a text, WhatsApp, Facebook, email, handwritten note or whatever - but does it make a big difference which format was used?

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StaplesCorner · 14/11/2021 13:34

When I was 9 I told the neighbours' kids there was no such thing as god. Their Mum came round to complain in person (as it was 1971 and we didn't have phones!)

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