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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.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

peboh · 14/11/2021 13:25

@ImInStealthMode

Well there's an easy way for the other parents to solve this. 'Santa only brings presents to people who believe in him' and then follow through with no presents.

Harsh maybe, but they'll certainly believe in him the following year WinkWinkGrin

(OP your DC is not to blame. It's not their fault this kid went home and told younger siblings! Most of the kids I know love keeping up the pretence for younger members of the family).

Why would you lie to your children like that? That's just creating a punishment/reward system that is ridiculous. If your children learn the truth, then you should explain the truth to them.
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peboh · 14/11/2021 13:24

I personally don't like the idea of asking your children to lie, or keep quiet for the benefit of others. At aged 9, they can handle the truth of Santa if it was to come out. If it wasn't your child that made them aware, it would have been another.

Just message and say 'I'm sorry that your child(ren) became upset due to a conversation surrounding Santa, however you don't expect your child to lie to others, nor would you ever ask them to as it's inappropriate to teach then that lying is acceptable'

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DontTellThemYourNamePike · 14/11/2021 13:19

I think it's very rude of posters to say it's ridiculous for a child to believe in Santa at 9. Some do, some don't. Most children question Santa before this age. Some parents fess up, some don't.

I certainly don't think it's reasonable to expect a child to keep the magic going for other children though.

My youngest DS is 9 and has told me there is a 'conspiracy theory' in his class that Santa is actually 'your parents'GrinGrin

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julieca · 14/11/2021 12:56

And too many parents want to keep their kids little.

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ImInStealthMode · 14/11/2021 12:56

Well there's an easy way for the other parents to solve this. 'Santa only brings presents to people who believe in him' and then follow through with no presents.

Harsh maybe, but they'll certainly believe in him the following year WinkWinkGrin

(OP your DC is not to blame. It's not their fault this kid went home and told younger siblings! Most of the kids I know love keeping up the pretence for younger members of the family).

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julieca · 14/11/2021 12:53

It doesnt sit right with me to say to kids to keep secrets from their friends.

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Topseyt · 14/11/2021 12:53

If I were going to respond at all I would love to use @CallMeMabel 's reply.

Otherwise, ignoring is probably best, even though texting a blind "Oh FFS grow up" would also be tempting.

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Toktokboki · 14/11/2021 12:39

Tbh I think at 9, the jig is up. Most kids do know. My nephew pretended to not know as he thought he would get less presents if he kept it up. I know a girl at 11 who thought he was real - that was too much.

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WhateverIdo · 14/11/2021 12:34

@PlanDeRaccordement

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

Always one 🙄
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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 12:28

I'm starting to get so sick of the "magic of Christmas". It just always seems to be a stick to beat people with, or a cause of a massive amount of stress and drama.

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Penistoe · 14/11/2021 12:17

Ffs people are so nuts these days. This is how kids find out things- around 9. Why do people feel that the magic of Christmas is only gifts- rather than family coming together.

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JudgeRindersMinder · 14/11/2021 12:00

@NuffSaidSam

Hi X, spoke to DC and he/she was gutted to find out they'd upset your child. Have reminded them to keep Santa chat for home. All the best.

This is perfect. We all know playground chat goes on, and it’s not like your child has taken delight in spilling the beans, but I’m glad it wasn’t mine!😂
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Rainbowheart1 · 14/11/2021 11:58

Santa is real, we become Santa and I love the job. Now my Eldest child knows the truth she has joined us in being santa and loves going to get presents with me for her younger siblings.

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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 11:54

If your child, even inadvertently blurts out something that upsets someone, or if as an adult you do it, of course you offer an apology.

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?

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.

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Puffalicious · 14/11/2021 11:46

Several perfectly reasonable, age-appropriate ways of handling it, if you have chosen, like most, to be a family that 'does' Santa - there's absolutely no need for angry phone calls or messages, bare-faced lying and/or insisting that other people's children must be sworn to silence and not allowed to discuss certain topics that interest and affect them.

As you correctly say, these are people who are emphatically not willing to 'do them' and let other people 'do them'


I agree that there are kind, reasonable age-appropriate ways of doing it. I don't think the parent in the OP sending texts is right, I don't know where you've procured that from?

As I've said, if my DC asks I'll tell him, but I reserve the right to keep it going for him right now without him being called 'dozy' or 'stupid' like PP have. I just can't stand the prothesising on MN when someone doesn't share the same life view or opinion as you.

Santa is never a good topic on MN.

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Puffalicious · 14/11/2021 11:38

@WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll

Genuine question: if you have a child with ASD, SEN or similar and they therefore believe far beyond the time when most NT children would, does that not just make a rod for your own back - and cause them more serious upset - when you eventually admit to them or they otherwise learn about it?

If you let them believe indefinitely and they end up as an adult who still believes, I just really can't see how that's going to end well for them.

Also, I'm no expert and stand to be completely corrected here, but as children with ASD often understand things literally and don't always 'get' nuance, does that not mean that, instead of a NT 6/7/8/9yo coming to reconcile it as being a fun 'magical' story for young children that they're now growing out of, you could end up with a mortified 14/16/18+ child/adult with autism demanding to know why you saw fit to randomly lie to them for so long (or at all, in fact)?

You raise salient points. Firstly my 2 NT DC were around 9-10 when they stopped believing, so at present DC3 is still within those age parameters. DC2 was probably a little younger but not by much.

He's still very much believing this year, as is his best friend. He's not even mentioned anyone saying otherwise in the playground (he's at mainstream and educationally completely average). We will gently introduce the idea by next year. We are not looking forward to this as he's very much ' You told me this, therefore it's true'. However, he does have a great sense of humour and understands jokes/ telling mistruths for humour, so that shows he has understanding of social constructs.

I disagree that it's gaslighting- if he asks we'll gently tell him, like we did with the others (actually DC1 never asked, we laugh that he seemed to know and we knew he knew and never mentioned it! He's 17!). He loves Christmas and the keeping Santa is for him, not us.

The keeping shtum for much younger cousins will need to be discussed lots, but I think he'll get there.
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BoredZelda · 14/11/2021 11:07

Wouldn’t apologise. Nothing to apologise for. Would ignore! Other parent is U

I hate this attitude. If your child, even inadvertently blurts out something that upsets someone, or if as an adult you do it, of course you offer an apology. Not a wailing, prostrate, let me make amends apology, a simple sorry is enough.

My daughter was at a party, and another child caught her lower leg on my daughter’s walking frame and she ended up with a big bleeding scratch on her leg. Nobody’s fault, but I apologised to the parent, I hoped her leg was ok and we’d taped over the offending bolt that caused the injury. The other parent apologised to me for her child not being careful around my daughter in her frame and said she’d reminded her not to jump around near her. All very civilised, and just good manners.

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Somethingsnappy · 14/11/2021 11:07

So basically her child committed exactly the same 'crime' as your child, i.e. told someone santa wasn't real? I wonder if the mother has thought about that at all...

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Cheeserton · 14/11/2021 10:50

These people are clearly idiots.

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Shasha17 · 14/11/2021 10:48

I wouldn´t reply.

Or if I did, I´d say something like,

"Sorry your child is upset, but it´s really not down to me to police what my child discusses with his friends."

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Yourstupidityexhaustsme · 14/11/2021 10:46

Oh bless your poor lad 😂 I bet he’s mortified.

Unfortunately this is just a part of growing up.

Text the mum. ‘Sorry to hear that, DS never intended to upset X. We’ll be having a chat to keep the C word at home!’

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EveningOverRooftops · 14/11/2021 10:36

Your kid isn’t wrong.

My DC never believed (long story) And was quite frank santa wasn’t real in class once but still put out stuff for ‘Santa’.

A lot of parents were pissed off mine spilled the beans but you know what? I don’t give a fuck. Xmas can still be magically and amazing and joyous without lying to kids that a big strange man sneaks into your home and leaves presents.

My big issue with Santa is how the hell do you explain why Santa gives more to one group of kids and not another? Lie to kids he’s real and it sows the seeds to poorer kids they’re not worth as much even though mums and dads are doing their very best and giving their all.

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Thisisworsethananticpated · 14/11/2021 10:34

I’d ignore them actually
Bat shit crazy

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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 10:31

other people have no right to spoil it for anyone else.

Children have a right to discuss their discoveries about the world with each other. There'd be something wrong if they didn't.

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JayDot500 · 14/11/2021 10:29

This is SO much more about the parents than the kid. From reading this thread, and seeing what parents will do to keep 'the magic of Christmas' alive, it's sad that Christmas has become so transactional. The 'magic' of Christmas is all about keeping an old man on your good side to get presents. As a PP said, you take away the presents, then Santa would be a hard sell.

My son has watched me wrap gifts for Christmas. He even makes and wraps gifts for others. He's only 5. You expect him not to talk? Good luck with that Grin

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