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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.

NeverEndingFireworks · 14/11/2021 10:25

I'm almost 70. We were never told that Santa was real - we knew it was a story. It didn't stop our enjoyment of Christmas and we still put up pillowcases for our presents.

We never did a big thing about Santa - the dc knew presents came from us and the rest of the family. They were never told they had to be good to get them. Of course they were surrounded by the story at school etc. My eldest dc worked out age 5 that he wasn't real - when she asked us to confirm that we told her the truth.

We always told our children the truth in age appropriate ways. They still had magical Christmases - but they learnt to trust us. What are you teaching your children by lying to them? - that you might lie to them "for their own good" 😏. Not a lesson I wanted mine to learn.

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BiBabbles · 14/11/2021 10:25

I wouldn't respond to the parent, that sort of message to me says that anything I say will likely just cause more conflict. Hopefully she doesn't take it out on kids too much - I remember my mother going apeshit if we dared mentioned not believing.

It's a tough balancing act with a class conversation and being noncommital with their peers would have been the route I'd encourage for mine at that age.

In general, as we don't celebrate Christmas, we teach that everyone's family has different traditions and fun, and for some having the story of Santa be treated as real is part of their family fun. Just as we wouldn't want people to ruin our fun by saying what we do isn't real, we shouldn't do that to others.

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AgentJohnson · 14/11/2021 10:19

I wouldn’t apologise! The whole magic of Santa bs is ridiculous, Christmas didn’t suddenly become less magical when I found out as a kid.

If you want to lie to your kids, knock yourself out but don’t come crying to me when inevitably the truth comes out.

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Skinnyunderneath · 14/11/2021 10:19

I can't believe the number of miserable bastards on here who are saying that it's tough or 9 years old is time to know the reality. What a sad crock of shit. Its personal choice and other people have no right to spoil it for anyone else. Christmas should be fun and a magical time, there is absutely no need to tell your kids, noone will get bullied because, guess what, kids are not stupid and they realise all on their own when the time comes, without anyone feeling the selfish need to burst the bubble for them Jesus christ this world is shit enough without other people trying to spoil what should be a happy time

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MinnieJackson · 14/11/2021 10:15

A girl in my 7 year olds class announced he wasn't real the other week, and the teacher told her she'd get a lump of coal in her stocking Grin
My 7 year old ds still believes but my 9 year old with asd started announcing to me that he isn't real because it 'physically isn't possible' when he was about six and a half but told me not to worry, he wouldn't tell his brother. I just smile and wink and say 'oh well he won't be coming then', his response...'yes. I know. That's what I've just said.' 😂 I think he likes being in on the secret though, and told me the only part of Xmas he likes is the junk food and card games. He asked me what my budget was for Xmas presents and I said £100. He would like the £100 in cash please and £4 from his grandparents, as that's the amount of money he needs to see all the films he wants in 2022 Confused😂

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Mummyoflittledragon · 14/11/2021 10:10

[quote Pottedpalm]@Mummyoflittledragon
You guess wrong; we live in a village. We are not cut off from society. I have worked and socialised in nearby city and towns. DH commuted to London and Paris for decades. We lived in Africa for several years when the children were small. All the above is typical of people in the villages I have lived in. We are not in a bubble and I don’t recognise your concept of ‘village mentality’.[/quote]
Cut off from society? That would be silly. I don’t live in Royston Vasey. You were so busy telling me you’d never read anything so ridiculous that you forgot to ask what I actually meant.

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Newmumatlast · 14/11/2021 10:01

@SugaryYuck

I don't remember ever actually believing in Santa because my older sister found out when my lovely tactless grandma shouted to my dad to ask if he was going to fill the stocking before or after midnight mass and my sister was still awake 😂
She then told me when I was very young. I don't blame her at all. She was a child, children like to talk about things, I never found Christmas anything other than magical as a child.

Having said all this, my own ds1 when he worked it out (around 9-10) immediately told his much younger siblings because he has no filter due to his ASD. I told all of my dc that Santa comes to children for as long as they need him to, and ds1 was now old enough that he didn't need Santa anymore so he had handed over to me. This has worked for us, so that it doesn't actually matter who says what to them - they know that they can basically believe as long as they want and they'll still get a stocking regardless. Maybe suggest this to the crazy mum - though it's really her fault for not having prepared and thought it through because this is really inevitable at some point in a child's life.
It's not your child's fault, and it's not even her own child's fault for blabbing to the younger ones. Children are children. She's an idiot.

I like this - Santa comes as long as they need him to after which parents take over. Nice idea.
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Newmumatlast · 14/11/2021 09:56

I wouldn't apologise as Santa isn't real. Your child hasn't done anything wrong. When adults pretend about Santa they have to know they're doing so being fully aware that a. It isn't real and b. There is therefore always a risk of that being disclosed or their child being bright and working it out. It doesn't exactly take a genius when so many people do Santa so differently in terms of who brings what presents, how they arrive, what/how much he brings, whether there is a sticking or not, whether they do an elf or not.. all sorts. And kids talk. I myself realised very early on as did many of my friends we just continued to pretend. But when one kid has all their presents from Santa, another has only one special one from Santa and the rest from mum and dad, and the other has all gifts from mum and dad but delivered by Santa, it's pretty obvious something is amiss. It's just one of those things that kids will either work it out or be told. And 9 is really not that young to find out. I doubt it was a huge shock for the kid.

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PlanktonsComputerWife · 14/11/2021 09:54

in this house we have a firm rule: Father Christmas only delivers presents to those who believe.

As a result, everyone steadfastly believes, including my 50-year-old DH.

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Pottedpalm · 14/11/2021 09:49

@Mummyoflittledragon
You guess wrong; we live in a village. We are not cut off from society. I have worked and socialised in nearby city and towns. DH commuted to London and Paris for decades. We lived in Africa for several years when the children were small. All the above is typical of people in the villages I have lived in. We are not in a bubble and I don’t recognise your concept of ‘village mentality’.

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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 09:45

@WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll

I also think that a lot of people are very unfairly seeing non-existent motives in the children who discuss/tell other children what they've found out.

Yes, there might be some who delight in bursting the bubble of younger kids (potentially such as the eldest child of the complaining message-sender), but childhood is all about learning and developing along with your peers.

If children learn new (to them) information about something, whether they've been told it by another child, read/seen it in the news or just worked it out logically for themselves, why ever wouldn't they want to discuss it with their friends and classmates? Just look at all the child campaigners who are catalysed to action by environmental stories they see on Newsround or read in First News. They don't necessarily go looking for the sources of the false information that they previously believed/didn't question - they just now know what they believe to be the up-to-date truth and are eager to share it - just like adults do all the time.

Quite.

There's something a bit nasty about adults ascribing malicious motives to children who are questioning the world around them and sharing truth with their peers.

Who's supposed to be the grown up here?
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Bumblenums1234 · 14/11/2021 09:37

@Mummyoflittledragon

I agree with the double standards pointed out that your 9 yo should know better than to talk to their peers but their 9yo is exonerated from upsetting a younger sibling. Perhaps you should tape your ds’s mouth shut. 🙄

For those saying 9 yos don’t believe. It really depends on circumstances. My dd totally believed at 9. When she was 10, she asked and I confirmed her suspicions. A couple of weeks later, she started talking about Santa coming. I wasn’t quite sure what to do but took her lead and we did the Santa thing one last time.

I had someone drunk text me I’d told a 12 yo btw. I think this is also a drunk text.

Did you respond in the end op?

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.
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SugaryYuck · 14/11/2021 09:22

I don't remember ever actually believing in Santa because my older sister found out when my lovely tactless grandma shouted to my dad to ask if he was going to fill the stocking before or after midnight mass and my sister was still awake 😂
She then told me when I was very young. I don't blame her at all. She was a child, children like to talk about things, I never found Christmas anything other than magical as a child.

Having said all this, my own ds1 when he worked it out (around 9-10) immediately told his much younger siblings because he has no filter due to his ASD. I told all of my dc that Santa comes to children for as long as they need him to, and ds1 was now old enough that he didn't need Santa anymore so he had handed over to me. This has worked for us, so that it doesn't actually matter who says what to them - they know that they can basically believe as long as they want and they'll still get a stocking regardless. Maybe suggest this to the crazy mum - though it's really her fault for not having prepared and thought it through because this is really inevitable at some point in a child's life.
It's not your child's fault, and it's not even her own child's fault for blabbing to the younger ones. Children are children. She's an idiot.

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toodalooda · 14/11/2021 09:16

Hilarious 😆

I still remember another kid telling me

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HoardingSamphireSaurus · 14/11/2021 09:12

Push back.

Their kids talked with yours.

Their kids told their siblings the news.

Their kids did what your eldest did. It's how kids find out lots of stuff.

They need to have words with their kids.

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 14/11/2021 08:57

I also think that a lot of people are very unfairly seeing non-existent motives in the children who discuss/tell other children what they've found out.

Yes, there might be some who delight in bursting the bubble of younger kids (potentially such as the eldest child of the complaining message-sender), but childhood is all about learning and developing along with your peers.

If children learn new (to them) information about something, whether they've been told it by another child, read/seen it in the news or just worked it out logically for themselves, why ever wouldn't they want to discuss it with their friends and classmates? Just look at all the child campaigners who are catalysed to action by environmental stories they see on Newsround or read in First News. They don't necessarily go looking for the sources of the false information that they previously believed/didn't question - they just now know what they believe to be the up-to-date truth and are eager to share it - just like adults do all the time.

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Dozer · 14/11/2021 08:50

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

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aSofaNearYou · 14/11/2021 08:47

Any parent that isn't prepared for this sort of thing happening naturally by about that age is delusional and burying their head in the sand about the fact their child is no longer a baby.

I would send a simple sorry but I wouldn't grovel.

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Soosiesoo · 14/11/2021 08:39

I'm so glad to have found this thread for my own reasons!

My 9 year old DD announced to me that she knows Santa doesn't exist. Rather than try and convince her otherwise, I just explained that we try and keep it alive for the little ones, which she loved the idea of! My DH was mortified and thought I should have cArried on the charade.

I was doubting myself until I found this. Of course she doesn't believe, she's a logical and bright 9 year old FFS Grin

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Mummyoflittledragon · 14/11/2021 08:16

[quote Pottedpalm]@Mummyoflittledragon
‘Village mentality’!! It’s not the middle ages! Do you inly leave the village once a day? That is one of the most ridiculous things I have read on here.
Oh, and I have lived in various villages for 40 years.[/quote]
@Pottedpalm
I’d say you’ve lived in somewhat of a bubble then. I have not.

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purplesequins · 14/11/2021 08:15

tbh I'm surprised they only came across this at age 9...

talking about santa on the school playground is like 'sharing' swear words between friends.
it happens.
there is absolutely nothing parents can do about it.

we never 'did' santa, but we told our dc that it's make belief and fun and that most people play.

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sashh · 14/11/2021 08:14

So you have got a shirty message about a child telling their younger children something they shouldn't and some how it's your fault?

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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 08:11

I don't see what OP has to apologise for.

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BoredZelda · 14/11/2021 08:09

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

Yeah, don’t do this. That’s a shitty response and with a shitty (and ableist) reasoning.

Just say sorry. That’s all.

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itsgettingwierd · 14/11/2021 08:07

"9yo will discuss the reality of Santa as they start to realise it doesn't add up. I'm sorry your child is upset by a conversation they had with their peers and I'm sorry your younger dc were upset that your ex decided to come home and repeat it to them"

It absolutely isn't your responsibility what her 9yo has told their younger siblings.

And it isn't your responsibility what 9yo are discussing in school unless it's inappropriate and a safeguarding issue. It's a very common age to discuss what they do and don't believe in and their opinions on things as from age 8 they start to develop that understanding of their place in the world.

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