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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.

Simonjt · 14/11/2021 06:15

We’re not christians so we don’t celebrate christmas, my husband does a bit, so my son knows santa and the easter bunng aren’t real. Hes six, as far as I’m aware he hasn’t told anyone at school that santa isn’t real.

One of the children in his class was quite clever and pointed out that my son and another boy don’t get anything from santa (one sikh and one muslim), a clever connection for a 6/7 year old, the class decided it was simply because they didn’t write a letter as even people on the naughty list get something. So it looks like they both kept their gobs shut.

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TirednWorried · 14/11/2021 05:58

@loislovesstewie

My DS did this to the whole class, he was about 7. Then he compounded the problem by telling them there was no 'god' either so there was no first Xmas. He was the same age! Cue lots of 7-year-olds howling their heads off because ; no Xmas, no baby Jesus, no presents, he couldn't understand what the fuss was about because 'your mum and dad buy your presents'. No-one complained to me, they just explained whatever they wanted.

There's a big difference between saying FC isnt real, and disrespecting rhe foundations of some people's religion. Your DS crossed the line amd i hope you explained that to him.
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loislovesstewie · 14/11/2021 05:34

My DS did this to the whole class, he was about 7. Then he compounded the problem by telling them there was no 'god' either so there was no first Xmas. He was the same age! Cue lots of 7-year-olds howling their heads off because ; no Xmas, no baby Jesus, no presents, he couldn't understand what the fuss was about because 'your mum and dad buy your presents'. No-one complained to me, they just explained whatever they wanted.

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LetHimHaveIt · 14/11/2021 04:00

@WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll

Webuiltthisbuffet you need to seriously lighten up. They're kids, it's Christmas: time for fun and laughter and joy and kindness. You do you, we'll all do us. This is NOT a thesis about the ills of society.

So are you saying that the 9yo kids were wrong to be discussing between themselves something that clearly interested them, or that the older child telling their younger siblings was wrong for 'not doing them' (their family)?

This is my thing, see: I have no problem with people having fun and family traditions; and I don't really see any great issue with introducing the Santa thing and letting little ones enjoy a make-believe world where reality and fantasy aren't always easily distinguishable.

My beef is when an older child initiates doubt and asks their parents, and those parents firmly push the story, tell the child that it IS true and that they shouldn't question it. The point where 'magical' fantasy becomes an outright lie (even gaslighting) - and then start to frantically (and often angrily) remonstrate with those (often children, even if via their parents) who question or doubt and/or share their thoughts on it.

Little kids believe all kinds of silly things - often family traditions intended for fun and 'magic'; but all of this could so easily be avoided by either telling them the truth or simply saying that not everybody believes the same things - in many areas of lives - and telling them that they, like everybody else, are free to decide what they do or don't want to believe in.

They could equally tell the St Nicholas story (even though the Santa myth arguably originated long before he was born) and mix in the wider 'spirit of Christmas' and generosity and kindness in, without emphatically saying either that 'Santa Claus as a person does not exist' or red-facedly insisting that he does.

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'.

Well, I don't agree with you about everlasting gift cards - one iota - but you're right about this.
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LetHimHaveIt · 14/11/2021 03:58

@CallMeMabel

Pretend you still believe in Santa & text her back telling her she's just ruined the magic of Christmas for you. Grinchy bitch.

Ace 😂
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LolaSmiles · 14/11/2021 03:24

This is my thing, see: I have no problem with people having fun and family traditions; and I don't really see any great issue with introducing the Santa thing and letting little ones enjoy a make-believe world where reality and fantasy aren't always easily distinguishable.

My beef is when an older child initiates doubt and asks their parents, and those parents firmly push the story, tell the child that it IS true and that theyshouldn'tquestion it. The point where 'magical' fantasy becomes an outright lie (even gaslighting) - and then start to frantically (and often angrily) remonstrate with those (often children, even if via their parents) who question or doubt and/or share their thoughts on it
Same here.
When you boil it down, it's really quite weird behaviour for adults to get annoyed or upset at a child questioning a fictional story that the adults know is made up and the adults don't believe in.

They may claim it is for their child, but 9 times out of 10 it seems to be about centring adult emotions. All the lying, the telling off for discussing it, the threats that you need to believe or he won't come, the staged 'evidence' isn't promoting a magical Christmas for the children, it's telling the children to play the part their parents want so that the parents can keep their idea of Christmas magic.

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MrsTerryPratchett · 14/11/2021 02:25

Christmas is a Christian holiday, and it is celebrating a Christian holiday regardless of whether or not you're Christian or put a secular spin on it. Christmas and Santa aren't things you have to do or pretend you do.

I agree with you an many points @UsernameUnavailable1 but not this one. 'Christmas' is actually superimposed on paganism. Pretty much all seasonal traditions have some kind of festival of food and lights in the darkest months. Just like they all have a couple of eating festivals and new clothes festivals. If I deck the halls, eat like a pig, put up lights, give presents, there is nothing Christian about it. It's only when I'm doing nativity/carols/Church I'm straying into that. And I don't. But then I'm happy to celebrate Hanukkah, Eid and Diwali. If you have pretty lights and/or food, I'll come. Memorably, I bought a watermelon dinosaur to Hanukkah once. Don't ask.

What I object to is a fat beardy bloke getting all the credit for women's work. Are there traditions where men have to shop, choose, wrap and distribute presents and an imaginary woman gets all the credit? If so, sign me up.

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PurpleOkapi · 14/11/2021 02:01

Three words: "But he's not."

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Pixxie7 · 14/11/2021 01:35

To be honest I am surprised that many 9 year olds still believe in Father Christmas I would apologise on behalf of your child and then forget it.

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ThisIsJeopardy · 14/11/2021 00:51

"Sorry to hear your kids are upset. I think at this age kids aged 9 or 10 will talk amongst themselves, not sure that can be helped as at some stage logic must take over. Shame though that your 9 yr old told his younger siblings, can understand why you're upset about that but I suppose that's more about your 9 year old than mine! Hope he doesn't feel too bad at having upset the little ones, at only 9 himself I guess it's understandable he didn't think before sharing what he found out. Same as my ds, though thankfully he seems only to have discussed it with friends his own age. Will have a word with him about keeping Santa chat for home though."

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 14/11/2021 00:46

Webuiltthisbuffet you need to seriously lighten up. They're kids, it's Christmas: time for fun and laughter and joy and kindness. You do you, we'll all do us. This is NOT a thesis about the ills of society.

So are you saying that the 9yo kids were wrong to be discussing between themselves something that clearly interested them, or that the older child telling their younger siblings was wrong for 'not doing them' (their family)?

This is my thing, see: I have no problem with people having fun and family traditions; and I don't really see any great issue with introducing the Santa thing and letting little ones enjoy a make-believe world where reality and fantasy aren't always easily distinguishable.

My beef is when an older child initiates doubt and asks their parents, and those parents firmly push the story, tell the child that it IS true and that they shouldn't question it. The point where 'magical' fantasy becomes an outright lie (even gaslighting) - and then start to frantically (and often angrily) remonstrate with those (often children, even if via their parents) who question or doubt and/or share their thoughts on it.

Little kids believe all kinds of silly things - often family traditions intended for fun and 'magic'; but all of this could so easily be avoided by either telling them the truth or simply saying that not everybody believes the same things - in many areas of lives - and telling them that they, like everybody else, are free to decide what they do or don't want to believe in.

They could equally tell the St Nicholas story (even though the Santa myth arguably originated long before he was born) and mix in the wider 'spirit of Christmas' and generosity and kindness in, without emphatically saying either that 'Santa Claus as a person does not exist' or red-facedly insisting that he does.

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'.

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Beebababadabo · 14/11/2021 00:46

@PlanDeRaccordement

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

I mean I get why they want to for younger kids but come on, managed to convince them santa IS real.. convince them they aren't lying sounds a bit much.
On another note my DH says he felt foolish for still believing because his parents wanted to keep the magic going, he was past the age of 9 more near 10 when he found out from school friends and especially annoyed as his younger sister knew before him and was told not too say anything to him.
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MauraandLaura · 14/11/2021 00:38

I wouldn't respond to it. You dont have to respond to every message you receive.

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MurielSpriggs · 14/11/2021 00:35

Christmas can be fantastic without the need for lies!

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BreadInCaptivity · 14/11/2021 00:30

It's honestly crazy that we tell children a lie (which is basically for our gratification) and then get upset when they find out the truth.

Frankly I'm surprised they still believed aged nine.

Mine had it sussed by about six - something I wasn't remotely bothered about given I only kept up the pretence as grandparents were heavily invested.

It didn't remotely spoil the magic of Christmas. In fact it was nicer imho for them to appreciate the trouble family had gone to in order to get presents they wanted plus nice surprises.

In this case the problem is they waited too long to tell the truth to a nine year old who then hadn't been briefed to keep the secret for younger siblings.

Children will talk about this at school. It's inevitable and you have nothing to be sorry about.

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 14/11/2021 00:27

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)?

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BadNomad · 14/11/2021 00:20

Ignore it. She's just annoyed because her lies have been exposed.

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Puffalicious · 14/11/2021 00:17

Webuiltthisbuffet you need to seriously lighten up. They're kids, it's Christmas: time for fun and laughter and joy and kindness. You do you, we'll all do us. This is NOT a thesis about the ills of society.

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 14/11/2021 00:16

bold fail!

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 14/11/2021 00:15

between older children* of an age....

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 14/11/2021 00:15

I'm gonna be honest
I would be very upset if someone else child spoiled Christmas for mine

But it wasn't somebody else's child who told the little ones, it was their own eldest child - following a not-unreasonable conversation between older of an age where they would either not be believers or would be approaching a point of doubt.

As to the 9yo children discussing it between themselves, although this might seem like a harmless, frivolous matter, I think it sets a terrible precedent to be telling children of that age that they simply mustn't discuss regular child-appropriate topics - ones that are already firmly in their world - and which may interest/perturb/concern them for several reasons (let's not forget, we're telling them that a strange man comes into their bedroom at night whilst they sleep).

I can't think of another single topic that parents eagerly introduce to their children and enthuse about a great deal, that suddenly becomes verboten once they get to a certain age/point. Even the historic Flat Earth Society was (allegedly) set up by people who didn't actually believe in a FE, but as a vehicle for open discussion of outrageous/ridiculous/controversial topics - to improve their debating and rationalisation skills, if nothing else. For a great many children aged 9, the idea of Santa would be starting (if it hasn't already) to become a similarly absurd, impossible idea; so why ever should they be forced to keep completely silent about it and never discuss their concerns?

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MrsPsmalls · 14/11/2021 00:10

haha! We adopted ds when he was aged five in year one. He started at his new school with us two weeks before Christmas. He told them all that Santa didn't exist and they were all mad and their parents had made it up and blah blah. Plus he was always a bolshie little git so wouldn't back down when teachers tried to stop him. Oooh the complaints we had!! But of course we barely knew him and had no influence over him whatsoever. Have to say I couldn't get that worked up about it given the trauma he had been through. But yup, many many parents were not best pleased.

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Puffalicious · 14/11/2021 00:05

its not magic at that age just daft Another one. Stop with the dissing of what other parents, including me with a DC with ASN, choose to do. It's noone else's bag.

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BurntO · 14/11/2021 00:04

My 8 year old knows. I’ve told him to keep it to himself however and I’d have a dim view on him blabbing around the playground tbh.

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Puffalicious · 14/11/2021 00:02

there are children of all faiths (mine included) who have a Christain holiday pushed on them, or taken aside in class and told not to mention Santa and be quiet when it comes up?
Christmas is a Christian holiday, and it is celebrating a Christian holiday regardless of whether or not you're christain or put a secular spin on it. Christmas and Santa aren't things you have to do or pretend you do


No they're not things you NEED to do - what it's called is living together and giving a bit of a toss about other people when it doesn't inconvenience you. My close friend is Jewish- we somehow manage to respect each other's traditions without anyone taking offence or feeling anything's pushed upon them. You don't need to take part, just accept it's part of life where you live. I lived abroad, I didn't take part in religious, daily traditions but I didn't feel pissed off about them, I just got on with my own life.

I can't stand religion being used as the fucking reason for division. I've bloody seen enough of it in my own life and lifetime.

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