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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.

Onesipmore · 13/11/2021 23:38

I don't know.You asked your child not to discuss it.He discussed it but feels gutted he's caused upset !

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Cheekytea · 13/11/2021 23:39

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

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Mistressofnone · 13/11/2021 23:39

You could write back that your DS has been a naughty boy for doubting Santa, so Santa hasn't been bringing him presents and you've had to do it. Ask her to tell her kids not to rub it in too much that they are on the nice list.

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victoriaspongecake · 13/11/2021 23:40

So your child told her child the truth? I’d just ignore the text.

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Cheekytea · 13/11/2021 23:41

@victoriaspongecake

So your child told her child the truth? I’d just ignore the text.

It not about the truth at that age over Santa it about enjoying a childhood
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OnceUponAMidnightBeery · 13/11/2021 23:48

@muldersspeedos

Just had to say I love your username Grin

I want to believe Wink

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TirednWorried · 13/11/2021 23:51

At 9 years old hardly any kids believe in FC. My DS2 stopped believing in Y1 and told his friends, some parents commented, but if you tell your kidsnonsense is true (and i include myself in that), you really have no grounds to complain when another kid puts them right.

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Rollmopsrule · 13/11/2021 23:57

I don't think you should apologise on behalf of your child. They haven't done anything wrong. Ott by the parent - their child was going to find out from someone and aged 9 is about time. Some parents are completely ott about prolonging the lie - its not magic at that age just daft.

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NoSquirrels · 13/11/2021 23:58

Oh, absolutely just go with the

X was gutted to hear Y was upset - X says it was part of a conversation with others also discussing Santa and they’re really upset to know it’s caused issues because they had no idea Y still believed.

Honestly, at 9 the other parent is mad tonsure an issue of it but given they have a qualified non-apology expressing regret seems like a diplomatic choice.

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MurielSpriggs · 14/11/2021 00:00

Being fairly blunt, if you tell your kids lies you can't accuse the person who tells them the truth of being somehow morally deficient, even if you thought they were "white lies".

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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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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 00:05

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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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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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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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 14/11/2021 00:15

between older children* of an age....

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 14/11/2021 00:16

bold fail!

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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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BadNomad · 14/11/2021 00:20

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

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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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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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MurielSpriggs · 14/11/2021 00:35

Christmas can be fantastic without the need for lies!

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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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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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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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