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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.

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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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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PurpleOkapi · 14/11/2021 02:01

Three words: "But he's not."

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Gliderx · 14/11/2021 06:24

Telling the truth is overrated in this instance. Of course children talk but there is something very unpleasant about a child who has been told the truth about Santa by their parents and then insists on slapping that truth like a wet fish in the faces of their classmates. If you have to discuss the topic at all (and personally I think it is best just to let the belief fade away in this instance), it's best to tell your children that some children believe and we should be respectful of what other people believe. This is after all what we do when it comes to other beliefs like religion. I don't believe in a mythical deity myself but I would never dream of saying to those who do that their belief is illogical and unfounded as that's just offensive. Nor would I find it acceptable for my children to do this.

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RBKB · 14/11/2021 06:24

Haha...my kid worked out, then told her best mate, santa wasn't real when she was 5. Unfortunately said best mate's mum was a childminder and the news got around like wildfire. I am afraid that switched on kids work it out quite young. Kids not knowing by 9 is a bit weird if you ask me....and it's a bit weird to be so offended that someone tells them!! Not your fault OP.

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FangsForTheMemory · 14/11/2021 06:26

I was about 3 when older kids told me Father Christmas isn’t real. I kept this information to myself because I was worried about not getting presents if I blabbed. HTH.

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knitnerd90 · 14/11/2021 06:26

We don't do Santa (and privately I think it's awful, do some kids grow up thinking Santa loves rich kids more?) I did tell my kids that it wasn't their place to spoil it for others.

But really they're 9. You can't expect all the kids to believe and keep quiet, certainly not at this age.

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Billybagpuss · 14/11/2021 06:32

Honestly I’d text back, ‘seriously? You’re pissed off at my dc for joining in a whole class discussion and didn’t keep quiet about a lie you’ve been telling your kids? Ok then….

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RedHelenB · 14/11/2021 06:34

When my kids found out they wouldn't have dreamed of spoiling it for anyone else so your son has been a bit mean. I'd send an apologetic text and impress on your son that he shouldn't spoil it for others.

I've been in secondary schools where SEN children believed in Santa and their classmates enthralling with it when asked if he was real.

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loislovesstewie · 14/11/2021 06:37

BTW my son has autism.

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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 06:38

there is something very unpleasant about a child who has been told the truth about Santa by their parents and then insists on slapping that truth like a wet fish in the faces of their classmates.

Er, they're children. They're pretty innocent. They're not going through the thought process of all the adults who want to keep the lie going past its natural end point for their own satisfaction. Children talk and question, and it's natural that they should talk about when they think the adults are fooling them amd what the world is really like.

It's very self serving, and not at all understanding of the nature of growing up, to try to paint this as malicious and unpleasant, and somehow not entirely normal for an growing child discovering the world with their peers. I think you should look at why you see it this way. There might be some kids who like bursting other children's bubbles, but that's the risk an adult takes when they pin all their "magic of Christmas", whatever that tiresome thing is, on a pie that hasn't got many years in it. And even if they were doing it just to be horrible, they're kids.

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TasteTheMeatNotTheHeat · 14/11/2021 06:39

Wow, they sounds bloody weird.

I'd just assume it was sent in a drunken haze or on some kind of dare and completely ignore the message.

I wouldn't even bother talking to my child about it. He is allowed to discuss with friends whether he does or doesn't believe in something. Leave him to crack on.

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Camii · 14/11/2021 06:42

I'm amazed by some of the responses.
At nine these kids are surely smart enough to know.
I remember my seven year old being dropped home from school the day after his younger brother was born. The mum said: "sorry my older son explained how babies get here on the way home from school"
My son was obviously quite upset. I told him we would talk about it later when the others were in bed (and I had time to work out what to say) but not to worry about it and changed the subject. Later after the conversation I also told him it wasn't something to discuss with his friends.
I was quite unimpressed with the mum for not shutting it down in the car. But she has her own way of doing stuff and was helping me out.
I would reply only to say that your child is gutted but no apology necessary.

I think the mother is a giant silly cow. Kids talk and they teach each other rude words and tell them scary stuff and it's our job as parents to work out how to deal with it and frame it in a non scary or acceptable way.

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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 06:43

The thing is, Santa isn't a god. He's a present bringer, at least in his current incarnation. Look at how many parents use the threat of no presents to try to force their kids to believe. It's not comparable to an established religion's deity, when it's never any secret that there's no absolute incontrovertible proof either way, and it is actually integral to an entire culture or belief system. It's a fun fantasy, mostly for parents' benefit, that everyone knows the kids will outgrow.

Does anyone make this comparison with the Tooth Fairy?

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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 06:46

On a pie? On a lie.

My autocorrect is drunk these days. Or maybe I am.

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tootyfruitypickle · 14/11/2021 06:48

They all talk about it at school. I'd ignore personally, what a ridiculous message. 9!

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Grida · 14/11/2021 07:09

Children have this discussion a lot. I imagine most children have at least questioned the existence of Santa by age 9. They would have to be pretty dozy not to.

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Mummyoflittledragon · 14/11/2021 07:12

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?

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