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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Thisisworsethananticpated · 14/11/2021 10:34

I’d ignore them actually
Bat shit crazy

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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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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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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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Cheeserton · 14/11/2021 10:50

These people are clearly idiots.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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