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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.

peboh · 14/11/2021 15:29

@ImInStealthMode sorry emojis didn't show on my phone for some reason!

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BogRollBOGOF · 14/11/2021 15:35

DS (10) has been cynical about Santa for a few years. I just say "what do you think". We do a Santa's Grotto most years, but don't make a big deal out of it, or believing, and the DCs play along quitely. We do like the Norad tracker on Christmas Eve. But the more elaborate you make the story, the bigger the fall.

The tooth fairy is totally rumbled... mainly because she has appalling organisational skills like mine, and the crafty sod woke at 3am and failed to believe that I was just checking he was asleep Grin

It's generally fun to believe the story for a few years and it's a natural developmemt of critical thinking for doubt to set in or to work out different stories. I would do nothing about playground talk between junior school peers. It is a shame when younger children have their imaginative bubbles popped for them.

I still live with a vestige of hope that there might be a magical world at the back of wardrobes Grin

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Brieandcamembert · 14/11/2021 16:08

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

To be honest I agree. The magic of Santa is lovely whilst it lasts but I actually think that mum is being quite damaging to tell a child he does exist when they have questioned it. It's one thing not knowing any better and following the fantasy but quite another to ask your mum something and for her to outright lie

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MajorCarolDanvers · 14/11/2021 16:10

I would just ignore. That's life. It happens.

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DrSbaitso · 14/11/2021 16:15

I don't think the "lie" of Santa is harmful in itself. But something has gone badly wrong when you start using threats and manipulation to stop children's natural development around it, or if your Christmases are so lacking in anything else that they'll be ruined once your child inevitably figures it out.

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BewareTheBeardedDragon · 14/11/2021 17:21

I read on FB last year someone who had explained to their older kid that Santa was the embodiment of kindness and generosity towards others, and that little ones need the man and reindeers and fantasy in order to understand that, but as they get older they can understand what the fantasy represents - which I think is lovely and I will use for my 10yo when they work it out,

We have already had some (child initiated and led) discussion of the traditions that have lead/fed into the modern Santa and I think that understanding that he is derived from such exciting traditions as Odin from Norse mythology makes the whole thing magical for me personally, despite knowing that I carry out the actual deeds for my dc. I am fairly sure that my dc will enjoy the feeling of connection with their distant ancestors.

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MaryLamb · 14/11/2021 17:28

There is no other situation in which it is considered acceptable - much less desirable - for children to be expected to actively participate in adult lies and keep adult secrets.

I know it seems to innocent and is all framed around the "magic of Christmas" and doesn't do loads of children lasting harm but to a parent very aware of safeguarding, parental trust and children not being encouraged to believe less or keep secrets (for various reasons of my own), I won't be participating in any actual lies about Santa beyond playing the "Santa game" at Christmas.

If other parents make different choices, I completely respect that, but it doesn't entitle you to require me and my child to play along with you. I would never encourage my child to declare the truth in this scenario because there's no particular need to but I won't require them to actively lie and keep adult secrets either.

If it upsets some parents that we're doing it differently, I'm sorry, but there we are. All lies, however innocent, are inherently fragile and one consequence you risk in telling them is that the truth will be uncovered in a way you are not in control of.

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 14/11/2021 18:06

Sorry, Puffalicious and Lethimhaveit - my misunderstanding Blush

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muldersspeedos · 14/11/2021 19:38

Stop saying he's not real! This thread needs a trigger warning. I feel quite traumatised. If FC isn't bringing those random gifts wrapped in brown paper, tied with ribbon and sealed with wax and a North Pole stamp then who the hell is?! FC magics the presents into the house so if it's not him I need better security.

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LetHimHaveIt · 14/11/2021 19:51

@WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll

Sorry, Puffalicious and Lethimhaveit - my misunderstanding Blush

Don't apologize. I get hold of the wrong end of the stick about three times a week, on here. I think I must skim read.
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Puffalicious · 14/11/2021 19:55

Exactly Lethimhaveit

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slaybellsringing · 14/11/2021 23:57

Try being us : don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday (although we do some stuff), so have never pushed the Santa thing obviously ... but we've all had to pretend for the classmates of dd3 (in reception) that Santa is fucking real because her teachers seem to be obsessed with him 😂 so dd3 has been coming home saying 'Santa is going to bring me lots of presents on Christmas !'

Now I have to buy her presents to open on Christmas morning cos we don't want to upset the class 😂

Those mums don't even know how much they owe me one. 😑

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slaybellsringing · 15/11/2021 00:01

And of course because dd3 now believes he's real and will be expecting presents! 🤦🏻‍♀️

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GreenWhiteViolet · 15/11/2021 00:21

@DrSbaitso

I don't think the "lie" of Santa is harmful in itself. But something has gone badly wrong when you start using threats and manipulation to stop children's natural development around it, or if your Christmases are so lacking in anything else that they'll be ruined once your child inevitably figures it out.

I agree with this. I was given the 'if you don't believe in him, you get no presents' line aged 5 or 6, after saying I knew for sure he wasn't real. I understand that it's difficult for a parent who likes that 'Christmas magic' stuff to let go of the Santa idea, but honestly once your child knows the truth, trying to force them to believe is for your benefit, not theirs.

Of course I wanted presents so I shut up and went along with the conspiracy Wink - if MN had been around at the time my mother would have ended up posting one of those 'my 12-year-old still believes, what if she gets upset when I tell her the truth?!' threads. My actual response when told was along the lines of 'yes, obviously, I told you that years ago.' But I haven't forgotten the weird, uncomfortable feeling of knowing that something wasn't true and seeing all the adults around me (including on TV!) claim that it was - at an age when I trusted them to tell me about the world.

I think it's much better, if they find out younger than you'd like, to admit that he isn't literally real but talk about it being a nice story for everyone to play pretend with, or the spirit of generosity being the real Santa or something. You can still have lots of fun at Christmas with that.
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sashh · 15/11/2021 05:21

Someone told my brother Father Christmas was dead, he was 5 and my mum asked him to keep it secret for me (2 years younger).

I was about 7 or 8 one Christmas morning when my brother asked if I thought FC was real, I didn't but we decided not to tell our parents as we didn't want to spoil it for them.

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purplesequins · 15/11/2021 06:13

we never did santa.

and guess what? christmas is still magic.

look at all those christmas markets in germany. santa there is reserved for very small children (up to 4?) and for chocolate figures.

still very much magical.

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TasteTheMeatNotTheHeat · 15/11/2021 06:27

Someone told my brother Father Christmas was dead, he was 5

I'm sorry but that did make me laugh Grin

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Redarrow2017 · 15/11/2021 08:25

Message from MNHQ: This post has been withdrawn

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gannett · 15/11/2021 08:58

Even if you're all in on the "preserve the magic of Christmas for the kids" bollocks surely you know that children finding out the truth from their peers is a natural stage of development? Especially at 9, when to be honest a child with decent capacity for critical thinking should have long worked it out. It's one thing going along with Santa stuff but artificially trying to preserve an "innocence" that the child is naturally growing out of is really weird to me.

I told everyone in my primary school class that Santa didn't exist at the age of 5. Not maliciously, it had just never occurred to me that people actually thought Santa was real. There were tears but apparently I told the teacher that the truth was more important. Fast forward seven-ish years and I took on the RE class (teacher included) about God not existing. I was definitely a bolshy know-it-all madam as a kid.

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Funnyas · 15/11/2021 23:21

Tell her to go jump. WTF? And Gilly down there telling you to apologize🤬 again WTF? If this Woman (🙄) is that precious with her kids, she's in for a rude shock when she hears about Easter Bunny!

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Mommybean · 16/11/2021 00:25

My son was 12 years old when he discovered santa wasn't real he was devastated and angry that we lied to him. We throught he knew. I had to say sorry to my son and explain to him that my mom lied to me and her mom lied to her. To make Christmas special for children. He was cross cause when he over heard kids talking about santa in school, he told them if they didn't believe they wouldn't get. His friends took what he said as a joke and the subject changed to something else. He then asked me about the tooth fairy and the easter bunny! That didn't go down well either....
Then he remembered finding me one year building him a garage a few days befor Christmas when I throught he was sleeping.
Once he looked at it and saw made in China! I told him too many kids in the world for lap land to make toys, so China has lots of people that help out. He believed me! More white lies.
Their isn't a written rule when to tell a child about santa. When we find out personnely we all feel abit silly. To be onnest I discovered santa wasn't real when my day fell out of the roof space with the hidden toys!

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LindaLooky · 16/11/2021 08:00

Oh bless him @Mommybean. I'm not sure what age is best to find out. I guess you definitely want them to be aware by secondary school otherwise they'll get bullied.

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TirednWorried · 16/11/2021 08:11

I remember an older kid terrifying me with tales of black magic and saying he was hoing fo make my mum die. And thats the rub. If your child believes in magic, its not just good things like father Christmas, its witches, curses, spells and all that.

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TirednWorried · 16/11/2021 08:13

People need to understand that really older children only believe because they trust their parents not to lie to them.

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dottiedodah · 16/11/2021 08:30

Tbh 9 is quite old to still believe in santa. I think it is silly to not expect children to talk among themselves. It is unfortunate that smaller dc are upset obv ,but that's life! He should not have told his siblings so the onus is on him not your child anyway

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