My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

12 year old still believing the Christmas elves are real

224 replies

Diggingmyselfahole · 05/11/2023 22:29

I feel really bad as I think I ruined one of my pupils Christmas experience the other day.
I tutor a 12 year old girl. As we were packing up for the end of the lesson, she asked me about Christmas and if my Dd was excited, just general Christmas chit chat. I told her yes and that I might start the elves this year but I don’t know if I’ll remember to change the silly thing they’re doing each morning etc. She looked a bit strange then said were they fake elves I was talking about as her mum didn’t move them etc, she looked a bit embarrassed then explained it away that there are some that are real and some that are fake and sort of asked me if that was true? It then dawned on me that she still believed in her parents doing the elves 😳and I felt really bad. I don’t know, by high school, I was getting up to all sorts of naughty things with my pals, I realise all kids are different and it’s great she’s more innocent
Felt really bad, but Aibu to have assumed by 12 she wouldn’t believe in all that still?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1313 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
21%
You are NOT being unreasonable
79%
Diggingmyselfahole · 05/11/2023 22:30

Elf on the shelf I mean

OP posts:
ErrolTheDragon · 05/11/2023 22:46

YANBU, assuming she's NT.

DappledThings · 05/11/2023 22:52

I nearly fucked up this week because I didn't know any child of any age thought it was real. We've never done it but I assumed all children were in on it.

Had DS and his friend (both 7) in the car and DS's friend was talking about how he accidentally touched it but it was an accident so he didn't take away its magic. DS started saying he'd asked for one but Mummy said she wouldn't buy one because it was just another job she'd have to do to move it around. (I did indeed say this). Friend starting asking what he meant about buying one and I had to change the subject.

I would totally assume a 12 year old knew.

ShineBright1209 · 05/11/2023 23:01

I think by time they reach high school age they should know that it’s not real, same goes for Santa, Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy.
Surely you’re just asking for your kids to be picked on if they still believe in things like that at a certain age.
My oldest 2 aged 13 and 11 definitely know it’s all made up, actually thinking of getting them involved in the elf’s antics this year for the younger 2 (if he finds our new house that is).

Alalalalalongalalalalalonglonglilong · 05/11/2023 23:04

She is better off learning the truth now, it's amazing she never questioned it by 12!! My pal has a boy turning 13 this month and he only found out about Santa a week or two ago when his Gran made a comment about his sister still believing. To be honest I thought it was pretty unfair that his parents let him go that long and made such a fool out of him. Better that she looked foolish in front of you than a group of her classmates

YolandaCoriander · 05/11/2023 23:05

Would definitely assume a Y8 would know this was all a tortuous lie game.

BoohooWoohoo · 05/11/2023 23:08

Yanbu to assume a NT 12(!!) year old would know.

Diggingmyselfahole · 05/11/2023 23:11

She’s does seem (to me at least) a bit young for her age-collects Hello kitty, loves her stuffed animals etc
I have wondered about possible ND though, so perhaps it is this

OP posts:
Idtotallybangdreamoftheendlessnotgonnalie · 05/11/2023 23:12

Can you show us the shitty email from the parents about destroying the magic of Christmas when you get it? Please? Go on 🤣

I can see my daughter being older than most and believing in the magic elves, but that's because she's autistic and very trusting. I won't be letting her head off to secondary without full understanding of the tooth fairy, F.C and the elves!

AHelpfulHand · 05/11/2023 23:14

I do think children these days are believing in this sort of thing for a lot longer.

when I was a kid, Santa was never made a big deal, I stopped believing well before high school.

nowadays Christmas is a lot more extravagant. Santas grottos all over the place, extravagant Christmas events, elf on the shelf etc.

which is all nice etc but it does mean children are believing a lot longer than years ago.

in dds class (year 6) loads still believe in Father Christmas

Diggingmyselfahole · 05/11/2023 23:17

It honestly didn’t cross my mind to think she’d believe in it 🙈

OP posts:
IfIcouldchooseagain · 05/11/2023 23:19

Yanbu.

I think it’s sadistic to teach any child that elves are real and that a fat old man sneaks into their bedroom while they sleep. Ridiculous and gives kids weird issues.

Spottyhousecoat · 05/11/2023 23:28

YANBU
We had to sit our eldest DD down in the summer before high school and tell her about Santa, as we didn't want her to get the micky taken out of her if she mentioned him!

My youngest who's 2 years younger was like thank god you've told her I've been telling her this for years and she didn't believe me!

Some kids just choose to believe longer..

ErrolTheDragon · 05/11/2023 23:30

I'm a bit gobsmacked that such a new fake 'tradition' is believed by any child tbh. My dd is 24 so we missed this 'elf' nonsense, the book was only written in 2005.

Snugglemonkey · 05/11/2023 23:33

IfIcouldchooseagain · 05/11/2023 23:19

Yanbu.

I think it’s sadistic to teach any child that elves are real and that a fat old man sneaks into their bedroom while they sleep. Ridiculous and gives kids weird issues.

What kind of weird issues?

Hotchocolatemousse · 05/11/2023 23:36

Has anyone seen the new Sainsbury's Christmas advert yet? It sort of touches on the father Christmas issue.

I wasn't brought up believing in Santa so I think the whole myth is fascinating. Particularly as the majority of society nowadays identify as aethiest so to encourage kids to believe in an imaginary being is strange. The amount of effort that goes into keeping up the pretence of mythical creatures and an old man bringing gifts. I really feel for the kids when the find out it's not real and society has been gaslighting them.

Untoldhassle · 05/11/2023 23:41

I don't think the sainsbury advert is OK. I think it casts doubt for little ones who do still believe. Especially so for those who are starting to question. Why can't they have some innocence for a bit longer and enjoy santa etc without grown ups trying to ruin it.

NotTerfNorCis · 05/11/2023 23:43

It could be a bit like religion. If your parents insist something is real, no matter how illogical it seems, you might believe them? I guess no one has ever told her different.

thunderandsunshine01 · 05/11/2023 23:44

My 11yo DD still believes in Santa. I thought for sure this would be the year she announces she knows (year 7 at school) but she’s still rolling with it. If she asked, I’d tell her, but I think part of it is wanting to keep the magic alive so she doesn’t really want to know. School friends will confirm it for her soon enough, and that likely would have happened this Xmas for the girl you tutor too.

Ella31 · 05/11/2023 23:46

IfIcouldchooseagain · 05/11/2023 23:19

Yanbu.

I think it’s sadistic to teach any child that elves are real and that a fat old man sneaks into their bedroom while they sleep. Ridiculous and gives kids weird issues.

Christ, this shit again. Never once did I think a creepy old man was sneaking into my bedroom at Christmas. I loved the idea of santa and was perfectly fine when I learnt the truth. Does everything have to be so bloody negative regarding childhood? Are we so conditioned about not traumatising our "precious youth," that something as magical as santa has to be scrapped.

SweetBirdsong · 05/11/2023 23:49

Ella31 · 05/11/2023 23:46

Christ, this shit again. Never once did I think a creepy old man was sneaking into my bedroom at Christmas. I loved the idea of santa and was perfectly fine when I learnt the truth. Does everything have to be so bloody negative regarding childhood? Are we so conditioned about not traumatising our "precious youth," that something as magical as santa has to be scrapped.

Agree Ella. It's ludicrous isn't it? Hmm Children believing in Santa and elves is wonderful and magical. What an utterly bizarre post from @IfIcouldchooseagain Confused

AutumnLeaves333 · 05/11/2023 23:55

I probably wouldn’t have assumed but my dd (poss ND) still believes in Santa and elves and she is 13. I made it clear to her last year that it wasn’t real and her dad told her I was lying 🤦‍♀️

TraumatisedatChristmas1986 · 05/11/2023 23:58

It's far kinder than what happened to me. I was 8 years old, it was Christmas Eve and I wanted to write to Father Christmas. I asked my mother repeatedly for the address and she wouldn't give it to me. I told her I would ring the operator and she encouraged me to.

A man laughed heartily on the other end and then put the phone down. I was upset, told her and my older brother came into the room and told me contemptuously that there was no such thing.

I still find it difficult, even now, that she allowed me to do that at 8 years old on Christmas Eve and didn't reprimand my brother for being so cruel. I hadn't questioned it at that point, not because of naivety or stupidity, but because I trusted my parents.

Each of my children have worked it out for themselves, but before leaving primary school. I would have gently explained otherwise.

I don't think you did anything wrong by assuming that she knew.

ClareBlue · 06/11/2023 00:05

Those saying its magical and lets all keep up the dishonest pretence probably haven't had to deal with children from dysfunctional families who never got anything from Santa and assumed it was because they were bad. Because everything is geared with those stupid elves and generally a visit from Father Christmas to the behaviour of the child. Then children whos life is already telling them they are pretty worthless have it nicely reaffirmed how bad they are when they don't receive any presents.
What's actually magical about children finding out they were being lied to.

Newsername1 · 06/11/2023 00:08

YANBU to make that assumption. Various studies show that the average age that children stop believing in Father Christmas is 8. I can’t find any statistics specific to 12 year olds (largely because they seem to be to old to even include in the studies) but I would assume that more than 99% of them no longer believe (and that’s for Santa - you’d assume a much lower age for Elf on the Shelf).

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.