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12-16-2010, 03:16 AM
So for those parents who have tackled this issue, please help me...

My son is 10 and he still believes in Santa. I know it will come that he will no longer believe in him and was wondering how others dealt with this issue? Did you just come out and tell your child that Santa isn't real? Did you wait for your child to come to you? Did your child know and not come forward and tell you?

I was thinking about this for a few days now and have no idea on how to deal with this...

Erica Lee
12-16-2010, 03:36 AM
I'm not a parent, but I still remember clearly my slow "discovery" that Santa wasn't real. As I grew older I started to have my doubts, and started to hear peers say that he wasn't real. At a certain age, I still *wanted* to believe (especially in the presence of a lot of younger cousins), even though my judgment was telling me otherwise. Eventually, I was 90% certain he wasn't real and I believe I came right out and asked my mom... and I appreciated her honesty. She also didn't just say, "you're right, he's fake", she pointed out other magical things about the season to give me reason not to be discouraged... charity, helping others, etc. At a certain age, Christmas is all about getting... and it slowly starts to become more about giving... I would say finding out that Santa wasn't real was the start of that shift for me.

I don't think all kids are ready for that at the same time. I don't think there's any harm in letting a kid still believe if they still believe. I would probably have been devastated if my mom came right old and told me, unsolicited. I went to her when I was ready to know the truth and I really think being able to wrestle with and reconcile my own doubts before I actually approached her was an important part of the process.

12-16-2010, 03:37 AM
I really can't remember how it was with my kids, but it seems like there comes a year when they know and you just know that they know. It wasn't a big traumatic thing with either of my kids. Your son may bring it up himself. Even after that, you can still continue your Santa traditions if you and your son want to.

Christmas is never really the same, though.

12-16-2010, 03:42 AM
I discovered the truth when I woke up on Xmas eve to go to the bathroom and I heard my parents putting the presents out under the tree. I was kind of devastated and had to talk to my older sister about it.

The next Xmas, my parents put the presents under the tree as they bought them and didn't hide them from us like they had previous years. I guess they knew that I knew because of how deflated I was that Xmas morning.

My son is sensitive to that kind of stuff like I am (was)...so I am at a complete loss because I don't want him to feel like I did.

12-16-2010, 03:50 AM
I think it's fine to wait. I got more and more observant of things that made me slowly realize that he wasn't real. I never had to ask, I just figured it out myself. I still got presents so it was ok with me. :)

12-16-2010, 05:03 AM
My ten year old son found out this year, I think around the beginning of fall. My almost 14 year old daughter tried to tell him the truth, he didn't believe her - she told him to google it! I'm fine with it. We tell him even if Santa isn't real the whole idea of Santa is still nice to believe and part of what makes Christmas so special.

I found out when I was around four. I was in my parents room and somehow looking in their closet when I noticed some toys up on their high shelves. For some reason, I knew not to say anything and then on Christmas morning, I saw them unwrapped under the tree from Santa. I never said anything for a long time. I don't know why, though. Probably, just always secretive by nature! LOL!

12-16-2010, 06:05 AM
We tell him even if Santa isn't real the whole idea of Santa is still nice to believe and part of what makes Christmas so special.

I like this idea.

12-16-2010, 12:53 PM
When my daughter was little, I always told her that Santa used to be real. That there was a man that gave out presents to kids for free. But as the world got bigger and had more people, that he couldn't afford to pay for all of their gifts. So I had to "pay" Santa and if she wasn't good then he just didn't bother to come leave the presents and get the money. She believed in him but this helped her not to be quite as upset when she found out he wasn't real.

Then when she was in kindergarden, a kid told them that her mom said that Santa wasn't real and that parents just bought the gifts. She told her that she knew that parents paid Santa because he couldn't afford to give all kids free gifts. But that Santa was real because sometimes she got stuff that she didn't tell me about! When she told me what they said I just told her that as long as she believes then there is a Santa and we just help him out.

That's the same thing she told her brother when he came home from school asking if Santa is real.

My kids still get "Santa" stuff. They are 18 and 14. They of course now know that we bought the stuff all along and it's not quite the same. But seeing their faces when they get something they didn't expect or ask for is still priceless.

12-16-2010, 12:59 PM
At 10, I think he may very well know. He may be thinking that if he doesn't pretend to believe, something bad might happen or that you might be upset. Might be a good idea to do a little gentle probing so that you can reassure him that it's fine either way.

12-16-2010, 01:21 PM
Aceon6- Oh no he believes in him still. I was about the same age as him when I found out though. Not to say he doesn't have questions about how a man can get all around the world in one night to give presents to kids lol...

12-16-2010, 01:45 PM
When my oldest son was about that age, he devised a plan to prove whether or not Santa was real. He intended to booby trap the doors with noisemakers (we don't have a chimney) so he could be alerted when/if Santa came and catch the old guy in the act. Fortunately, he told me about his clever plan. So my husband and I took the kids out driving to look at Christmas lights that Christmas Eve while some good friends let themselves in to our house and put the gifts under the tree for us. When we got home, Santa had already been and gone (we must have been his first stop that year!). My son was absolutely flabbergasted, and drove himself crazy trying to figure out how we'd done it, since he was pretty sure from talking to friends that we were behind the whole thing. I let him in on the trick the next day, and recruited him to help make the magic happen for his little brother and sister in the future, which he happily did. A couple of years later, we had a priest friend come over dressed as Santa so our then 4-year-old daughter could get a personal visit. He was the police chaplain for our town, too, and we were all surprised when Santa showed up in a squad car! Our daughter was dazzled, and her big brothers, who were both in on the secret by then, enjoyed the whole thing as much as we did.

12-16-2010, 02:34 PM
...My son was absolutely flabbergasted, and drove himself crazy trying to figure out how we'd done it, since he was pretty sure from talking to friends that we were behind the whole thing...
The art of illusion. I wonder what Christmas must be like at David Copperfield's house. :lol:

12-16-2010, 02:45 PM
My 10 year old daughter came home from school yesterday and said that the kids at school told her it was the parents who bought the presents. I said something like parents can't buy all those presents (her 6 year old brother was listening to us!). She seemed ok with that.

They do know that the Santa at the mall isn't the real one, he's just helping the real Santa who is busy at the North Pole. I do put one gift under the tree from Santa for Mom and Dad. They also like to watch the Polar Express movie, which kind of stresses that children believe but parents don't.

If they would come out directly and ask I might tell them, but it is kind of fun to watch them believe.

12-16-2010, 02:57 PM
I found out in 2nd grade and I felt very betrayed by my parents. (But that's part of my personality, I guess.) My parents made such a big deal out of honesty and not lying about things, so I found the whole thing a little hypocritical.

I'm not sure what I will do about Santa when I have children...I'd rather not lie to them, and let them hear it from other people (and not me.)

12-16-2010, 03:20 PM
I think at that age, I'd most definitely let them know the truth. Not necessarily confront them with it, to avoid them feeling stupid, but maybe bring them out shopping for presents for other family members so they "get it".

In my family we always had presents from each other, and santa was a story. My parents weren't "anti santa" either, we just never talked about him as "real". So when I was 5, I was the one to inform all my friends it wasn't true... It was out of smugness, I was just completely baffled that they didn't know.

I'm quite astonished there are some 10 year olds who haven't been informed by their friends yet. I'd be a bit worried they'd get picked on at school if someone found out.

Twillight, I very strongly suspect your 10 year old knows already and hasn't told you :)