Hi everyone!

I have 2 great kids who are 9 and 6. They both still believe in Santa, the Easter bunny, and tooth fairy...well at least they say they do. I have doubts about my son (the 9 y.o.).

 

For a while now I have been feeling bad about keeping up the ruse. Every now and again they will ask questions and I just feel so guilty about brushing them off or outright lying to them. When they ask questions about other topics I never lie. I always answer their questions to the best of my abilities in a way they understand, but when it comes to these stupid traditions, I just can't seem to bring myself to tell the truth.

 

My husband has mentioned having similar feelings though we've never talked about if we should break the news to the kids or not.

 

What's your take? What did you do with your children, or what was your experience as a child? I know I believed as a kid, but I honestly can't remember when I found out the truth.

 

Should I answer their questions truthfully or keep it going until it runs it's course?

Tags: EasterBunny, Santa, ToothFairy

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I would tell them the truth but make it clear they still get the "stuff" ;-)
I understand your concern for wanting to teach your children about what everyone else does at a certain time of year.  I am also sensitive to the idea of children getting gifts.  I do not necessarily think the two have to be together as one.  My fear is if you teach a child they are getting what everyone else is getting they will have an entiltlement fantacy when they get older.  Teaching children about giving and receiving is better taught on a cognitive status. 
I think on the whole children appreciate truth. You are treating them as people. I thinks Gary's point is well taken.
As the wife and I have never had kids, I cannot speak to this issue from that perspectiv in the least. I do tho remember my reaction being a kid (vaguely anyway, as it has been so long). And I think, mostly I agree w Dennis Smith that it is not a good thing overall.

I remember feeling, at least a bit, as if my trust had been betrayed when I finally learned the truth. I was just a kid unable to know any better, but I donot think I ever would have come to believe anything as fantastic as Santa Clause, if not for my mom assuring me it was true.

As you probably haven't lead your children to believe in any supernatural god, this probably doesn't apply to you, but there was a plus side to me being lead to believe in these fairy tales. It was a significant step in leading me to question the god fairy tale. I came to believe both fairy tales in the same way, thru being asured they were true simply because that is what my mom said.
Ah, Santa's innocuous. People who raise children in the parents' religion, however, need to have the children removed. Religious inculcation is child abuse.
My husband is very into the whole childhood holiday myth stuff, I am not so much. I have been OK with him guiding them into it but if my oldest (almost 7) asks I do tell him "some people think that 'it' is real, it is based on an old story...means season traits...etc" I also encourage him to be kind and stay friends with others who might think the same or differently about it but HE gets to make the final choice about it...and he can change his mind. A general tolerance lesson!
What do you mean they are not real?! ;-)

That's a tough one. We actually went the "fairy route" with our kids and to wait for them to find out on their own. They are still young although the older one has her doubts (9 y.o.). Perhaps not the best choice in hindsight although my parents did the same thing and I do not resent them one bit for it or feel abused in my credulity. We think it is harmless and, like others commenting here, perhaps helped fuel some healthy skepticism later in life.

A Conversation from my youth:

 

ME: Dadday, is there really a santa clause?

FATHER: No son, but lots of people like to think there is.

 

...And yes he is a xtian!

 

M.

 

I don't think it's a bad thing to enjoy the childhood fantasy while it lasts.  It's very hard to tell younger children something is not real when they see it standing right there (Santa, Easter Bunny, etc) but the older they get, the easier abstract comprehension becomes as well as skeptical and/or critical thinking.

 

My daughter is 7 and about the time she started asking about evolution and how life works, she started questioning whether santa was real or not.  It didn't come as a hard blow to her, it was just a "oh" moment, but I also made sure that every year, santa only ever gave the kids one gift and never anything really super cool.  I was not about to give up credit for the best gifts to the nonexistent jolly fat man.

Hi! I don't have children so i can't give you any personal experience on that, but i can tell you that i wasn't really upset when i discovered that santa didn't exist.

I was probably 7 or 8 yo, i woke up during the night and found my parents bringing presents from upstairs :D

My father just said "oops!" and laughed out *eheheh*

From that moment on, the game of waiting for santa claus became the game of finding out where my parents hid the presents before christmas... so I think that the important part is the game you share with your parents (or your kids, in your case). The "fairy tale" is just something you use to make them happy.

I never understood that parent's mythology thing.  It seems to undermine trust.  I remember it pissed me off when my parents mentioned Santa Claus after I had stopped believing in that myth.

It seems to me that the best route would be to tell kids about them as fables, make sure they understand that they are fun stories to tell others.  Kids understand "pretend" and "make believe".  

Heck, why not just tell them the real story?  Saint Nicholas was a real person.  Tell them that ever since, people dressed up as him and gave presents to kids.  

As long as my kids believed in santa and didn't ask me straight out about it, I let 'em be.  when they asked, I said there wasn't any.

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