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chelktty
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Need Help Breaking the News About Santa post #1  quote:



Hi guys, my sister is having a dilemma and I wanted your input on it. My oldest niece is 11 years old and still believes in Santa Claus. She's very sensitive and my sister is concerned because there are kids in her grade that are teasing the kids who still believe in Santa. My sister was going to tell her the other day about the truth, but a few hours before, my niece began talking about how she couldn't wait for Santa to come and that she still believed in him.
My middle niece is probably less gullible than my older one. She was expressing her doubts about his existence last Christmas. My sister and I are thinking about telling them both together...but having them keep the spirit of Santa alive for their youngest sister who is only 3. I suggested that we make the girls a part of it this year, having them help put out the presents, (and getting their "Santa" gifts early) but my sister is so worried about how much it will hurt my oldes niece. Anyone have a story or idea about how you learned or how you broke the news to your kids?

Much thanks!


Old Post 12-11-2003 02:02 PM
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Kookaburra
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post #2  quote:

quote:
fuscia said this in post #11 :
I agree with Grant and Chodder. Telling the children he is not real is a very cruel lesson. It does no harm to let them believe. Most adults look back on the Santa years with fond memories.


Fuscia, after reading Chelktty's post, you sure you want to say the lie is not harmful? Kids that tease can be more cruel than telling the truth in the first place. A child can take a lot less teasing and still be emotionally scarred.

How to avoid having to explain why you lied in later years is far easier by not telling the lie to begin with. But since it happened, and the question is what to do about it now, the only answer I can give is to explain why the child was lied to, and why children are led to believe in Santa Claus.

How can you let down a child easy after believing a lie all their lives? I don't think you can.


Old Post 12-11-2003 02:25 PM
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chelktty
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post #3  quote:

Kooka while I appreciate your thoughts, this was not an invitation for you to get on your soap box and start preaching. Now unless you have some advise on how my sister can handle the situation without adding your own thoughts of abomination of values, please keep your judgemental comments to yourself or the other thread that this topic pertained to.

Old Post 12-11-2003 02:35 PM
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Kookaburra
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post #4  quote:

quote:
chelktty said this in post #3 :
Kooka while I appreciate your thoughts, this was not an invitation for you to get on your soap box and start preaching. Now unless you have some advise on how my sister can handle the situation without adding your own thoughts of abomination of values, please keep your judgemental comments to yourself or the other thread that this topic pertained to.


You didn't specify how you wanted us to answer. And I did give you advice.. that is, to explain why children are lied to in the first place. Perhaps she would understand it's not just her that got lied to, and this is a universal situation. No preaching or disrespect was intended. I was pointing out how one post said there was no harm in this, while another was showing the harm.

The harm is... you now have adults who don't know what to do, and a child who is about to be let down, and a third child whom adults are trying to figure out how to keep the lie going for that child.

That, to me, is harm.


Old Post 12-11-2003 03:16 PM
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chelktty
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post #5  quote:

quote:
Kookaburra said this in post #4 :


You didn't specify how you wanted us to answer. And I did give you advice.. that is, to explain why children are lied to in the first place. Perhaps she would understand it's not just her that got lied to, and this is a universal situation. No preaching or disrespect was intended. I was pointing out how one post said there was no harm in this, while another was showing the harm.

The harm is... you now have adults who don't know what to do, and a child who is about to be let down, and a third child whom adults are trying to figure out how to keep the lie going for that child.

That, to me, is harm.

Duly noted, however when I asked for advise about the situation I did not advertise my desire for you to tell me that my sister is harming my niece, nor did I ask for a reference to another thread. I forgot for a moment to put a disclaimer in the beginning, though I didn't feel I had to...I guess you proved me wrong.

Call it lying to children, if that's what you think of it then don't share the idea of Santa with your kids. But when I was a little girl Santa was a special fantasy just like the tooth fairy.

I was asking for ideas on how to break the news to her & for other people's experience with the situation. When you're commenting to me "explain why children are lied to" that to me, IS preaching. I understand you meant no ill will, I personally like you as an individual, I'm not intending this to become a flaming thread, I'm simply asking for advise and other people's experiences, if you have nothing more to add other than "it's harming a child" please understand that I know your opinion on that matter and I simply do not wish to hear any more from you about it.




Old Post 12-11-2003 04:09 PM
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fuscia is Away
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post #6  quote:

Kooka, I think Chel was looking for some advice from some of us who have kids. Tread warily. What we say about how others handle and what they teach their children is a land mine. Parenting is a very laid back and friendly forum. We do not do a lot of debating. (Just a few tips for ya so you don't get jumped on in here)

Chel, that is a very difficult situation. Your niece sounds very sweet. I think honesty should be used if she brings it up with her mom. Perhaps a lunch date for just the two of them. I would use what was said about it being a Universal Falsehood that is used to bring children joy. I would also tell her that since she is such a smart and big girl now, she can still get her Santa presents, but she can participate in bringing joy to the younger kids in the family. She is now part of the secret. If it is handled with love, she will be o.k. I think it is wonderful that she has an Auntie who is looking out for her.


Old Post 12-11-2003 07:48 PM
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post #7  quote:

'chel... even though I'm not a parent, I can remember finding out the truth! I wasn't devestated, because my mom said that even though I knew, that didn't change anything. Santa would still come to our house, and we would still have all the same traditions!! I've never been angry.

I'm sure that, as a parent, there is a huge level of stress because you know that you're about to shatter something that your child has always believed in. But, I think that if done right, there will still be that magic of xmas! Good luck on this!


Old Post 12-11-2003 08:14 PM
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chelktty
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post #8  quote:

Thanks guys, Sherry I think I'll recommend your suggestions to my sister, it sounds like the perfect plan for such a situation. Thanks for the input!

Old Post 12-11-2003 08:28 PM
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post #9  quote:

That's what friends are for, Michele!

Old Post 12-11-2003 08:41 PM
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schmiggens
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post #10  quote:

Do the kids still belive in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny? I had a friends mum when she turned eight told her about the Tooth Fairy, when she was nine told her about the Easter Bunny and when she was ten told her about Santa. By the time she got around to hearing that Santa was not real, she was prepared.

I think it depends what other things your child believes in as to when and what you tell them about Santa. I would rather have something to hold ont to as a child than nothing and I think beliveing in Santa is an important part of growing up and I hope I can pass the love of Santa on to my children.


Old Post 12-15-2003 08:22 AM
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KristianKim
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post #11  quote:

That's such a hard one. I found out that Santa wasn't real from an older cousin that I admired. I was about 8 when he told me that the Communists shot Santa down over Russia and so he wouldn't be coming anymore, LOL. (boy kids are sadistic).

My kids are 18 and 14 and up until about three years ago Santa still came to our house. I never told them, they just started to voice little suspicions and I told them if they didn't believe Santa wouldn't come. I did this mostly for my youngest, so her brother went along with it. One year Santa just didn't come and they didn't mind.


Old Post 12-15-2003 04:59 PM
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post #12  quote:

Lets face it.....NONE of us have been scarred in our adult life from hearing that there is no Santa. This is a tradition throughout history, and our lives....if it scarred us in any way we wouldnt pass it down to our own children.

As for advise...I dont know....my own son questions it at this point, and I dont think he will be devastated over it...he doesnt seem to mind if Santa is real or not....he loves Christmas either way.

I would probably tell her as easy as I could and maybe tell her the story of St. Nick, and how he used to leave presents for people, and "Santa" represents the good that St. Nick did for many people long ago....maybe she can say he isnt real per say, but the concept is real....

Does that make any sense? I know if I wasnt so tired I could have said it much better....(okay....a little better!)


Old Post 12-16-2003 04:38 AM
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chelktty
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post #13  quote:

Thanks for the input guys, I'm going to talk to my sister about it later today. If we do tell her, we'll have her stay up late on Christmas Eve and play "santa" for the younger kids with the rest of the adults.

Old Post 12-16-2003 03:18 PM
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oldbutafan
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post #14  quote:

Your niece sounds like such a sweet, sensitive child.

I am wondering if this year it can be a soft touch transition for the little girl.

Could your niece be told that Santa Claus is real in the hearts of those who believe in him. If Mom tells her that the belief represents the loving and giving spirit of the season, and that Santa and that spirit are real in her ( Mom's ) heart, might it soften the affect ?

Perhaps gently tell her that as we all get older, Santa Claus no longer delivers presents via a sleigh and a chimney, but through the belief in our hearts, helps to keep that spirit alive by turning over the delivery aspects to loving families including big sisters like her ... but only when they are ready ?

I realize that's ambiguous, but wondering if approaching it that way might actually reveal your niece's "readiness" -- and she will make the decision as to when to turn the corner.

One other thing. I think all can't help but go well in such a warm, caring, loving family.

By the way ... when I got to that questioning age/stage ... I figured it was in my best interest to believe, and later to let the adults believe that I still believed


Last edited by oldbutafan on 12-17-2003 at 04:21 PM |
Old Post 12-17-2003 04:11 PM
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fuscia is Away
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post #15  quote:

OBAF, I did the same thing. I knew there was no Santa, but it was so important for my Dad to play Santa and have me still be his baby, I just played along for a year or two.

Old Post 12-17-2003 05:21 PM
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chelktty
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post #16  quote:

quote:
oldbutafan said this in post #14 :
Your niece sounds like such a sweet, sensitive child.

I am wondering if this year it can be a soft touch transition for the little girl.

Could your niece be told that Santa Claus is real in the hearts of those who believe in him. If Mom tells her that the belief represents the loving and giving spirit of the season, and that Santa and that spirit are real in her ( Mom's ) heart, might it soften the affect ?

Perhaps gently tell her that as we all get older, Santa Claus no longer delivers presents via a sleigh and a chimney, but through the belief in our hearts, helps to keep that spirit alive by turning over the delivery aspects to loving families including big sisters like her ... but only when they are ready ?

I realize that's ambiguous, but wondering if approaching it that way might actually reveal your niece's "readiness" -- and she will make the decision as to when to turn the corner.

One other thing. I think all can't help but go well in such a warm, caring, loving family.

By the way ... when I got to that questioning age/stage ... I figured it was in my best interest to believe, and later to let the adults believe that I still believed


What great incite! Thanks for the input!


Old Post 12-17-2003 06:06 PM
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