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Ruining "the magic"

 
pollinator
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My son is 9 and it's not unexpected that he is beginning to ask us questions about Santa, the easter bunny and the tooth fairy. I don't want to come right out and say they aren't real, just in case he's on the fence about it. However, I need him to not be so open about it because his siblings are younger and still adamantly believe.

So far I have simply said, "You have to believe to receive. Also, don't ruin it for other people." I mean that's pretty much saying they aren't real but he keeps asking so..... whatcha think? What did you all do?
 
pollinator
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... What do you mean, Elle? You aren't suggesting that... that... I can't believe I'm hearing this!

-CK
 
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Well, we were upfront about it from the start with our son so our situation is slightly different, but as far as Santa goes, we let him "be" Santa and help fill our stockings.  He doesn't see what's in his own (we do that after he's in bed) but he and I will sneak in and fill his dad's, then his dad will sneak in with him to fill mine.  I would say tell him the truth, and let him be a part of the magic for his sisters.
 
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I would explain to a child that things like Santa are ideas, and ideas can be as real as we make them be. Santa is an idea used by parents to teach children to have imagination, to dream, to believe, and to be the good they want to see in the world. It is a right of passage, but no matter how old you get, the lesson is still there to be learned. Maybe it even becomes more important the older we get.
 
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Kids (well, adults either) can rarely keep secrets, so if you don't want it spoiled for the younger one, I wouldn't tell him the truth.
 
pollinator
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Well, I feel for you here.  I put my poor momma through the ringer on this one.  I was 4 and said" mamma birds have wings and fly right?, airplanes have wings and fly right?  Rain deer don't have wings".  I'll never forget the look on her face.  She was almost devastated.  She said the next thing I said was " that means there is no such thing as the Easter bunny either?"  I never told my little brother and he didn't find out till he was about 10. It really cool, because by little brother is way more artistic than I am.  We are totally different and we are ok with that.  I think when the child has the logical ability to separate imagination from reality its ok for them to know.  Raising my own child on a farm has given me the same challenges that mom had.  A child that does their own chores at a young age teaches physics quickly.  My son figured it out at 6 years old and I would watch him smile and play along when one of his older cousins would mention Santa or the Easter bunny.  I wish you luck.
 
elle sagenev
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Jordan Holland wrote:I would explain to a child that things like Santa are ideas, and ideas can be as real as we make them be. Santa is an idea used by parents to teach children to have imagination, to dream, to believe, and to be the good they want to see in the world. It is a right of passage, but no matter how old you get, the lesson is still there to be learned. Maybe it even becomes more important the older we get.



Love it!
 
elle sagenev
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Christopher Shepherd wrote:Well, I feel for you here.  I put my poor momma through the ringer on this one.  I was 4 and said" mamma birds have wings and fly right?, airplanes have wings and fly right?  Rain deer don't have wings".  I'll never forget the look on her face.  She was almost devastated.  She said the next thing I said was " that means there is no such thing as the Easter bunny either?"  I never told my little brother and he didn't find out till he was about 10. It really cool, because by little brother is way more artistic than I am.  We are totally different and we are ok with that.  I think when the child has the logical ability to separate imagination from reality its ok for them to know.  Raising my own child on a farm has given me the same challenges that mom had.  A child that does their own chores at a young age teaches physics quickly.  My son figured it out at 6 years old and I would watch him smile and play along when one of his older cousins would mention Santa or the Easter bunny.  I wish you luck.



I was the exact opposite. My brother ruined it for me when I was younger but I was no idiot. I just kept on pretending to believe and still haven't told them I don't. I figured the second I told them it was all fake that present train was drying up. lol
 
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Be honest with him! Sit him down and tell him how proud you are. He's growing up. He suspected the truth and now he knows: it is not true, but we love the little ones so much you let them believe in these magical things. Now that he is in on the secret, he is in part of this special group with the grownups with a responsibility to help continue the magic for his littler siblings.
 
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G Freden wrote:Well, we were upfront about it from the start with our son so our situation is slightly different, but as far as Santa goes, we let him "be" Santa and help fill our stockings.  He doesn't see what's in his own (we do that after he's in bed) but he and I will sneak in and fill his dad's, then his dad will sneak in with him to fill mine.  I would say tell him the truth, and let him be a part of the magic for his sisters.


This is how I was raised too. Some people left us food on the porch from Santa when I was a kid and it still felt like magic to me. And we were Santa for each other with our stockings especially and there was so much joy in that. We were always taught to believe in the spirit of Santa and I still do.
 
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I work with kids and get this often...and yes, it is usually the bright ones who do the math and figure out that the numbers just don't add up, and the logic is not there.  I won't lie (note to parents: with Santa they usually have figured out that the wrapping paper, tags and writing are the SAME; keep a special stash JUST for the Santa gifts, and write Tags with your "other" hand), that would be disrespectful to their observations and intelligence - so this is what I say:

Well, you are partially correct, the world is SOOO big Santa needs LOTS of helpers, and sometimes Santa's helpers are parents! BUT, only those who truly BELIEVE in Santa (or the tooth fairy, or the Easter Bunny, or...) will continue to get the gifts. Usually I get a wide eyed "REALLY!?"; and I tell them yes, aren't you lucky your parent was chosen to be a special Santa's Helper? Some have questions, but are not really ready to give up on the magic, others are seeking to explain something they KNOW just doesn't make sense... this gives each one the choice, as to how much they want to continue with the magic, and how much they want to believe the facts they are wrestling with.

Often this is followed up with the "Mall Santa" question, I again explain how big the world is and how these are also carefully chosen Santa's Helpers...

Then we have a chat about not spoiling the magic for others. This acknowledges the child's intelligence, and still allows for the magic to continue, at whatever degree the child still wants, and safeguards the magic for all the others who have yet to "figure it out".

I always let the parent know what we have discussed, in case there are follow up questions, such as the magic Santa powers that allow reindeer to fly, or how Santa fits down the chimney, or how when there is NO chimney how he can "create one, or how he doesn't get burned from the fire (Note to parents, DON'T leave a fire burning!), or how he can stop time so he can deliver all the gifts in one night....
 
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