This will be our very first Christmas without Santa visiting one of our kids. She’s 13 and I think that while she kinda knew he wasn’t real years ago she believed so strongly in Santa and loved the experience so much that she kept her doubts to herself.
Now, the teen is on board as one of Santa’s elves to help deliver our family’s Christmas tradition to her little sister. But soon all of the air in the Santa Claus balloon will be completely out in our home.
Here’s some dad advice on when you should tell the kids about Santa and let the air out of the great big Santa Claus myth.
Jameel Rose: Age zero. we don’t do fairy tales in my house… including sky dad. I teach my daughter to use reason, understanding, and the scientific method to solve her problems.
Scot Lee: Never…
We just figured it out eventually but, my mom has never actually said it to me and I’m 42…
Jared John: I read a great story a year or so ago about how one family let kids believe in Santa until they began to question it. Then they would tell them that they are all Santa and it was the spirit of giving and spreading good will. Really interesting article and a great idea. I hope I can find it or maybe someone on here will post a link.
Delana McQuistion: We told our oldest at 11. He said he knew but he goes with it because of the younger 2. We made him an official member of the “Secret Society of Givers” who continue to keep the magic alive for the younger kids. We also talked about how giving to others is a blessing and how it can make a difference (not just presents for family but giving to those in need as well).
Mike Ortiz: I’ll be honest….all the people saying, “don’t lie to your kids” make me sad. Childhood is supposed to be magical. It’s possible to have fantasy and wonder as a child and still turn out to be a free thinking, open minded number of society. Where do we draw the line, may I ask? I gather that I’m a horrible, lying parent for letting my toddlers believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny. Am I also a horrible parent for reading my kids the Little Blue Truck? For watching Daniel Tiger with them? After all, a blue truck can’t possibly say, “beep beep beep I’m stuck!” and Daniel Tiger would eat him some O the Owl for dinner and certainly wouldn’t live in a neighborhood of make believe if he was real. What about Duck and Goose? We all know a goose wouldn’t really really need a hug!
John Tom: Around 9 and he had been asking about it for the past 2 years, other kids tell him stuff and my reply has been.. well what do you believe, this year i think i will come. Tell him that he is old enough for him to be a Santa Claus… to help those younger feel the way he does I Christmas morning. I will help him pick out some gifts fire his little brother as well as some to donate to toys for tots.
Jason Demastus: I broke those bubbles as early as they could understand what I was saying, I’m a single dad raising three kids and have made a point to always be 100% honest with them about everything. Even if it destroyed those fairy tales, I believe them knowing that they can always count on me to be perfectly honest with them is more important than a little fantasy.
Malcolm Clark: I told my son I will always tell him the truth. He was skeptical and asked if Santa was real and flies around the world etc and I told him that Santa was a fun thing for kids and we can all enjoy it.
But I explained it all truthfully to him and he still loves Christmas time and all the Santa stuff. Your kids growing up knowing they can trust your word is more important than anything else.
Michael von Loewenfeldt: My oldest figured it out when she was eight. We had a nice talk about tradition, and I explained that now she gets to help be Santa so her younger sisters can experience the same magic that she did. She is very excited to play that role.
Justin Lee Bryant: never ever. At some point they know and that makes it funny. My 12 year old will ask me for something and I’ll tell her to ask Santa. (Big eye roll) plus you can still get the cookies. At some point they know, you know, they know that you know that they know and the smirk gives it away but why actually say it?
Flickr photo by Bart Fields.