How to tell kids Santa isn’t real
It’s the question every parent dreads: Is Santa Claus real? The bombshell can drop at age 6, or 7, or 8, even older, but no matter what the child’s age, it can “mark the end of a certain kind of innocence for the child,” says Marie Hartwell-Walker in Psych Central, “and an end of a fun chapter of parenting for the adults.” How parents respond can determine whether the moment results in tears, anger, or a “sweet transition” to “a new kind of magic.” When the question comes, what’s the best way to answer it?
Lie through your teeth: “I tell them how Santa can fold his body up, like a magical yogi, to wiggle down our chimney,” says Margot Magowan in The San Francisco Chronicle. The little ones “look adorable sucking it all up, mouths open, eyes wide.” When “these childhood myths” fade away, it will be “a gentle way for kids to learn [that] well-intended parents are not always reliable sources of truth.”
Not a fan of lying to children? Fess up. Teach them about the real Christmas: We tell our kids the truth, says Pastor Marc Driscoll in The Washington Post. We don’t “demonize” Santa, but we don’t lie to convince our children he’s real. “Our kids thank us for being both honest and fun, which we think is what Jesus wants.”
Here, some other options.
Photo credit CC BY: Per Ola Wiberg