55 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

The approach we use, with our children, is to focus on understanding the reasons for belief, and the benefits of believing in something even if it's not real. Our oldest never really believed, and ...
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  • 57.4k
52 votes
Accepted

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

Is lying worse than the good aspects? Aren't the negative things it brings (telling them the truth eventually) worse than the good things? No. Children experience the world differently than adults, ...
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49 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

It's absolutely possible to give kids presents on Christmas without bringing Santa into the picture. (Indeed, even in families whose holiday tradition includes Santa, there are almost always presents ...
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39 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

There is no need to lie. Telling the "Jedi truth" is a different matter. I remember, back in college, turning on the TV and listening to some bible-thumper tell me that we shouldn't tell our ...
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30 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

We have explained Santa as a dress-up game that is played at Christmas. So far there hasn't been any conflict about it - after all, children of this age are often quite immersed in all kinds of play. ...
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29 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

I somewhat like Pratchett's take on the question "You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable." REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE ...
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  • 750
15 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

I pretty much told my daughter as soon as she was old enough to realize what Santa even was that it's a fun make believe thing, but it's not real. I also told her that a lot of other kids in school ...
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10 votes

How do we convince parents that we can't all be there within one week of the holiday every year?

I don't fault your parents for wanting everyone to come visit. Once kids get older and move out it becomes harder and harder to get everyone together, to have one more moment together as a family. ...
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9 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

My parent's approached this in the following way: They told me that Father Christmas/Santa was a game that we play around Christmas time. We pretend that Father Christmas is coming to give us ...
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  • 190
9 votes

Duplicate or single Christmas tree?

I admire the practical desire to not duplicate toys, items and experiences with your kids. They probably don't need two of the exact same toy or need to go to the zoo with mom one day then back the ...
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8 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

My experience was a bit different from most. I found out, at age seven, on a bus full of other kids on the way to school the day after Christmas vacation ended. I remember a burning sense of shame, ...
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7 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

Part of a child's reaction upon finding out that Santa isn't real depends on how you talk about him. If you talk about him with using a lot of fantasy and whimsey and a kind of wink in your eye, they'...
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7 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

Don't lie to your children about Santa. Just don't. You won't destroy the "magic of christmas". Kids can have lots of fun with make-pretend without being lied to that its real. My brother and I were ...
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6 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

My own childhood experience may illustrate a way that the figure of Father Christmas (as we would call him in the UK) can be introduced to children without the necessity of telling untruths (for any ...
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6 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

Children can accept things like Santa as a part of their children’s world and know from decent hints that it is a fictional character (like other characters e.g. from stories or books) as soon as they ...
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5 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

If you earnestly lie to your children about Santa, you are lieing. Don't lie to your kids. If you have a make-believe game with them about Santa, you are playing with them in the way that they are ...
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5 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

In addition to the great answers covering how you portray Santa, I'll add something related that's worth thinking about, regardless of when you address the reality. How you handle the revelation is ...
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4 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

A dozen different answers an a dozen different opinions. I have two kids who believed in Santa until about ages 8 and 7 (younger one got hints from the older one) and all I can say is that they were ...
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4 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

I have no idea of the actual magnitude of the effect of lying to offspring about Santa Claus. It's almost certainly impossible to figure, and to me the magnitude of any given lie was irrelevant. What ...
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4 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

I've never let my kids believe in Santa, largely because I don't want them to think there's some mystical man bringing them gifts for "being good", when their loving family members are the real source ...
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  • 563
3 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

My wife had a great idea. We have a 3 year old and a 20 month old. We're planning to tell them about Saint Nicholas, and tell them that while Santa Claus is not St. Nicholas, he's the way people ...
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  • 279
3 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

I think you should take a relaxed, agnostic approach - say, "I don't think he is real, what do you think?", and then talk about how different people believe different things, and emphasize that this ...
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  • 1,048
3 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

First off, congratulations on seeing through the lunacy that has become of a celebration surrounding a man who had no real earthly posessions and encouraged others to ignore the meaninglessness of the ...
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  • 4,568
3 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

At a high level, even though truthfulness is very important for ethics, there are certain situations where it is ethically expected, acceptable, better or necessary to intentionally deceive someone. ...
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  • 375
3 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

"while respecting other kids beliefs?" I disagree with this part of your title. I have always believed that children should be brought up to be respectful that people can have differing opinions; but ...
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  • 277
2 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

Before I was born my parents decided to never lie to us children about anything. The only trust in my family I have ever lost is when my grandfather was dying his memory went and I quit trusting him ...
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  • 121
2 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

I have a two year old and this year is the first real year that we need to figure out how to confront this; the "Santa game" approach of a few other posters sounds like a good approach that I may try. ...
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  • 121
2 votes

Why would you lie to your children about Santa?

What would the negative effects be if you never tell them Santa exists? Of course there is the risk that your kid will tell other kids that do believe in Santa about it, but I think this could be ...
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  • 121
2 votes

How to teach children Santa is not real, while respecting other kids beliefs?

This has become quite long and wordy; sorry, I don't think I can trim much without losing the important parts. The section headings can serve as a TL;DR for each section. For many people, it's not ...
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  • 308
1 vote
Accepted

How do we convince parents that we can't all be there within one week of the holiday every year?

You don't convince them of anything. You can't. If they aren't being reasonable, you can't reason with them. Stop trying, it clearly is not working. You simply tell them what your plans are, and ...
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