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MommyB
MommyB asks:
Q:

When should I tell my child about Santa?

It seems like kids are finding out that Santa isn't real at a very young age. I don't want to ruin the magic for my kids, but I also don't want them finding out from other kids at school. What's a good age to tell kids that Santa isn't real?
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Communicating with my child (The tough talks)
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Dr.Susan
Oct 28, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hi there,
this is a very common question and the truth is there is no perfect time to tell your child about Santa or the Tooth Fairy. The age at which a child is ready to hear the truth varies from child to child--even within one family. In fact, some kids never want to hear it for absolute certain and won't believe it even when they hear it from another child. Some children love to believe in the fantasy and there is nothing wrong with that! Some children really want to know the truth and that's fine too...you have to talk to your child to decide what he really wants. Of course, you don't have control over what your child may hear in school--but this is true about all subjects (sex, divorce etc), however, you do have control over helping your child understand what they hear and also over helping your child decide what they want to believe in. The following steps will help you decide:

1. Is your child asking you about whether Santa is real? Is she bugging you to know the 'truth' and telling you that she wants you to tell her? If she is, then it is more likely that she's ready to know; if she isn't, then you don't have to tell her.

2. Has your child told you that other kids don't believe in Santa, but she does and wants to. If so, you should support your child and say the following: "Everyone can choose to believe what makes them happy and feel good inside. There is no right or wrong answer; you need to respect what they believe and they need to respect you. If you ever decide that you want to believe something different, you can change your mind."

3. Is your child unsure what to believe. If so, tell him that he doesn't have to decide right now and can figure it out as he goes along. Remind him that there is no right or wrong way to believe and he should believe as long as he wants and change his mind only if he's ready.

Remember, believing in Santa or the Tooth Fairy isn't about fact or fiction, it's about enjoying childhood and there's nothing wrong with supporting that until your child is ready to do otherwise.
Good Wishes and Great Parenting,
Dr Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
www.drsusanbartell.com
Twitter @drsusanbartell
NEW book “The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask”

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Additional Answers (2)

cgomes
cgomes writes:
Dealing with the "Santa Question" is something lots of parents deal with. Many kids don't find out about Santa from other kids at school. And often times, even if they do hear about it from other kids at school, they tend to stop believing once they've found out about it on their own, rather than from someone else. Kids are naturally curious and investigative, and as they get older (for me it was around 4th grade when I put two and two together on Santa) they'll start to investigate the matter on their own, if they haven't already. The main thing is not to worry about it too much. Your children will stop believing when they're ready to stop believing. We've got a great article on how to deal with the Santa Question. I've provided the link below. Hope this is helpful!

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Aunty-Sammy
Aunty-Sammy writes:
Don't tell your child the truth about Father Christmas (Santa) a tall - let them find out on their own , Christmas is a lovely time of year don't spoil the magic for your children let them come to their own conclusion. I was 10 when I found out by accident that Father Christmas wasn't real on Christmas Eve, I got up to go to the toilet and saw my Mum putting my presents into the sacks by the Christmas Tree. That same Christmas my Sister then 8 saw Mum take her Christmas stocking from the end of her bed and then come back with it filled with little presents!.  We discussed what we knew the next morning but kept the non-existence of Father Christmas a secret from our younger brother then 4, then after our next brother was born a year later we kept it up for another 9/10 years or so!. Now my Sister has  a 2 year old son and we are experincing the magic again as he learns about Father Christmas and his little face lights up, the same with my nieces aged 7 and 4!.
> 60 days ago

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