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Christmas, Easter, TF, etc.: lies to your children?

  1. Aug 8, 2008 #1
    I was thinking about this tonight. I'm in my mid 20's, working on my PhD. When I'm done and get married/have a kid or three I was trying to reason out what I would do about Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. for my kids.

    On the one hand, I would hate to lie to my children, in any way shape or form. For the most part my parents were almost always honest and rational with me, and I think I turned out great.

    On the other hand, what would my children have to go through with their friends/school talking about santa and presents and stuff. Would they feel isolated and different? (would get presents from us, not from santa)

    They usually find out the truth at a young enough age to not turn it into a trust issue.

    And stupid America forces us to do these things so we buy more stuff. If I was in another country that didn't have things like this so ingrained into youth society I wouldn't care.

    What do you guys think? Even something like Santa. They'll probably learn about it from tv/movies/friends at school and so forth. Do you tell them the truth as soon as possible? Do you play along with it? I just want to see what other people (mainly Americans, since its different here than elsewhere from what I've heard) think.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2008 #2
    Tell them mom and dad worked hard to get those nice things.
  4. Aug 8, 2008 #3
    Explain them about traditions. For instance you could explain that (some of those) traditions may not make any sense to the rational mind but that people go through them from generation to generation, and some only for social and societal reasons.
  5. Aug 8, 2008 #4
  6. Aug 8, 2008 #5

    Chi Meson

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    My daughter figured out the tooth fairy and Santa by herself. We never made a big deal of them. Never went to the %$#@!! mall to visit santa, never even said that "This present is from santa!" Also we never told any of our kids that "There is no santa."

    Before our daughter turned 7, she enjoyed the myth, but as of last winter, the logic just didn't add up to her. When she asked the question "Does santa really exist?" we'd respond with, "What do you think?" She finally gave us some really good reasons why the whole story couldn't possibly be true, and we told her that she was right.

    She wasn't at all disappointed; rather, she was pleased with herself for figuring it all out. I gotta say, I think we played that one perfectly. The tooth fairy fell a few months later by the same logic.

    Let's see if we can repeat that "play" with our two boys (5 & 3).
  7. Aug 8, 2008 #6
    NOT lie to your kids? Are you nuts? That's what makes talking to kids fun. Seriously though you are being ridiculous. For one, your kids would not see you instilling a sense of wonder into them as a lie. Why take away the magic of Christmas from them? You enjoyed putting out a plate of cookies for Santa and don't say you didn't. It's absolutely impossible to never lie to your kids. What if you have an ugly kid? What if your ugly kid woke up one morning and decided to comb his hair for the very first time all by his self. then came out to you with a huge smile on his face and asked you if he looked good? Are you going to sit him down and explain that he got the part crooked and no matter how many times he combed his hair he won't look good unless maybe he combs it over his ugly face. You don't have kids so you think you know how they should be raised. Don't push grown up ideas on little kids, let them be kids.
  8. Aug 8, 2008 #7


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    I think this is a great approach.

    I loved the Santa, Easter Bunny, etc... myths. I also figured out it couldn't be true ahead of my friends, but I didn't want to ruin it for my friends. I have never personally known anyone "traumatized" by learning Santa was a myth. It was a fun "game" that you got to play until you figured it out or someone spoiled it for you by telling you. It wasn't about lying to your children. I "would" have been very upset if that wonderful part of my childhood had been denied to me since it was part of life in the environment in which I was raised. Santa and the EB are some of my fondest childhood memories.

    My mother had a great explanation for why some kids got more than others. Obviously toys were no longer made by Santa's elves because all kids wanted the stuff made by the toy companies. This meant Santa would have to have billions of dollars to buy all the stuff and he didn't. So, the parents would send Santa money to buy the toys and bring them to their kids. If you were rich, you could pay Santa for more toys than if you were poor.

    Also, Santa only bought the toys for the parents/children that participated. For example, if you were Jewish, you didn't participate. Same deal for the Easter Bunny.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  9. Aug 8, 2008 #8
    I think every child should experience christmas, etc growing up. Eventually they will figure out one way or another that the stories are not true. But gimme a break, it isnt going to shatter their world view when they find out santa isnt real. I dont understand why people make this out to be an issue.
  10. Aug 8, 2008 #9
    Raise them as atheists, or let them choose to be religious at least.

    I proved to myself that "Santa Claus" didn't exist by the time I was three, by pestering my mom until she told me what I already knew.
  11. Aug 8, 2008 #10
    I knew Santa couldn't fly around the world in a sled pulled by flying reindeer I wasn't stupid, I figured he used a helicopter.
  12. Aug 8, 2008 #11
    I didn't find out Santa wasn't real until I was 16 and they wouldn't let me sit on his lap in the mall.

    "Why the F*** not???? How is he going to know what presents I want if I don't tell him???" I responded. It escalated from there, and when my parents came to pick me up from the police station they told me.

    That's okay, though. They tell me Jesus really is real though, so I believe them.
  13. Aug 8, 2008 #12


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    My daughter figured it out early, too. I'm amazed at how logical little kids can be. She was about 4 when she said to me, "OK, I know the story about Santa and all, but tell me again about the reindeer. How exactly can they fly?" And she stared at me with all the seriousness of a judge.

    I told her it's a make-believe story and that even though it's not real, I like to pretend it is. She's 16 now and I tell her all the time she HAS to believe or she won't get any presents (you can imagine the eye-roll I get!).

    I came from a very large family and my older siblings spoiled it for me - I never remember believing.

    It won't damage a kid to be told a myth, but as soon as they start to question it, 'fess up immediately. It's a good sign that the kid is developing critical thinking skills and it's not good to thwart that.
  14. Aug 8, 2008 #13


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    If you don't have children, you won't have to worry about this. :wink:
    I personally don't want them or like them, for that matter, so it won't be an issue. See how easily the problem is solved? :biggrin:

    I as a child, was never told that there was a, "santa." I learned that by observation and outside sources. They will learn that on their own, even if they are not told of these, imaginary things.
  15. Aug 8, 2008 #14
    For my it was particularly stupid as we had a wood stove with an 8 inch stovepipe. No way fatass Santa is getting down that. My mom tried to say that he came through the sliding glass door....
  16. Aug 8, 2008 #15
    I think you should definitely tell them santa is real, christmas was always so fun when I believed in santa! They'll figure it out eventually, but they'll have fun for a while!
  17. Aug 8, 2008 #16


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    Santa doesn't exist :eek: :cry:
  18. Aug 8, 2008 #17
  19. Aug 8, 2008 #18


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    We didn't have a fireplace, we lived on the gulf coast. My mom said he came in through the sliding glass patio doors too. When I mentioned they were locked, she told me he had a skeleton key. :rolleyes: Since we lived in a pine forest with 30 foot tall trees circling the house, she had to come up with the the premise that he and the reindeer could drop down straight through the trees. :tongue2:
  20. Aug 8, 2008 #19


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    They want to believe. The world is a wonder. Why burden them with reality and life outside the nest?

    In our family, even the adults to their parents talk in terms of Santa, never giving up the semblance of the myth, even though most have known the truth since, oh ... at least college.
  21. Aug 8, 2008 #20
    I was about 13 years old when I was told that santa didn't exist. I felt stupid. I always hoped that there was someone else out there that loved me. When I found out Santa wasn't real, I was deeply saddened. I hated my life at the time. As for my children, they figured it out and have not been affected by the story of Santa...at least I don't think so! Ha!
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