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Old Today, 04:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
You're projecting adult worries onto your child.

I grew up believing in Santa, and it didn't take away any IQ points. The easiest way to transition an older child out of believing in Santa is to bring him in on the process of helping the younger sibling believe in Santa. It's really not going to harm him in the long run.

Do you not allow him to read ANY books about fantasy characters?

Just think of it as you would those.
The difference there is that we discuss them as fiction and Santa has never been presented that way.
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Old Today, 04:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texan2yankee View Post
when public grade schools push discussions about homosexuality, gender identity, and sex on 7 year olds, a discussion about the fantasy of santa clauses seems tame.
Okay?

My closest friend is gay. When we visit with him and his partner our children are able to see what a loving same sex relationship looks like. I see this as a positive thing.
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Old Today, 04:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
I think they need to know by the time they're about 5 that it's all a fun game.

I remember figuring it out when I was 4, sitting on "Santa's" lap, and he had an obvious fake beard. The whole thing shifted into sharp focus for me, I suddenly understood the whole thing, and I felt like I was now "in the know". I was on the side of those who knows the truth, and thinks it's fun, and keeps that truth from the littlest ones.

But I know others feel tricked.

And I'm greatly disturbed by parents who try to make the kids believe right up to the cusp of puberty. To me, that just separates a child from their own reasoning ability. They need to be allowed to figure this out, around 5 or younger, that it's all in fun. Like the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.
Any suggestions on how to coax him out of believing?
I wish he had stopped at 5.
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Old Today, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Austin
12,757 posts, read 7,295,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clawsondude View Post
Okay?

My closest friend is gay. When we visit with him and his partner our children are able to see what a loving same sex relationship looks like. I see this as a positive thing.
My best friend of over 30 years is a Christian, a minister's wife. my family is jewish.

when we were all young and visited with her and her family, my children loved them. their children and mine are still close and all are grown.

Last edited by texan2yankee; Today at 04:51 PM..
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Old Today, 05:10 PM
 
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As a fellow atheist, I can strongly relate to this and went through the same thing when raising my son. To this day I remember how angry and betrayed I felt when I myself finally learned that the whole Santa thing was a fiction. I was angry at my parents and all the adult relatives etc for doing to me what they always lectured me was a terrible thing to do (tell a lie, especially a repeated and expansive one.) At that age I didn't know the dictionary definition of the word "hypocrite" but that's what I felt had happened. The whole "do as I say, not as I do" thing. Lying is lying, no matter the rationale or who does it, and I don't like it. Period.

Unfortunately I was overruled on the Santa thing by my then-husband and his family. But I never came right out and said to DS that Santa was real, and I did put my foot down and ban the whole "all-seeing of behavior" thing from discussion. DS never came right out and asked me The Question but if he had I would have told him the truth, regardless of his age. I assume he heard it from kids at school.

Several years ago I had a rather contentious discussion with someone regarding religion (I normally avoid such, but got backed into a corner in that instance) and Christmas in particular, and asked him how he would explain to a child what difference there is between two entities, both portrayed as being omnisicient and able to dispense both good and bad things according to a person's behavior but there being absolutely zero proof of the existence of either entity. Did not get a satisfactory answer, obviously.

I now have a grandchild who will be raised in the "Santa tradition" by her parents and DIL's extended family but I intend to be the relative who never mentions him one way or the other. The phrases "what will you ask Santa for?" or "what did Santa bring you?" will never pass MY lips, lol
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Old Today, 05:38 PM
 
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It seems to me that it shouldn't be that difficult to transition into a "Santa is the goodness we all feel when we are kind and generous to each other" kind of conversation, when the kid asks if Santa is real. Of course, as an agnostic myself (I don't even have enough faith to believe that there ISN'T a god), if my kids had ever asked about God, I would have had an answer of something along the lines that we should all behave in a godly fashion towards each other, whether God exists or not. Interestingly, they never asked. They don't fear judgement day, they don't think that when bad things happen, that God is punishing them. They live their lives free of all that.

But to tell a little kid, growing up in a Christian country, where all the little kids get presents from Santa, that there's no such thing? Seems cruel. Play the game until he asks, and when he does, have a mature conversation about the potential for goodness that resides in us all.
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Old Today, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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For others reading this thread, I wanted to mention how one couple that I knew well handled this issue.

Both of the couple are atheists. The wife was raised as reformed Jewish and the husband as Catholic. They followed "holiday traditions" of both religions with their children and also were involved with/celebrated holidays of their close friends who were a very wide range of ethnic groups/nationalities/religions. However, they never brought up Santa with their children, except to say "Some children believe in Santa". The children never had gifts from Santa or visited Santa at the mall. But that was OK because their best friends, Mary and Sam, who were Muslim and John and Isaac, who were Jewish, and many of their other friends, some of other religions and some atheists didn't do "Santa" either.
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Old Today, 06:12 PM
 
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Santa Claus isn't a lie. We told our kids the story of how a real/historical person named Nicholas anonymously gave money to three sisters who needed help. The story has morphed into more of a fairy tale over the years with the magic and elves. The spirit of love and giving to others lives on. Our kids were happy with that.
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Old Today, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clawsondude View Post
Okay?

My closest friend is gay. When we visit with him and his partner our children are able to see what a loving same sex relationship looks like. I see this as a positive thing.
Good for you!
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Old Today, 06:20 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Please dont coax your child into not believing in things. Why are we so quick to remove all the make believe and magic out of the world? We live in a scary sad world where horrors happen all the time and children with their endless positivity and belief in the magic of the world are sheltered from a lot of the terrible things. Children who live in tough situations use the magic of make believe like a little safe house they build around themselves. Children play make believe games side by side. Noone has to tell them its pretend, they know. Yet they believe and commit to it. They experience joy in small things in a way that adults cant fathom. Why try and squish that with reason and logic. Your child has a lot of years of logic left.

As a side note, I am an atheist, as is my husband. We have never once told our son that god is real or that god is not real. Weve never told him it's a fairy tale. We are letting him logic that out on his own. If he asked to go to church I would find someone to take him. If he asks questions about religion, I will answer or find someone who can if I cant. He is a person independent of me and what I know and believe is not necessarily what HE will know and believe.

Let them be little.
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