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Old Yesterday, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
45,802 posts, read 44,083,729 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clawsondude View Post

That said, few have addressed what is probably my biggest concern, and that is undermining the trust between a parent and child.
Presumably your relationship is based on more than a story reinforced one time a year. Trust between a parent and child starts at birth and is reinforced every single day after that.

In my experience, once I fully realized what had actually been going on, that my parents had gone to all that effort to create this Santa experience for me while also giving me wrapped presents from them, it made me admire them even more. I really couldn't believe they did all that ... it was still amazing.

I think you need to think more on why you're so worried that your relationship with your son could actually be damaged by this, and what other factors could be at play here.
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Old Yesterday, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
2,224 posts, read 404,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
When I was 3, my 6-year-old sister told me the truth about Santa. I didn't have any firm belief, to put it mildly and didn't care about the revelation. Somewhere there's a photo of me at that age, glaring up at a department store Santa, very suspicious.

Then again, maybe it's made me the adult that I am!
You crack me up, BDL
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Old Yesterday, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
88,259 posts, read 104,447,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clawsondude View Post
I may well be overthinking things. That said, few have addressed what is probably my biggest concern, and that is undermining the trust between a parent and child.
You know, if that were an issue, the tradition wouldn't have continued as long as it has.
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Old Today, 12:53 AM
 
300 posts, read 165,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahsez View Post
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.
This is the approach I think I'll be taking. My son is just two and old enough to recognize familiar characters. We saw Santa at the end of the Macy's parade on Thanksgiving and I gave him a very brief, two-year-old version of the story of St. Nick, and said that Santa was a symbol of being nice to people at Christmas. I don't see the need to treat Santa different from any other fictional character, and I don't see why he'd have trouble understanding why there are multiple Santa Clauses any more than understanding that he has three different Winnie the Poohs.
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Old Today, 05:10 AM
 
11,142 posts, read 13,143,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
Presumably your relationship is based on more than a story reinforced one time a year. Trust between a parent and child starts at birth and is reinforced every single day after that.

In my experience, once I fully realized what had actually been going on, that my parents had gone to all that effort to create this Santa experience for me while also giving me wrapped presents from them, it made me admire them even more. I really couldn't believe they did all that ... it was still amazing.

I think you need to think more on why you're so worried that your relationship with your son could actually be damaged by this, and what other factors could be at play here.
This is true. The parents can look forward to the child appreciating them more once he learns the truth about what they did for him.
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Old Today, 07:05 AM
 
1,228 posts, read 716,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
Presumably your relationship is based on more than a story reinforced one time a year. Trust between a parent and child starts at birth and is reinforced every single day after that.

In my experience, once I fully realized what had actually been going on, that my parents had gone to all that effort to create this Santa experience for me while also giving me wrapped presents from them, it made me admire them even more. I really couldn't believe they did all that ... it was still amazing.

I think you need to think more on why you're so worried that your relationship with your son could actually be damaged by this, and what other factors could be at play here.
That's similar to how I reacted as a child, and how I hope my children will react, but not all people are the same. My son in particular is quite sensitive. Again, I fully realize it is our fault that he believes in Santa. If I could go back in time I would do as others have suggested and treat Santa as a fun pretend character.

I remember a couple of years ago a coworker talked about how she had to sit her 11 year old son down and tell him Santa wasn't real, and that he was devastated. At the time I was shocked that a child approaching puberty still believed, now I have a fear it might be my child.

I also want to point out that I'm not a Grinch. We started the Santa thing because we do think it's fun, and we do appreciate that childhood sense of wonder. I still have mixed feelings on the whole thing. When Santa came up to us in the store the other day it was heartwarming to see how excited my son was to talk to him. It was also cute to see my daughter show a reserved interest. However, my son being that into Santa is what makes me feel so incredibly guilty as well as afraid of how the truth will impact him.
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Old Today, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Here
1,591 posts, read 399,459 times
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Harmful? Probably not, at least so long as it is not perpetuated by the time a child begins to implement critical thinking (which happens earlier than you probably think).

Is it necessary? No. How is the idea of getting gifts from some fat guy you don't even know more enthralling that getting gifts from Mom and Day? Then why don't we make birthdays 'more magical' by telling kids that Bart the Birthday Baboon brings them?

Let's face it -- the whole Santa shtick mostly entertains parents, who have to assure themselves that it is an integral part of Johnny and Susie's childhood to justify the pretense.
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Old Today, 08:17 AM
 
51 posts, read 11,189 times
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Please don't raise your child as a political experiment. You will not receive his grateful thanks when he is older if you do.

Trust between parent and child isn't built on the foundation of Santa Claus, trust is in the every day things a parent does for a child.

Santa is not a "lie"-- a lie is a deliberate attempt to deceive usually for personal gain. The very opposite is true for parents, as they are modestly giving credit to someone else--Santa--for their own generosity in giving to their children.

Far from a lie, Santa Claus is a recognition and tribute to the age of magical thinking, which is a part of human development that all people go through. One stage of development must be completed before advancing to the next. Children have a right to believe in this magic, this precious secret.

Logic, reason, scientific method will be imperfectly achieved if the stages leading up to them are not fully acknowledged and explored.

When your son "finds out" a lot will depend on how you respond. Read how other parents have explained Santa to children, "Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus" the well-known editorial that appeared in the New York Sun is one place to start.

As others have said St. Nicholas was a real person, maybe you could have some of his story to hand. Explain how your son is a big kid now, one of the "elect" who knows the secret and must help protect it for the younger kids.

None of us want to live in a sad sterile world without fairies, giants, witches and the monster under the bed. They are all part of the human imagination and are therefore Real.

I'll close by saying that my parents, over concerns similar to yours, did not allow me to believe in Santa Claus. As a result I feel like I missed out on a world-wide cultural experience that makes me a little sad even to this day.

From my long-ago child self: don't do that to another child.

Merry Christmas

Last edited by RubyandPearl; Today at 08:31 AM..
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Old Today, 08:33 AM
 
1,228 posts, read 716,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyandPearl View Post
Please don't raise your child as a political experiment. You will not receive his grateful thanks when he is older if you do.
Can you explain what you mean by this?



Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyandPearl View Post
I'll close by saying that my parents, over concerns similar to yours, did not allow me to believe in Santa Claus. As a result I feel like I missed out on a world-wide cultural experience that makes me a little sad even to this day.
There are plenty of countries and cultures where children do not experience Santa growing up, and it is fine. I won't deny your personal feelings though. Also, I am not the arbiter of what my children believe, but I do feel guilty for encouraging belief in something that isn't true because it goes against my values. This isn't about controlling belief, it is about encouraging belief based on logic, reason, and truth.
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Old Today, 08:35 AM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
5,975 posts, read 2,645,851 times
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No; it's not harmful.

I still won't admit that there is no Santa to my grown kids; they just laugh at me. My autistic 16 year old still believes in Santa & I do rely on that 'naughty list' thing. Completely different from a neurotypical child, though. It's one of the few ways he understands 'consequences/rewards' discipline.

Heck, my 78-year-old dad still does it to 52 year old me! 'What do you mean there is no Santa?', lol.
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