When is the time to tell children the truth about Santa Claus and the magic? What if they get angry with parents for having lied? Here is the guide to tell your kids the secret about who is under that red costume and white beard at the right time.
The story about the guys with a big white beard who travels sleigh handing out Christmas gifts to all children in the world in one night, at some point, is questioned by the children themselves. And parents who encouraged this belief and enjoyed with their children sometime wonder how long they should hold it in and whether it is not the time to open up their eyes. Of course, this also creates fear. It is like a pacifier, after you gave it , who is it out?
Until about 5 years old, children still can not distinguish between reality and fantasy and magical thinking. Therefore, the child attributes to animate or inanimate objects or human characters. They do believe that animals or objects speak and act like human beings. They believe in the fairy tale characters (ghosts, fairies, monsters, witches, etc.) and this is very healthy because the imagination and fantasy are very important in the development of children’s psyche.
Around 6 years old, children can start to wonder if Santa Claus really exists. And maybe a good age to be sincere about it with our children is around your 7 or 8 years old, At that age, children begin to develop a kind of more abstract thinking and are better prepared to understand the truth. In fact, boys are often suspicious … For example, they notice Santa Claus has the same shoes as his father, discover gifts under the bed before Christmas, or hear an adult say where he bought gifts, etc. And sometimes they come to the conclusion that actually parents are those who buy them gifts.
The truth is that the ads on television and in the print media do not help much. How to convince your kids that they are intended exclusively for Santa Claus and he is dedicated to looking at them to compare prices and choose the toy for every child in the world?
Once the family decides to give out the truth about Santa Claus, the place of a myth, a tradition or a game, it is best to explain it clear and simple. There is no prescription about what is the right way to tell the truth. How it is transmitted will depend on the style and cultural and religious beliefs of each particular family. More tips to make a home on familygrowthblog.com
But more than how to say, parents often worry about how their kids will react and how they face the harsh reality.
How to tell the truth about Santa Claus
If your children are of primary age, we can ask them first about what they think. They may already have realized what happens. In this case, we can talk about the spirit of love and generosity that prevails at Christmas. For younger kids, parents can explain that it is a very nice tradition that parents act as “assistants” for Santa to deliver the gifts.
Also, for children who find out the truth themselves or hear it from others, we can say that Father Christmas or Santa are personifications of the spirit of Christmas and maintain the illusion almost as a family game. It is a nice ritual. Although we know that gifts which are obtained by family, they are honoring the spirit of Christmas, and Santa Claus is a beautiful symbol of that tradition.
That way, the truth about Santa will not be a traumatic memory but will still be a beautiful tradition of Christmas .
What if the kids get angry with parents for having lied?
It may be that boys or girls will feel angry or be cheated because their parents have lied to them all those years. Parents then must accompany them and give them time to process new information. There is some argue that it is not right to tell the kids that Santa Claus brings gifts to them on Christmas Eve because they are not agree with lying to children and suggest that this can have consequences such as loss of confidence in parents. So far there is no serious investigation to endorse this and prove that it is harmful for children. Children will gradually realize that many of the imaginary characters who they believed in do not exist such as fairies, witches, mouse Pérez, etc. And it has not been shown that this has a traumatic consequence on the psyche of the boys.
Now, kids often surprise parents with their reactions, and it would not be uncommon. Although adults wish to convince the new paradigm and to show the guise of Santa Claus have hidden in the placard, they resist accepting the truth.
What if children do not believe in parents and still convince that these characters exist?
Do not get too pushy, or return to the subject constantly. It is normal to take time to assimilate this new information. As time passes, by talking with other kids and adults, your child will gradually accept that Santa Claus does not exist. Sometimes kids need to share with others and this is the way they are processed, so it is common that they learn from small suspicions or because of a classmate or cousin’s confess.
Once raised the truth, one option is to ask the child to help us keep the secret, especially when the family has other younger brothers or cousins, who still do not know. But do not force or push them if they do not want to. You may say that he is already old enough to know the truth and it is important that he helps you to keep the secret.
And also keep in mind that, when adults are reluctant to end the Santa Claus “game”, it also means that we must face difficulty accepting that their children are growing and that we must say goodbye to the small little child to begin to bond the older child.