I have 2 great kids who are 9 and 6. They both still believe in Santa, the Easter bunny, and tooth fairy...well at least they say they do. I have doubts about my son (the 9 y.o.).
For a while now I have been feeling bad about keeping up the ruse. Every now and again they will ask questions and I just feel so guilty about brushing them off or outright lying to them. When they ask questions about other topics I never lie. I always answer their questions to the best of my abilities in a way they understand, but when it comes to these stupid traditions, I just can't seem to bring myself to tell the truth.
My husband has mentioned having similar feelings though we've never talked about if we should break the news to the kids or not.
What's your take? What did you do with your children, or what was your experience as a child? I know I believed as a kid, but I honestly can't remember when I found out the truth.
Should I answer their questions truthfully or keep it going until it runs it's course?
I don't think it's a bad thing to enjoy the childhood fantasy while it lasts. It's very hard to tell younger children something is not real when they see it standing right there (Santa, Easter Bunny, etc) but the older they get, the easier abstract comprehension becomes as well as skeptical and/or critical thinking.
My daughter is 7 and about the time she started asking about evolution and how life works, she started questioning whether santa was real or not. It didn't come as a hard blow to her, it was just a "oh" moment, but I also made sure that every year, santa only ever gave the kids one gift and never anything really super cool. I was not about to give up credit for the best gifts to the nonexistent jolly fat man.
Hi! I don't have children so i can't give you any personal experience on that, but i can tell you that i wasn't really upset when i discovered that santa didn't exist.
I was probably 7 or 8 yo, i woke up during the night and found my parents bringing presents from upstairs :D
My father just said "oops!" and laughed out *eheheh*
From that moment on, the game of waiting for santa claus became the game of finding out where my parents hid the presents before christmas... so I think that the important part is the game you share with your parents (or your kids, in your case). The "fairy tale" is just something you use to make them happy.
I never understood that parent's mythology thing. It seems to undermine trust. I remember it pissed me off when my parents mentioned Santa Claus after I had stopped believing in that myth.
It seems to me that the best route would be to tell kids about them as fables, make sure they understand that they are fun stories to tell others. Kids understand "pretend" and "make believe".
Heck, why not just tell them the real story? Saint Nicholas was a real person. Tell them that ever since, people dressed up as him and gave presents to kids.