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at what age does it start to get stange to believe ...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
that cartoon chaacters ae real? I'm asking bc my son and I went o CEC with a friend of his who's six. The friend completely and whole-heartedly believes in santa and, apparently, chuck e cheese. So while we were there he said something to the effect that CEC was real and I was shocked. So I said, "you don't think that's a guy in a costume?" and he said no. So my ds says "but his face doesn't even move." And the little boy says "it doesn't need to. Rats don't talk!" Then we let it dop bc it didn't seem entirely nice to push him. lol

So I'm just wondering if this seems outside of the norm. We don't do santa, but I get it. But I didn't even realize there were kids walking around thinking that CEC and the like were real.

And on a related note, I read in another parenting thread today that waldorf teaches kids that gnomes are real. Is this true? And if so, at what point do they learn they aren't real and how do they learn it?

Since we don't do any of this stuff, I'm wondering, are my children deprived? Am I robbing them of fantasy/make-believe life, or is it just as fun for them to understand that it really is fantasy/make-believe from te beginning?
post #2 of 22
Hmmm...interesting...I think kids pretty much believe anything their parents tell them at this age. Santa Claus, tooth fairies...er, god... It's likely up to a person in power in the child's world to set things straight, rather than peers, at this age. Maybe. My kids never for a second thought that cartoons were real, but then again, it never occurred to me to fuel their fantasy world this way. I do it in other ways (fairies, angels, Spirit) and even in ways that many here disagree with (Santa and the tooth fairy, until they're 7 maybe, who knows).

But...yeah, a bit odd with the CEC thing...

I've heard that Waldorf did that but know very little about it.
post #3 of 22
Well my 8 year old 100% believes in santa and the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny. We've not cultivated a belief in CEC because I think he's evil. (Not really..., but kinda.)

I WISH I had never done santa or the tooth fairy etc. I don't think it's weird to believe (I remember knowing at 4-5 that it was all a crock), some kids are just more naive than others. I think it's a sweet personality trait.

My oldest child isn't as believing as my youngest though.

I don't think it's weird. I'm sure there are many positives to that kind of imagination.
post #4 of 22
I don't think that it is normal for a 6yo (or ANY child) to believe that the CEC costume is anything other than a costume. Same as any other cartoon character. Oh, and we do Santa/Tooth fairy. I don't think it is related.
post #5 of 22
I think it's sweet that he still believes, innocent little boy.

My nephew is 8 almost 9 and was starting to question Santa last Christmas.
post #6 of 22
I know my daughter knew the costumed characters weren't real... but, she still thought they were scary for YEARS after what I thought was normal.

She believed in Santa until she was ten. (We can thank Conan Obrien for giving that one up)<--technically, she should have been in bed anyway.

She believed in the tooth fair til about seven. I don't think she ever thought the easter bunny was real.
post #7 of 22
[QUOTE=Cascadian;14981898]Hmmm...interesting...I think kids pretty much believe anything their parents tell them at this age. Santa Claus, tooth fairies...er, god... It's likely up to a person in power in the child's world to set things straight, rather than peers, at this age. Maybe. My kids never for a second thought that cartoons were real, but then again, it never occurred to me to fuel their fantasy world this way. I do it in other ways (fairies, angels, Spirit) and even in ways that many here disagree with (Santa and the tooth fairy, until they're 7 maybe, who knows).
[QUOTE]

I love you! You say that so well! I wish my parents could see the silmilarities between god and santa. (They are never seen, watch what you are doing, reward good behavior with toys and punish bad behavior with coal (or burning coal?! lol) We've never done the santa is watching thing but.....ooops, getting way ot here!


My 9.5 year old believes in santa but thinks the ones we see on tv or around town are just people dressed up like santa since the real one is too busy/important. He believes in faeries, elves, gnomes, monsters, dragons, etc. Most of his peers believe in santa too.

But the costume thing seems wierd. Has the child never worn a mask himself?
post #8 of 22
I would think it was really weird if my 4 yo. didn't understand that CEC was a person in a costume. And if he thought that I'd probably ask CEC to take his fake head of to show him.

I would think it was weird if he believed santa, tooth fairie, jesus, easter bunny, harry potter, gnomes, dragons etc. to be real too. And we'd have a talk about imaginary characters like that and how some people believe in them, some don't etc. (And some simply just being from books/stories etc.)

But I'm a strong believer in never lying to my kids, about anything, and not shooting down all the critical thinking they have. I think the ability to think critically and not just believe everything others tell ya is a very important thing.

But we have lots of imagination, lots of wonders, fantasy and make-believe.
post #9 of 22
Mildly odd, but not out of the realm.

our dd (5 1/2) thinks that Ruff Ruffman (on Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman) is a person dressed up in a dog suit, despite the fact that it's clearly an animation, and that I've told her it's picture that someone drew. I think it's the only way that she can make sense out of the fact that there are real kids on the show that seem to interact with Ruff. She doesn't understand that they're acting and not really interacting with Ruff.

So, I could understand a 6 year old deciding that CEC must be real because he can see him walking around. I can't see my kids thinking that, despite the fact that we do Santa. But in 6 year old logic, it might make sense.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mumm View Post
I wish my parents could see the silmilarities between god and santa. (They are never seen, watch what you are doing, reward good behavior with toys and punish bad behavior with coal (or burning coal?! lol) We've never done the santa is watching thing but.....ooops, getting way ot here!
God rewards good behavior with toys now? Never heard of that.

OP, I'd think it's weird that he still believes that costumed characters are real, but not the stuff about Santa.
post #11 of 22
I remember baby sitting a 7 year old who was sure the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were real. I also now mind a 5 yo who I was explaining the concept of cartoons to - I don't know if he fully believed me or not, but he seemed to get it when I explained that they were "moving pictures". I'm thinking about making one of those flip books to help him understand. Or does that make me mean?

Tjej

ETA: My DD is not quite 4 and she seems pretty clear on pretend vs. real, but I expect small children to be quite literal so I don't say things are real that aren't.
post #12 of 22
[QUOTE=elmh23;14982973]God rewards good behavior with toys now? Never heard of that.
QUOTE]

Well, I think in many religions good behavior or a good life is rewarded with a higher standard of living in the afterlife, no?

Supreme being- behave now, do the right/my thing now and I'll reward you in the next life.

santa-behave now, do the right/your parents thing now and I'll reward you on Christmas day.

Seems very similar to me.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mumm View Post

Well, I think in many religions good behavior or a good life is rewarded with a higher standard of living in the afterlife, no?

Supreme being- behave now, do the right/my thing now and I'll reward you in the next life.

santa-behave now, do the right/your parents thing now and I'll reward you on Christmas day.

Seems very similar to me.
This isn't the time or place, but, in short, no, that's not at all how it works. (And this is more than a little offensive, tbqh.)
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiekisses View Post
I would think it was really weird if my 4 yo. didn't understand that CEC was a person in a costume. And if he thought that I'd probably ask CEC to take his fake head of to show him.

I would think it was weird if he believed santa, tooth fairie, jesus, easter bunny, harry potter, gnomes, dragons etc. to be real too. And we'd have a talk about imaginary characters like that and how some people believe in them, some don't etc. (And some simply just being from books/stories etc.)

But I'm a strong believer in never lying to my kids, about anything, and not shooting down all the critical thinking they have. I think the ability to think critically and not just believe everything others tell ya is a very important thing.

But we have lots of imagination, lots of wonders, fantasy and make-believe.
And I would see nothing wrong with my four year old thinking CEC is real. He doesn't, he does understand that animatronic...sort of . I do not lie to my son, but I also let him go with his imagination. I've told him costumed characters are just people in costume. But that doesn't mean that he won't turn around and say they are real. Same with cartoons. He believes they are real and I let him go with it. With movies we do explain that things that happen aren't real, so now he announces they are just actors. But, that doesn't mean that he really believes that.

For the record, I clearly remember thinking TV was real. That we were all on TV somewhere. And I was probably five or six.

OP I think you handled it fine. Dropping it was the best thing to do.
post #15 of 22
Believing in Santa and the Tooth fairy at age 6 is fine, IMO. Thinking cartoon characters, either on TV or at places like CEC or Disney are real, is different, and kinda odd. Though I suppose it depends on the maturity of the child, more so than age. My 4 yo for example? He could probably be convinced (if I tried hard enough) that CEC is real. My 6 yo? no freakin way. He would ask too many questions, and knows too much to believe that a 6 foot tall furry rat that dances exists.

I would think it has more to do with the parents insisting that Mickey Mouse or whatever character is real and not someone dressed up in a custume. I would never lie to my kids about that, even though I'll admit we do the whole tooth fairy and Santa thing. We've done disney and CEC, etc. but they don't think tinkerbell is a real fairy that flies up to the castle. They know it's a show. Well, at least the older kids... not sure what my 2 yo thinks about all that.

The waldorf-gnome thing? weird, to me.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
This isn't the time or place, but, in short, no, that's not at all how it works. (And this is more than a little offensive, tbqh.)
My apologies. I've sent you a message.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mumm View Post
My apologies. I've sent you a message.
No problem! Thanks a lot! PM'd back.
post #18 of 22
My dd is seven and is still unsure about whether cartoon characters are real or not. We have talked about how they are imaginary, but she doesn't completely believe me. She also believes 100% that all fairies except the tooth fairy are real and that I am wrong to not believe that they are real. She does understand what is fantasy and what isn't in general, but there are some things she has decided that I am wrong about and it really isn't that big of a deal to me. I have given her the information and she gets to decide what to do with it.
post #19 of 22
I would assume a 6 year old who seemed to believe a costumed character was real was only pretending to believe it. In fact, I imagine most kids who seem to believe in Santa or the Tooth Fairy or gnomes know deep down that they're not real, but would like them to be real, and may pretend so hard that they are that they almost convince themselves of it.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiekisses View Post
I would think it was really weird if my 4 yo. didn't understand that CEC was a person in a costume. And if he thought that I'd probably ask CEC to take his fake head of to show him.

I would think it was weird if he believed santa, tooth fairie, jesus, easter bunny, harry potter, gnomes, dragons etc. to be real too. And we'd have a talk about imaginary characters like that and how some people believe in them, some don't etc. (And some simply just being from books/stories etc.)

But I'm a strong believer in never lying to my kids, about anything, and not shooting down all the critical thinking they have. I think the ability to think critically and not just believe everything others tell ya is a very important thing.

But we have lots of imagination, lots of wonders, fantasy and make-believe.
I'm totally with you there! This is something that dh and I disagreed about at first, since he grew up with the whole santa thing and I didn't. I don't understand how telling your kids something that's not true (like santa is real) sparks their imagination??? I thought imagination was when you knew the difference between fantasy and reality, but could still fantasize! Our niece, who's 11, still believes in santa, and to me that's not sweet, it's weird! I mean if an 18 year old still believes in santa, is that also sweet? At what age, is a child supposed to get a grip on reality?
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