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Advanced reader and ardent Santa believer reading story that's going to "spoil" Santa

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Dd is 6 and is a firm believer in Santa. And the tooth fairy. (Not so sure about the Easter Bunny, but he's not so big at our house.) We don't play up either that much, and if my kids ask me for the truth I tell them. Dd has actively avoided asking. In fact, she was writing her latest missive to the tooth fairy after losing her 7th tooth this week ("Dear The Tooth Fairy....").  She wanted to know what the tooth fairy did with the teeth and the tooth fairy's name. But she was afraid to ask the name. She also started to write "Are you my.." then stopped, said "I don't want to ask that" and erased it.  So, I think she 'knows' intellectually that I'm the tooth fairy, but she's not ready for it emotionally. I don't think she's ever questioned Santa. She's a girl of great faith.

 

Anyway, she's now reading the Main Street series by Ann Martin (one or two steps up from Rainbow Magic). I didn't realize when I picked them up that they're aimed at ages 9-12. She's up to the third book in the series, and it's pretty open that Santa is not real. (There are lines like "when I believed in Santa.." and one of the major plot points is that the girls provided Santa's presents for a friend's family who cannot afford presents.)

 

For reasons I don't understand, dd seems to need to believe (even though she's terrified at the same time of the 'home invader' aspect of it). I've actually said things like "I think the tooth fairy is about 5'7" and has brown hair.." when she's asked what the tooth fairy looks like. She roundly insists that I cannot be the tooth fairy. I suspect she'll be crushed if she discovers there's no Santa.

 

I don't really care if she 'believes' in Santa or not, but I do worry about the emotional impact that this book is going to have. She's only on chapter 2 or 3 right now. I don't think that stopping reading is going to work, and I think it's unrealistic to expect her not to pick up on the Santa aspect as she's very good at drawing inferences (and these inferences aren't that subtle).

 

Any advice for how to handle her learning something that she's not quite emotionally ready to handle yet?

 

post #2 of 11

It sounds to me like she already knows Santa and the Tooth Fairy aren't real, but really wants to pretend to herself that they are.  So she probably won't be learning anything new, and won't be crushed.  If she really wants to keep believing, she'll find a way to ignore or discount what she reads in this book, the same way she must be ignoring or discounting all kinds of other evidence.  A 6 year old isn't going to be able to go much longer without running into the idea that Santa isn't real, so whatever reaction she has to reading this book is probably something she'd have had to face soon anyway.

post #3 of 11

I'm a Santa heretic. I've always told my kids that Santa is a myth and that other parents tell their kids is real because they love  to play "the Santa game" with them.  My kids went to school knowing that Santa is not real.

 

They returned from school, after many long playground debates, and informed me "You're wrong, Mom. Santa is REAL."  LOL.  I repeated that I wasn't wrong, but that they could think for themselves and they should let me know if they changed their mind.

 

So... don't worry about it. If she's not emotionally ready, she'll reject the information.

post #4 of 11

Oh , I wouldn't worry about it. If she believes, she believes whether a novel says he's real or not. My DD figured out Santa at 4. She almost said it then but literally stopped mid-sentance. She just decided she wanted the fantasy and that was that. My kids are 13 and 10 and they still play the game. They still set out the cookies. DH and I still put on a good show with the milk drunk, cookies bitten, wood stove door ajar lol. The kids still get stockings "from Santa." We all know that he's not real (and that includes the kids) but it's fun.

 

She may have just decided Santa is fun even if she knows he's not real. Don't stress about the book.

post #5 of 11

I'm 39 yo, and I believe in Santa Claus....

 

 

No, I don't that some guy in a red suit comes down the chimney on Christmas eve.  If we were to get into how exactly I believe in good old St. Nick, we would be getting into a cross between "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" and the Lives of the Saints.  

 

You daughter will find her way to believe, as long as you let her find her own reality.  You have not created some great elaborate false reality that will come tumbling down like a house of cards.  In you house there truly is a tooth fairy, just b/c she is 5'7" has brown hair and answers to "mom" doesn't make her any less real, magical, and generous than she would be if she was 1'6" tall had pink hair and answered to "Denticia."

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post

I'm 39 yo, and I believe in Santa Claus....

 

lol.gif You had me going!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post

 

No, I don't that some guy in a red suit comes down the chimney on Christmas eve.  If we were to get into how exactly I believe in good old St. Nick, we would be getting into a cross between "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" and the Lives of the Saints.  

 

You daughter will find her way to believe, as long as you let her find her own reality.  You have not created some great elaborate false reality that will come tumbling down like a house of cards.  In you house there truly is a tooth fairy, just b/c she is 5'7" has brown hair and answers to "mom" doesn't make her any less real, magical, and generous than she would be if she was 1'6" tall had pink hair and answered to "Denticia."

 


Thanks this is helpful. Though hide.gif because I answered her latest missive to the tooth fairy with "We grind up the teeth to make cement for tooth fairy houses. My name is Dentina, but my friends call me Tina." (Tina is, by the way, the name my children have given to me when we play school/house. Dd picked up on that right away.)

 

I'll just have to trust her ability to construct her world! Ds wasn't crushed when he learned the 'truth' but then he's a born skeptic. He asked me why we did 'Santa' then, and I told him it was fun to surprise them and to pretend there was magic. I hope the same explanation suffices for dd. Dd possesses a delightful suspension of disbelief that I love. I don't want to see that crushed.

post #7 of 11

Both of my kids are magical thinkers.  DD believed until she finally decided she looked like a goof among her peers at 10.  A friend told her when she was 8, but she managed to hang on.

 

DS figured out the whole mall santa gig at 4, and then somehow at 5 had rediscovered the magic of belief.  We're very low key about the whole thing and let them navigate the land between extremely analytical and intuitive minds, and delighting in magical thinking.

 

I would stay out of it and let her guide you.  A lot of people I know have skated by these "crises" by suggesting that Santa exists if you believe he exists - let them determine where they want to go with it, and you're not on the hook for "lying" to them.

post #8 of 11

Kids don't want the magic to end. But when they reach the age where they start figuring it out its not anything to worry about, they will respect you even more for playing that "santa game" with them. and "giving" them a "magical"childhood. next step teaching manifestation and thoughts are your reality. 

post #9 of 11

My DS started wondering around age 5 when he became a pretty good reader.  He noticed the box on his previous years gift said, "Only Available at Toys R Us" or something similar.  He started asking questions, like "Does Santa shop at stores?" I realized he had a bigger question on his mind, so I said he should just ask it.  I told him the truth, and he didn't believe me for awhile.  Then he asked about the tooth fairy, and wanted proof.  I showed him all of the teeth he had lost that I keep in my jewelry box (weird, but it didn't seem right to throw them away, plus they came in handy).  He thought about it for a day or two, then asked me if we could keep pretending....so we do.  I think your DD may already know or at least have questions, but I'd just keep on pretending until she asks otherwise.  My mother gave me gifts from Santa until she died, and I always thought that was awesome.

post #10 of 11

my mom still plays "the santa game" my youngest sister is 15, and obviously knows that the stuff comes from mom, but she still leaves out milk and cookies, and a carrot for the reighndeer. as long as all the kids show up for christmas morning, we'll be getting stockings and presents from santa, and DD gets her stuff from santa there too. I agree that kids who really want to believe continue to believe, my sisters and I all held onto our santa beliefs longer than most of our friends, just because we loved it so much. 

post #11 of 11

I wouldn't be too worried.  I read things all the time that challenge my beliefs, but it doesn't mean that I change them, yk?  I think the whole St. Nicolas belief is just a practical experience of faith.  It is a good opportunity to discuss what we read, why we think what we think, etc.  If you read about a pink cat from mars, and you know there is not really a pink cat from mars, can you still enjoy the story?  why do some people of other faith not believe in santa? 

 

We talk about the Easter Bell in France vs. the Easter bunny... and it doesn't seems to upset my kids.. I think they know that it is optional and fun to believe in these things. 

 

I am sure my 9 year-old doesn't really think there is a large man in a red suit leaving the gifts, but he still plays along. 

 

If she gets upset, read Yes, Virginia is there a santa claus-- I think this is an awesome learning opportunity.  The thing about faith is that is is challenged, and sometimes what we believe changes... that doesn't mean it was wrong, yk?

 

And this may help:  My kids *love* this site:

http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=23

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