DD incessantly asking about reality of the Easter Bunny - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 04-19-2010, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DD, 6, has been asking whether the Easter Bunny is real, again and again. She says things like, "Can you tell me if you hid the baskets or the Easter Bunny did? PLEASE? Tell me the truth. I REALLY NEED TO KNOW. Please tell me. Can you tell me now? It's important."

I have been putting her off with, "Well, what do you think?" but she is dissatisfied with that.

I have been thinking about telling her the truth (I'm pretty sure she knows anyway) but I suspect that will lead to questions about Santa, too, and I find that one trickier. She is the kind of kid who needs to educate everyone, and I'm worried that she will debunk Santa far and wide, and that her little brother will not get a chance to believe. I mean, I would try to make it so that she's in on a secret and so on, but she is just the kind of kid who cannot maintain a lie or keep a secret.

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#2 of 22 Old 04-19-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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Guess it depends on what YOU want her to know.

I kind of like my kid to have a traditional mystery about these things, but I'm not hard core "they exist" attitude. If he starts suspecting that something isn't real then part of the mystery is already gone anyhow.
I try to follow his pace.

As far as her "educating" other kids...I just keep letting my kid know that other people believe in different things so we should let them decide about these kinds of things on their own.
We've run into situations where someone told my DS a traditional figure is/isn't real. I just asked him what he believed in his heart. If he said that one wasn't real then we listed details as to why or why not. Let the facts make the decision.
Sometimes he'll still believe, sometimes he won't.

But that doesn't mean we stop celebrating the tradition of the holiday. We still "found" bunny footprints in the house and he was just as excited even though he's on the cusp of debunking it.

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#3 of 22 Old 04-19-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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I think that it's just a natural progression for kids to figure these things out, and it doesn't help to lie to them when they suspect the truth. As for her telling the other kids, it really might not be that big of a deal. We approach the Easter Bunny/ Tooth Fairy/ Santa issue the same way we approach religion. It's okay for other people to believe different things, and it's not our job to tell people what to believe.

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#4 of 22 Old 04-19-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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I would tell her. At this point she already knows and she is testing you to see if you are going to tell her the truth.
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#5 of 22 Old 04-19-2010, 10:55 PM
 
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DD is 5.5. She asked about Santa last December. I put her off with the same phrase that you did. (And we don't even do Santa here; she's terrified of him; we have fairies).

This year she was so terrified that the Easter Bunny was coming to our house (she really does not like character things), and I had told her that we told him not to come to our house, that we would take care of her basket, etc. But, she was seriously stressed and started asking if he was real.

So, I told her, and explained that parents like sharing this excitement with their kids so most kids her age and many kids older still believe. I told her I trusted her with this secret and that it's up to other adults to share with their children.

She was so incredibly relieved to discover the truth. But, then she told me that she was glad fairies were still real.

ETA: Just saw the PP comment about religion--yes, we do the same thing. It's not up to us to tell someone else what to believe.
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#6 of 22 Old 04-19-2010, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She may well be testing me.

I am not hard core (in fact, I didn't want to do Santa at all and DH talked me into it). However, I feel like 6 is a little younger than average, and like I say, no matter how much we tell her not to, she is going to spill it somehow, and I don't love the idea of her being the One to Spoil Santa. This is a child who told the cashier at the grocery store that there is no God (her chosen belief at this time).

Also, I am slightly torn because I think she WANTS to believe, even though she is very rational and sees how unlikely it all is. I sort of hate to categorically end the magic.

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#7 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 12:11 AM
 
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I think you should tell her. She is asking you pretty bluntly to be honest with her. I think it is great to do the holiday characters as long as the kids are still buying into it as well. There comes a time when they figure it out and need a parent to validate something that they know as true. My mom always did Santa, etc and we do it (and really enjoy it!) with our DS. But, I remember when my younger brother was 7, and it was right before Christmas, and he was sitting at his desk and very seriously told my mom, "I need to know if Santa is real and you are the person I think will tell me the truth". It was almost like it was no longer fun to play the game, and he needed to know the truth. She told him the truth. We talked about it once we were adults, and she said she was so sad to give it up (he instantly knew then that the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy were fake too), but that it was so serious to him, she couldn't not tell him the truth.
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#8 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 03:58 AM
 
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Yep. Once a kid is begging you to please tell her the truth about something like this, I think you don't really have any option but to do so.

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#9 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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My dd, 6.5, got within an inch of my face and said very seriously... "mom, are the easter bunny, the tooth fairy, and santa really the parents?" She was asking so seriously, and, I was on the spot... I replied "Yes, they are." Then we had a discussion about it all that included pointing out that many kids still enjoy the belief, including her little brother, and how she shouldn't be the one to spoil it for other kids. It's been a week and she hasn't spilled the beans yet! I agree with some of the pps... if she's asking you seriously, then, she deserves a serious answer. You could also add that part of being mature/smart enough to know the truth is trusting that she can keep the secret.

Let us know what you decide and how it turns out!
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#10 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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If you don't tell her the truth now, you may damage your credibility with her on other things.
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#11 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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For whatever it's worth, it's not uncommon for gifted kids to question this much earlier than you would expect.

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#12 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lucysmom View Post
Yep. Once a kid is begging you to please tell her the truth about something like this, I think you don't really have any option but to do so.
I agree with this. It's not like you are playing along anymore, she's asking you directly. I don't think she's that young to not believe anymore. Sometime around 6 or 7 seems like it would be average.
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#13 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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Our ds was begging me with the same words just after he turned 7. I told him. I also explained that it was fun to pretend for younger kids, so that it was important that he let other kids figure it out for themselves.

Ds quickly decided that if Santa wasn't real, Jesus wasn't real either. So, I would expect your dd to make the connection between the Easter Bunny & Santa. But even at 6, she can become a co-conspirator in keeping the magic alive for everyone else.

From other posts you've made, it's clear your daughter is academically gifted - it's not uncommon for gifted kids to question Santa/Easter Bunny earlier than we'd expect.

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#14 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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I wouldnt tell her.

I remember begging my mom endlessly to tell me if Santa was real. Oh, she did. I remember exactly how disappointed I was to hear the truth. What I really wanted was reassurance he was real. What happened was, I was being challenged elsewhere about it making me doubt what I believed and I wanted someone to tell me it was okay to still believe.

And after that everything was outted. No magic anywhere. I was 10 btw, I cant imagine being 6. I would have told everyone else at that age.
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#15 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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Ds quickly decided that if Santa wasn't real, Jesus wasn't real either.
Yep, the santa mess turned me into an atheist.
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#16 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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Tell her all about the real easter bunny, who is associated with the pagan goddess Eastre (AKA Ostara, Oestre.)

If she brings up Santa, then by all means tell her about Saint Nicholas.

The truth isn't that these things are not real, the truth is simply deeper and more complex than what most young children believe. Now, whether or not you choose to believe in either pagan goddesses or catholic saints is a matter of personal religious faith, which is an even more complicated subject.

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#17 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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Dd has asked about Santa and the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy. I told her that parents help them out since they have so many kids to take care of, and that I don't think they are real as I have never seen them, but I can't be sure.

If you think about it, there is no way to prove that they don't exist. So a child who wants to believe can still imagine they might be out there somewhere.
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#18 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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My dd 5.5 flat out asked me, and I told the truth. It didn't stop her from squealing with delight when she saw the Easter Bunny at the mall.

It started with her asking me if the Disney characters were really just people in costumes. She read that in a Junie B. Jones book. (Thanks Junie B!) I told ehr that they are just people in costumes, but that when you are at Disney World, everything feels so magical that even the adults pretend they are real because it's more fun that way. She was quite satisfied.

Oh, I forgot! Some time last year, she told my mom that she knows the Easter Bunny is just mommy and daddy, and that Santa is real, but it's just the tooth fairy she is wondering about.

Then recently, when one of her teeth was hurting (she hasn't lost one yet), she said "I don't know if the tooth fairy is real or if it's just you, Mommy. But if it's you, could you make sure to put the money *under* my pillow?"

We also explain that different people believe different things.

Mom to: Honey (6/04) and Bunny (9/09)
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#19 of 22 Old 04-20-2010, 07:24 PM
 
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I am all for "doing" the Easter Bunny, Santa, etc. BUT, when they keep asking, is when I tell the truth. My oldest found out this year, when she was 9, my 7 and 3 year old don't ask, so they still believe. I just am not one to keep it a secret when they are asking so much about it.

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#20 of 22 Old 04-21-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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Dd has asked about Santa and the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy. I told her that parents help them out since they have so many kids to take care of, and that I don't think they are real as I have never seen them, but I can't be sure.

If you think about it, there is no way to prove that they don't exist. So a child who wants to believe can still imagine they might be out there somewhere.
I did this with my dd. She is seven and wanted to know, but when I started to tell her she was upset so I changed and told her that. We have a house a few miles away from us that is always super decorated so I told her that is where we go to help out on the night before Easter. I think that she realizes now that it is just me, but she just couldn't process that at the time and I didn't want to push her to until she is ready.
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#21 of 22 Old 04-21-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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You could say something cheesy, like:

Santa Clause (easter bunny) is as real as one wishes him to be. If you believe in (Santa/Easter bunny) then he is real. If you don't believe in him, then he isn't real. He is real as long as you believe.

You could even add that you believe he is real.

For Santa, specifically:

Santa is the giving spirit of Christmas. It's about giving to others and being selfless. The spirit of Santa is in us all and as long as we remember what Christmas is really about, then yes he is real.
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#22 of 22 Old 04-22-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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i think you should go with your gut instinct. play it for as long as you want it.

however what you can do is when you are ready to tell her - explain the whole tradition of all of them - the easter bunny (going back further than the pagan goddess and pointing to the moon as that is where it came from). with all of them including saint nick.

seriously sit down (which means do your homework before hand and have it ready) with your child and show him the importance of tradition, esp. since in his heart he wants to believe, so that the magic is not lost. just the history of the tradition itself is extremely fascinating. and he can find the magic in the myth itself.

also let him know you will never stop doing an easter egg hunt or giving presents from santa (i think many of them fear that that will stop once they know).

so when you think he is REALLY ready to know - when his vocal and body language says they want to know - explain it as a story so he appreciates the tradition behind it and it wont be so 'painful' to know the truth.

thankfully in our case dd already has an accepted idea of faith and what 'god' is to her. so i know the 'unveiling' is not going to create a problem.

we read a lot of myths. from all over the world. and i go over them with her (i find them fascinating too) showing her the magic behind them. the how and why behind the story.

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