The truth about Santa is one of the grandest traditions in history. But it is also one that parents dread as it ends a magical period of pure joy. But sometimes, you have no choice, so be prepared when the question comes!
There are questions that parents are afraid of hearing from their children, like: Where did grandma go? Why are you two wrestling at 2 in the morning? Where do babies come from? Few strike more fear than the question “Is Santa real?” Depending on your answer, you and your child are going to have a very bad day.
When? When they ask.
But when, you ask, is the right time to tell them? And how do you tell them?
First off, tell them when they ask. It’s that simple. When children start asking, it’s usually a sign that their powers of observation and reasoning are developing. They see inconsistencies in the Santa stories.
Australian psychologist and parenting expert Dr. Justin Coulson spoke to Daily Mail Australia about the right time to tell the truth about Santa to our kids.
“In my experience, kids get curious between the ages of five and seven,” he said. “It’s a constant topic of conversation and like anything that’s supposed to be a secret: Knowledge is power.”
“The right time to tell your child is as soon as they ask… If they’re old enough and curious enough to question, then they’re old enough to know the truth,” he added.
How? Let them in on the secret.
Charity Hutchinson of British Columbia, a loving mother to two young boys and loving caretaker to two nephews, had been thinking of how to break the truth to the kids.
One day, one of her nephews raised the topic, telling her that he no longer believed in Santa Claus.
“I felt sad because he seemed disappointed telling me his news,” she explained. “And in that moment I didn’t know what to say to him.”
She soon stumbled upon a story online about the best way to tell kids the truth about Santa Claus, which she shared on her Facebook wall.
The woman who shared the original story is Leslie Rush, 58, a high school history teacher, in El Paso, Texas. She received a query 10 years ago on an online forum about how to answer kids when they ask if Santa Claus is real, then proceeded to write her answer detailing this story. The story’s little boy was her son, Adam, now 32 years old. Last year, he passed the gift of becoming Santa to his own son, Tristan.
The tradition came from her husband’s mother, whose own grandfather turned her into a Santa during the Great Depression.
READ: 3 Family fun ways to get everyone in the Christmas spirit!