To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

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schmusimausi73
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To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby schmusimausi73 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:44 am

I've been mulling this over in my head for quite a while and decided to ask for your input seeing that most of you have kids of your own and the resulting experience.

My son is 10 and still believes in Santa Claus, St Nick, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. He also believes in God which further complicates things.

Last Christmas I was sure it was the last time we had to keep up the pretend but it's now T-3 months until the next Christmas and his beliefs are as strong as ever.

He might be the last kid in his class to believe, too. He was told many, many times by his classmates that all the mythical creatures weren't real, that it was in fact the parents putting the presents under the tree or the eggs around the house or the coins under the pillow while retrieving the lost teeth.

He is always sooo sure that they're wrong and he's right, and that the only reason THEIR parents have to give them presents is because they were naughty and Santa/Bunny/Fairy decided to skip them.

So, what do I do? Keep up the pretend for another year? Break the news to him? If he had started having doubts and came to me to ask about the existence of Santa et al, I would gently explain the truth but he is SO stubbornly sure I don't know if telling him the truth is the thing to do.

I admit I am scared of having to see him look at me with his big eyes and say accusingly "YOU LIED TO ME!!??"

So... any advice?

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby flyboy2548m » Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:56 pm

My guess would be that he knows perfectly well what's really going on, but doesn't know how to break it to you that he knows. Either that or....nah, I'll just go with the previous sentence.
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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby PurduePilot » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:50 pm

Is he still losing teeth at that age? Let him catch you (i.e. wake him up) with your hand under his pillow playing "Tooth Fairy" and it should all fall into place for him. That's how I found out none of it was real and I turned out okay, although I was like 17 or so, so I might have been better able to deal with it at that point.

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby Ed » Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:28 pm

At his age, a Thai prostitute is the best solution.

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby OldSowBreath » Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:31 pm

Beat him repeatedly. My parents did that to me and I turned out to be a lawyer.

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby Dummy Pilot » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:04 pm

Just show him this picture.

One of two things will happen Either:

A) He'll never want you to mention Christmas or Santa again in which case your problem is solved

or

B) He's going to get real excited about the Yuletide season and wish it was starting tomorrow....in which case you have a completely different set of issues to deal with

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby Gabriel » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:20 am

Induce him to search for them in Wikipedia.

Example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_claus

Controversy about deceiving children

“ The adults they count on to provide reliable information about the world introduce them to Santa. Then his existence is affirmed by friends, books, TV and movies. It is also validated by hard evidence: the half-eaten cookies and empty milk glasses by the tree on Christmas morning. In other words, children do a great job of scientifically evaluating Santa. And adults do a great job of duping them.[97] ”

Woolley posits that it is perhaps "kinship with the adult world" that causes children not to be angry that they were lied to for so long.[97] The criticism about this deception is not that it is a simple lie, but a complicated series of very large lies.[98] The objections to the lie are that it is unethical for parents to lie to children without good cause, and that it discourages healthy skepticism in children.[98] With no greater good at the heart of the lie, it is charged that it is more about the parents than it is about the children. Writer Austin Cline posed the question: "Is it not possible that kids would find at least as much pleasure in knowing that parents are responsible for Christmas, not a supernatural stranger?"[98]

Others, however, see no harm in the belief in Santa Claus. Psychologist Tamar Murachver said that because it is a cultural, not parental, lie, it does not undermine parental trust.[99] The New Zealand Skeptics also see no harm in parents telling their children that Santa is real. Spokesperson Vicki Hyde said, "It would be a hard-hearted parent indeed who frowned upon the innocent joys of our children's cultural heritage. We save our bah humbugs for the things that exploit the vulnerable."[99] It can also be advocated that, although Santa Claus isn't real, the Christmas spirit is real.[100]

Dr. John Condry of Cornell University interviewed more than 500 children for a study of the issue and found that not a single child was angry at his or her parents for telling them Santa Claus was real. According to Dr. Condry, "The most common response to finding out the truth was that they felt older and more mature. They now knew something that the younger kids did not".[101]

The other side of the debate concludes with another referenced quote of:

There are three stages of a man’s life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus. - Author Unknown [102][103]
A further advantage of the Santa Claus deception is that it has provided a useful model for explaining that other beliefs in the supernatural might be equally false; one should not blindly accept any belief

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby flyboy2548m » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:39 am

With no greater good at the heart of the lie, it is charged that it is more about the parents than it is about the children.
I think that's key. Many parents have a very hard time with the idea of their kids growing up, perhaps because after facing their child's adulthood, the next thing to face would be their own mortality, which, in a culture petrified of death, is not easy.

My Dad, for example, despite putting on a great game face, to this day has a very hard time coming to terms with the fact that I'm no longer five. As for Santa, or his Russian equivalent Ded Moroz (loosely Father Frost), I was about four when I stopped believing, but didn't declare it until I was probably about nine. I'm not sure how long my parents would have kept it up otherwise, my guess would be quite a while, they sure seemed to enjoy it.
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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby schmusimausi73 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:20 am

You know the hell has frozen over and pigs are flying when you post a serious question and the sanest answer comes from Flyboy :mrgreen:

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby schmusimausi73 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:27 am

I think that's key. Many parents have a very hard time with the idea of their kids growing up, perhaps because after facing their child's adulthood, the next thing to face would be their own mortality, which, in a culture petrified of death, is not easy.

My Dad, for example, despite putting on a great game face, to this day has a very hard time coming to terms with the fact that I'm no longer five. As for Santa, or his Russian equivalent Ded Moroz (loosely Father Frost), I was about four when I stopped believing, but didn't declare it until I was probably about nine. I'm not sure how long my parents would have kept it up otherwise, my guess would be quite a while, they sure seemed to enjoy it.
It's true that to certain extent every mom feels bittersweet about seeing her kid(s) grow up and not need her that much anymore. I am no exception. On the other hand, just from the practical point, it would be easier if we could stop with the charade and not go into extreme measures to avoid him seeing us put the presents under the tree etc.

The last time he put his milk tooth under the pillow for the Tooth Fairy (last month), I totally forgot to sneak in his bedroom and exchange the tooth for 1 Euro. He woke up the next day, checked under his pillow, and saw the tooth there. He then tells me "Hm, that's weird. I thought the Tooth Fairy knew when a kid put their tooth under their pillow. Maybe she was just busy last night. I'll try again tonight." His belief in the Tooth Fairy is so unshakeable, it didn't faze him that it didn't "work" this time. It didn't lead him to question the whole concept, either.

Of course, the following night I did the switch and he woke up to find his one Euro coin and was satisfied that the TF made it.

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby schmusimausi73 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:30 am

Image
If these guys delivered MY Christmas presents, I would definitely like the whole season wayyyy more ;)

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby GlennAB1 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:47 am

My Dad, for example, despite putting on a great game face, to this day has a very hard time coming to terms with the fact that I'm no longer five.
Well Duh, FB!!! Seeing how you act here most of the time!!! And, your dad agrees....

My kids were all 13 before we broke the bad news to them.... it was fun letting the older kids help Santa after the younger ones went to bed.
you still have to find a crew willing to fly this "barely airworthy" heap
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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby Sickbag » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:36 am


So... any advice?
Tell your son he's Jewish.
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within 18 months...

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby Ancient Mariner » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:20 am

Don't get involved, SM. Kids will work it out themselves. MIne did, my grandchildren too, except Conrad, three years old, he's still a believer.
Funny thing with two of my grand daughters, after they stopped believing in the Nissen (S. Claus or A. Nicklas to you), they still believed in tractor eggs. :shock:
Per

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby flyboy2548m » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:31 am

Funny thing with two of my grand daughters, after they stopped believing in the Nissen (S. Claus or A. Nicklas to you), they still believed in tractor eggs. :shock:
Per
I'm afraid to ask.
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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby el » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:35 am

Don't get involved, SM. Kids will work it out themselves. MIne did, my grandchildren too, except Conrad, three years old, he's still a believer.
Funny thing with two of my grand daughters, after they stopped believing in the Nissen (S. Claus or A. Nicklas to you), they still believed in tractor eggs. :shock:
Per
Agree, let Ben work it our for himself once the time comes...

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby el » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:36 am

Is he still losing teeth at that age?
At which age do you think children loose their teeth?

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby schmusimausi73 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:16 am

Beat him repeatedly. My parents did that to me and I turned out to be a lawyer.
I don't want him to be a lawyer. Hope that helps.

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby schmusimausi73 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:18 am


So... any advice?
Tell your son he's Jewish.
He's not circumcised.

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schmusimausi73
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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby schmusimausi73 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:18 am

Don't get involved, SM. Kids will work it out themselves. MIne did, my grandchildren too, except Conrad, three years old, he's still a believer.
Funny thing with two of my grand daughters, after they stopped believing in the Nissen (S. Claus or A. Nicklas to you), they still believed in tractor eggs. :shock:
Per
So should I keep the charade on indefinitely?

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby Ancient Mariner » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:19 am

Funny thing with two of my grand daughters, after they stopped believing in the Nissen (S. Claus or A. Nicklas to you), they still believed in tractor eggs. :shock:
Per
I'm afraid to ask.
Not familiar with tractor eggs, Flyboy? Those are the white, plastic covered balls of hay spread out in the fields which are used as fodder in the winter season around here. We call them tractor eggs and naturally my grand children believed that was how tractors were born. Logic.
Per

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby Ancient Mariner » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:21 am

Don't get involved, SM. Kids will work it out themselves. MIne did, my grandchildren too, except Conrad, three years old, he's still a believer.
Funny thing with two of my grand daughters, after they stopped believing in the Nissen (S. Claus or A. Nicklas to you), they still believed in tractor eggs. :shock:
Per
So should I keep the charade on indefinitely?
You should, and it want be. Trust me,
Per

If, however he still believes at 15, seek professional assistance. May I suggest Dr. von Verbal?

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schmusimausi73
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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby schmusimausi73 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:27 am


If, however he still believes at 15, seek professional assistance. May I suggest Dr. von Verbal?
I hope his suggested treatment won't include electroshocks!

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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby Ancient Mariner » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:32 am


If, however he still believes at 15, seek professional assistance. May I suggest Dr. von Verbal?
I hope his suggested treatment won't include electroshocks!
Depends on his preferences, I'm sure there are kids out there who would enjoy seeing their mother being subjected to a few jolts.
Per

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schmusimausi73
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Re: To tell him or not to tell him the truth?

Postby schmusimausi73 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:44 am

Depends on his preferences, I'm sure there are kids out there who would enjoy seeing their mother being subjected to a few jolts.
Per
Ha ha, I thought you meant I should seek treatment for my son, now I realize you meant for ME :lol:


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