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Is Santa Real: How to Tell Your Child

Is Santa Real: How to Tell Your Child

For homes like ours, that celebrate Christmas, Santa is more than just a symbol. He is a core part of the Christmas magic for our kids. But as they grow older, they may start questioning the truth behind those good feelings. When your kids starts asking questions about the Christmas, they eventually get to questions about whether Santa is real. Now, when that time comes, you want to be tactful in your response to them. How you respond to their questions will determine how they respond to the truth. Surely, you want them to have a net positive outlook when the conversation is made. Not sure how to proceed? Don’t worry. Here are some tips that can help you talk to your kids about Santa Claus.

Is Santa Claus Real?

For many people, the response to the question is that Santa isn’t real. But while we agree to that, we also have an extra, different response.

Technically, Santa Claus is real; a man legally goes by the name “Santa Claus,” but he is from New York, not the North Pole. Mr. Claus (who used to be Thomas O’Connor) played the role of the jolly fat man for many years before he changed his name to Santa Claus in 2005. The name change has helped him make the Santa experience more delightful for kids. Every time he shows them proof to back up his Santa Claus identity, it raises their spirit.

Before the New Yorker, back in the 3rd century, there was Saint Nicholas from an ancient village called Patara (a part of modern-day Turkey). The patron saint was revered for his kindness, love, generosity, and devotion.

After he died, the story of his good deeds kept spreading all around the world. Eventually, the things he stood for – his tradition – evolved into the spirit of Santa. This is why some may refer to Santa as Saint Nicholas. In fact, Santa Claus is a modification of Sint Klaas, which in turn, is the shortened form of Saint Nicholas in Dutch.

The connection between St. Nicholas and Santa Claus was even emphasized in a New York Sun newsman’s response to a little girl asking whether Santa was real. The newsman went on about how the existence of Santa is backed by the fact that love, kindness, and devotion exist.

What You Should Do If Your Child Asks “Is Santa Real?”

Start By Trying to Understand Your Child’s Emotional State

There’s no all-purpose response. However, you can start by asking to know the reason for your child’s question. Doing this will help you put yourself in the child’s position and understand their line of thought better. You want to know if the child is disappointed because they suspect he may not be real or just curious. Many parents instinctively give an affirmative or elusive response. Most children will accept this, especially if that’s the answer they want.

However, pay attention to your child’s demeanor after you give such a response. This can help you prepare for the conversation with them. Once you know the child’s dominant reason and the emotion behind the question, the next steps become easier.

Think of the Answer that Responds to Your Child’s Emotion

Weigh the outcomes of the answer you give your child. Going by your inquiry into the child’s line of thought, which answer would be most suitable?

Help Your Children Keep Believing in the Magic

For younger children, you could help them keep on believing in the Christmas magic through Santa Claus if you expect that they’d be disappointed by anything else. Younger kids are highly imaginative, but there’s no harm if you teach children to develop their imagination.

Then again, if the child is just curious, you may let them in on the reality gradually. You may start out by telling them your own experience finding out the truth.

If you have older kids, you can come out straight. They are more likely to handle the outcome better. But even after telling your children the truth, you should try to protect the magic of the holiday season within them.

All in all, your reaction to the question is vital as it determines how well your child will accept your response. If you make your children feel safe in their curiosity, it’ll be easier for them to accept your answer.

Things to Say to Your Child to Tell Them Santa Isn’t Real

Here are three examples of how to tell your child:

“Santa may not be real because we do not see him. But the generosity, love, and kindness you experience during Christmas are all signs of Santa.”

“The love, cheer, and kindness of Christmas are always real. But what you believe about Santa makes him real or not real. So, if you believe he is real, he will remain real. If you do not believe that Santa is real, he will stop being real.”

“Santa is not real because he is not one person. Santa is many people. He is everybody who wishes you a Merry Christmas or sends a smile your way, or is kind. He is everyone who gives you a gift and keeps the Christmas spirit alive.”

When Do Children Stop Believing In Santa Claus?

There’s no fixed age or time when children stop believing in Santa Claus. But, according to various studies, children typically start to figure it out between the ages of 7 and 10, with age 8 being the most common.

In the US, the age children stop believing varies with their state. Kids in places like Oregon typically catch the drift as early as 7. But in some other states, it doesn’t usually happen until the kids are 10.

Why Do Kids Stop Believing In Santa Claus?

Ordinarily, children would be able to tell whether Santa is real or not. But then, the yearly celebration, how big of a deal the holiday is, the details, and every other thing involved is more than enough evidence to throw them off.

Of course, the pieces of evidence do not remain sufficient forever. At some point, kids become rational enough to question things beyond the tales they are told. So, the end of their belief in Kris Kringle may just be a natural part of their growth.

The more children know about the physical laws of the world, amongst other things, the less credible the concept of Santa Claus is to them. They may start to wonder how his reindeer fly when reindeer don’t normally fly. They may also start deducing how impossible it is for Santa to go all over the world in one night.

Other Reasons Children Stop Believing In Santa Claus?

mother places gifts under Christmas tree

  1. Sometimes, children catch their parents doing what the man from the North Pole is expected to do – things like placing gifts under the tree.
  2. The people dressed as Santa at the mall or in other places are not aware of what they’d expect Santa to know – e.g., gift requests.
  3. Some children identify their parent’s handwriting on the gift items, and this sets off their doubt.
  4. They saw a familiar wrapping paper amongst the gift items.
  5. They found a hidden gift before it was placed under the tree.
  6. Their older sibling, friends, or classmates broke the news about Santa to them.
  7. Some kids find out that Santa is not real when they do a Google search.

Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Santa Claus

  • Ensure you listen to the child so they know they are a vital part of the conversation.
  • Let them know and feel that they are in a safe space with you.
  • Be interactive with them, but let them take the lead. When they ask questions, you listen. Then when they’re done speaking, you follow up with your questions. For better outcomes, ask open-ended questions.
  • Remember that no matter how well you prepare, they may not react to the conversation as you expect. So, prepare for outbursts.
  • Let them know the true essence of the celebration. Explain the concept behind Santa – thoughtfulness, kindness, charity, love, sacrifice, and devotion.

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