When is the best age to tell a child the truth about Santa Claus?

December 23, 2007 1:21pm CST
Having just spent a lovely day with my grandchildren, part of it fending or circumventing difficult questions about Santa-lol, I'm wondering just when is the best age to tell a child that Santa is - now I'm sorry for any of those adults out there that are of a nervous disposition - not real!!! My grandson is 3 and is still wrapped up in the magic, my granddaughter is 8 and becoming quite difficult to carry on the game with. It's such a shame when they do realise though because it seems like some of the magic will be missing but I think we've got away with it for another year. I did hear the other day, one parent saying that they just confirmed that Santa was imaginary but that by not sharing that information with other children younger than themselves, they could be part of the magic! I think that is a lovely idea. My personal view is when a child asks you straight out and it's obvious that they're not going to stand for any flannel this time, it's time to 'fess up! What do you all think and what experiences have you had in relation to this tricky moment?
2 people like this
11 responses
24 Dec 07
I think 10 years you can tell the truth they will accept the truth .
27 Dec 07
Thank you all for responding to my discussion. I thought it would prove an interesting one and provide a variety of opinions. I think I agree that there is never a best age as such but the child will make the right time clear. When the questions become too acute, too probing perhaps? So it really depends upon the individual child. I feel sorry for the person who felt devastated and let down that their parents had lied to them. Is it a lie or is it a fib? Looking back I am so glad that I had those few years of believing in the magic, being involved in the secret, so that I felt happy to pass on that magic to my own children and they pass it on to their children. I would not have wanted to miss that feeling of expectation and wonder I felt as a child. When it is time to 'reveal the secret', you do it in such a way as to involve them in the magic, so that they keep the secret for younger children, or those that still want to believe. I see nothing wrong in keeping this process alive, it has very little negativity and much that is positive. Even as an adult I can become bound up in the Santa magic when I watch a children's film at this time of year. It makes me feel good and want to be good again - lol!
@hopejordan (3562)
• Australia
24 Dec 07
hi there scarlet54 i told my kids about it 3 years ago we are christains my 11 and 78 year old already know its about jesus its not about santa he is not real but jesus yes he is real thanks for this discussion merry christmas to you and happy new year for 2008
• United States
24 Dec 07
My folks and I have tried to explain to my 11 year old daughter that he doesn't exist and i think she really knows and her grandmother has tried in vain to tell her he really doesn't exist but I guess in her mind her imagination is still quite vivid as long as she still has that I guess it can't be all bad.
24 Dec 07
I think there is no need telling them the truth,when they grow up they will know it by themselves,they are just children,let them enjoy their childhood
@youless (104238)
• Guangzhou, China
24 Dec 07
I think it is not so necessary to say it to a child. After the children grow up, they will learn the truth by themselves. Even if we are already adults, but sometimes we still like the fairy tales. It is much more interesting for the holiday.
@beverly1 (1129)
• United States
24 Dec 07
i wouldnt say anything it so cute seeing them open up there gifts.
• Australia
24 Dec 07
I think it's better for the children to know the truth as early as possible. I remember believing in Santa when I was young and then was upset my parents afterwards for lying to me!
@kpfingaz (1028)
• Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
23 Dec 07
Don't tell them.. just let them find out for themselves. I think if they ask you then yes they are ready to hear the truth. No sense hiding it, that would make you a liar... not a very good thing to do to children when you're supposed to be an exmple.
• China
23 Dec 07
I think we adults better not disillusion the childrens beliefs on Santa Claus until they find out the truth themselves. If we tell the children the Santa Claus is not real, then they may go on ask, 'if Santa Claus is not real, why you still tell me the story of Santa Claus?' But if the children find out the secret themselves, it is something different.
@foxyfire33 (10007)
• United States
23 Dec 07
When my older 2 got around to asking "Is Santa real?" I simply asked what THEY thought before saying anything myself. With both of them the first year they asked, their response was that they thought he was but some people said he wasn't, so I just told them that what they believed was all that mattered. They next year when they asked again, I again asked what they believed. That time they said that they didn't think he really was a real person...and that's when they learned about the real magic of Christmas. Santa may not be a real man in a red suit but the idea of him lives in all of us who continue the tradition for all the children and that now they were part of that magic.
• Canada
23 Dec 07
Even if you don't tell them, they do catch on sooner or later. I realized at a young age that Santa didn't exist when all the writing on the presents belonged to my mom. I never thought that Santa could have the same handwriting, and knew it was all fake. Besides there were years I didn't get to see Santa, so there was no way he could know what I wanted if I hadn't told him. Kids are smart, they figure these things out on their own most of the time.