Christmas is such a magical time for the whole family. It truly is a season filled with wonder and innocent delight. Cherubic faces light up with glee as they help decorate the Christmas tree and leave out milk and cookies for Santa.
But eventually the question will come and for some, it’ll be a lot sooner than others. Eyes will shine with tears instead of excitement and bottom lips will quiver with the question – “Mum, is Santa real?”
How to navigate the ‘is Santa real?’ question
This definitely had the potential to be a parenting danger zone for quite a few valid reasons. To fully understand why, you must put yourself in your child’s shoes.
You have (one would assume) taught your children the importance of honesty. We don’t lie. We don’t fib. We tell the truth. They have blindly trusted you as their parent to tell them the truth. Suddenly, the rug is pulled out from underneath them as they realise that this magic from their childhood might not be so magic after all.
That’s why it’s so important to take the ‘is Santa real’ question seriously and treat it with the gravity it deserves. This is a shift in their perception and many children will, quite rightly, feel betrayed, hurt and confused.
A coming of age moment
There is a silver lining here and it might not be what you expect.
This is an opportunity for you to make a real, mature connection with your child in a way that may not have been possible earlier. Listen to your child’s concerns, anger and tears. Hear what they’re saying and absolutely do not dismiss anything as ‘you’re being silly’ or ‘stop being so sensitive’.
Once they have gotten it out, take them out. Just the two of you, if possible. Somewhere adult like a café so you can sit down and really have a talk, heart to heart.
Speak to the child who asked ‘is Santa real’ about the reason that the Santa myth prevails in our culture and why it’s important. It’s about bringing magic, joy and wonder. It’s about celebrating a year gone by. It’s about allowing children to believe in magic and to be excited – something adults so often sadly lose.
Let your child see that moving from one stage to the next is part of growing up. And, if there are younger kids, they’ll still get a ‘Santa’ present to keep the fun going.
Have your children asked ‘Is Santa real?’
How did this go down in your house? Let us know in the comments!
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