DS' teacher and the big man in red

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Posted 11/28/2012 by Sarah*H in NSBR Board
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Sarah*H
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Posted: 11/28/2012 3:22:59 PM
(Didn't want to be too obvious with the title in case there are little eyes around.)

DS in 6th grade. Today his social studies teacher was talking about Toys for Tots and how some younger kids probably just think Santa doesn't like them when he doesn't bring them lots of presents but older kids know Santa isn't real so they understand it's because their parents don't have much money. According to ds, there were at least 2 kids in the class who were very obviously shocked by the news that Santa isn't real.

I realize 11/6th grade is pretty old to still be believing in Santa but my ds only figured it out last year (and he's been vacillating about it ever since just to make himself feel better.) I can't really fault the teacher for assuming all 11 year olds would be in on the secret but at the same time, I'm thinking she might get an irate call or two tonight.



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Posted: 11/28/2012 3:26:21 PM
What the freak? I wouldn't place an irate phone call, but I'd be really sad.

I have an 11 year old 6th grade girl...who still believes in Santa. I feel like I should email her teacher and warn her...just in case.


~Kristen~

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Posted: 11/28/2012 3:28:23 PM
I did feel bad - I asked ds "so are you positive they didn't know?" and he said "Mom, I wasn't even 100% sure he wasn't real." He said one girl started to cry.



WindowBox
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Posted: 11/28/2012 3:32:00 PM
I think 11 or 6th grade is an appropriate age to be able to discuss this with a class (unless perhaps it was developmentally delayed students).

BEF2008
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Posted: 11/28/2012 3:33:17 PM
I don't think any grade school teacher should make the assumption they all know. Even 6th grade. That's sad.

I would probably send a note to the teacher. Nothing nasty but just a "by the way ... if you don't have children of your own this age, you may not realize it's not uncommon for them to still believe in Santa." Again I say, let's let them be children for as long as possible!!!

KikiNichole

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Posted: 11/28/2012 3:33:41 PM
Oh, my goodness. Someone started to cry? Now I *am* mad.

I think I'm so glad that from the moment I found out the truth (in the first grade, thankyoumeangirlacrossthestreet), my mom drilled into my head that I must never, ever betray the secret to anyone else.

Maybe it's because of that, I'm always super careful about what I say. Even when someone probably *does* know...or should know. Not a gamble I'm willing to take.

I hope the teacher realized his mistake and doesn't do it again. Poor kids.


~Kristen~

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Posted: 11/28/2012 3:35:48 PM
Wait? What? Santa's not real?


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KikiNichole

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Posted: 11/28/2012 3:36:58 PM

I think 11 or 6th grade is an appropriate age to be able to discuss this with a class (unless perhaps it was developmentally delayed students).


And here we go...

I am *so* tired of people deciding when it's appropriate for my child to grow up. To let go of childhood dreams and fantasies and imagination.

We bitch continually at how quickly kids make adult decisions, like sex and drugs...but we can't figure out that maybe, part of that, is because we insist they grow up at a certain rate of speed, lest they be developmentally delayed 11 year olds of course.

Good grief.


~Kristen~

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Posted: 11/28/2012 3:39:37 PM
I SAW Santa today. He was driving a dark green Mitsubishi through my neighborhood.

No kidding....I did a double take! It was a REALLY REAL looking Santa too! All dressed in red with a real beard! I was wondering if someone was getting a new car and the local Mitsubishi dealer was having Santa deliver it!

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Posted: 11/28/2012 3:56:26 PM

I think 11 or 6th grade is an appropriate age to be able to discuss this with a class (unless perhaps it was developmentally delayed students).



And here we go...

I am *so* tired of people deciding when it's appropriate for my child to grow up. To let go of childhood dreams and fantasies and imagination.

We bitch continually at how quickly kids make adult decisions, like sex and drugs...but we can't figure out that maybe, part of that, is because we insist they grow up at a certain rate of speed, lest they be developmentally delayed 11 year olds of course.

Good grief.


Amen Kristen!

It makes me so sad that a little girl started crying.

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Posted: 11/28/2012 3:58:22 PM
That's sad, my 10 yr old 5th grader still believes and I'm going to let him believe as long as be wants. Heck I still believe in Santa!


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Posted: 11/28/2012 4:02:21 PM

I think 11 or 6th grade is an appropriate age to be able to discuss this with a class (unless perhaps it was developmentally delayed students).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



And here we go...

I am *so* tired of people deciding when it's appropriate for my child to grow up. To let go of childhood dreams and fantasies and imagination.


Me, too. Being told everything and finding out everything so much younger just makes kids more and more cynical and jaded.



megmc
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Posted: 11/28/2012 4:03:06 PM
mine still believe and they are 15 and 20.



gale w
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Posted: 11/28/2012 4:04:11 PM

And here we go...

I am *so* tired of people deciding when it's appropriate for my child to grow up. To let go of childhood dreams and fantasies and imagination.

We bitch continually at how quickly kids make adult decisions, like sex and drugs...but we can't figure out that maybe, part of that, is because we insist they grow up at a certain rate of speed, lest they be developmentally delayed 11 year olds of course.

Good grief.


I agree. My dd was about 13 or 14 and still believed. We were reluctant to say anything but she was telling people all the time about how she can't wait for Santa and how she saw his reindeer at the mall, etc. and they would just look at her like she had two heads. Apparently they thought she was too old. To avoid possible embarrassment dh decided to tell all 3 kids at that point. Our younger two (1 and 3 yrs younger than our oldest) were kinda like "eh" and older dd was really upset.

All 3 know the importance of keeping the secret. Especially since the younger two are in activities with younger kids.


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Posted: 11/28/2012 4:05:00 PM
How sad!




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Posted: 11/28/2012 4:07:18 PM
When I was teaching 4th grade, a social worker (who came in once every couple weeks to teach a lesson) used as an example of telling a white lie how parents tell their kids that Santa is real. I had 2 4th grade girls who were crushed. After the lady left, I played it off like I had no idea what she was talking about and how I still believed in Santa and received gifts every year. Thank goodness the non-believers in my class were kind. They followed my lead and agreed with me and nodded along to keep the girls from crying. I went to the principal and told him that lady was NOT welcome in my classroom again! That was just the last straw on top of a lot of stupid things she said to the children. Then I made a couple phone calls to the parents so they could decide how they wanted to handle it on their end.

I know everybody figures it out eventually, but I hate to see teachers be the ones who spoil the magic by being clueless about their students' beliefs! I know if my 5th grade DD's teacher told her that her elf wasn't real, she'd be devastated!

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Posted: 11/28/2012 4:16:02 PM
I would not be happy with that teacher...


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Posted: 11/28/2012 4:24:17 PM
My 10 year old still believes. I would be so upset for him, if his teacher had done that.


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Posted: 11/28/2012 4:27:41 PM
Santa only comes for those who truly believe. Therefore, my children still believe at 22, 19 and 17. ...and if I hear otherwise, well...you can guess what will happen to Christmas morning. Talk about crying!

About this teacher, sheesh! I don't care who believes or doesn't. I am a teacher, and I always talk in terms of the real Santa. It would never cross my mind to say he isn't real...cuz he is. Right?




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Posted: 11/28/2012 4:52:13 PM
That would make me upset. We had that happen in 3rd grade and 1st. We always countered how they didn't hear the bell ring anymore (Polar Express).

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Posted: 11/28/2012 4:53:01 PM
And I'm so tired of people who believe that others have to walk around on eggshells because a middle schooler might still "believe" in Santa and the Easter Bunny.

Elementary school, yes. By middle school, sorry, but if snowflake finds out there's no Santa Clause, I'm not at all concerned. If you want your child believing until he graduates high school; then home school. But then OMG a college professor might destroy the dream.





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Posted: 11/28/2012 4:59:26 PM
Wow, a teacher tells the truth and the Pod is up in arms



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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:23:58 PM
Why not avoid it as a topic in class and then the belief/nonbelief is a non-issue. Once they are in upper grades at ES level, I think you just don't talk about it in class given the wide range of awareness.


MY DH and I both found out in 1st grade. We both asked our parents. Mine - 4th and 1st grade have not asked. My 4th grader I think sort of knows, but has decided to avoid the topic as a way of keeping the magic alive


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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:27:25 PM
You know what? I've posted here long enough and shared enough that I don't think anyone would assume that I consider my child a special little snowflake worthy of special treatment.

But, let's face it, it's not that darn hard to talk about Toys for Tots without giving away the secret of Santa Claus. It's not.

And quite a stretch from an 11 year old who still believes to a college graduate. Lauren, sometimes you're so damn determined to go against the grain that I think you lose emotion.

You don't *always* have to care about how others feel, but you should care sometimes...especially when it involves children.

I have no doubt that it won't be long before my daughter discovers the truth, whether she asks me, someone reveals it or she finds out by accident. But right now she's still a little kid. She's not dating, she doesn't have a job or a driver's license.

She's a little girl who still likes to play dolls and school and collects Webkinz and happens to believe in Santa Claus. And she will give them all up soon enough. I don't consider her a special snowflake or expect people to walk around on eggshells with her...but I don't think it's really that outrageous to expect people (especially those working with kids with such vast maturity differences as 6th graders) to simply take care in what they say. That's just common courtesy...nothing special about it at all.


~Kristen~

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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:29:17 PM
I remember being in sixth grade and our class had to write "elf letters" to the kids in the 2nd grade class, and out teachers clearly spoiled Santa for everyone. I guess they decided when we should all stop believing.


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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:31:31 PM

Wait? What? Santa's not real
Don't worry Sara, of course he's real. Don't take any notice of the mean spirited people who say he's not. What do they know - they're just sad, miserable grumps who want to spoil things for others. We know he's real and that's what matters.

As for the teacher (or anyone) - this makes me mad. How dare someone assume that all kids of a certain age know certain things. If it had been my child coming home in tears, I wouldn't bother with a note, I'd be at the school the next day to see teacher, and tell her to be more thoughtful and not to make assumptions in the future. Is her name Mrs Walker?


I am *so* tired of people deciding when it's appropriate for my child to grow up. To let go of childhood dreams and fantasies and imagination.

We bitch continually at how quickly kids make adult decisions, like sex and drugs...but we can't figure out that maybe, part of that, is because we insist they grow up at a certain rate of speed, lest they be developmentally delayed 11 year olds of course.

Good grief.
HERE HERE Kiki!

As to those who say so what? Grinches! It's a parents job to finally fess up when the child is ready to hear it - not a teacher or anybody else. Kids grown up way to fast these days as it is - parents don't need some thoughtless twit cutting things out of their childs life. GRRR.




*Erin
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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:34:03 PM
DS's 4th grade teacher did something similar. DS already had it figured out, but there were a lot of kids in that class who didn't know and the parents of those kids raised heck at the school.

That was only one of the less-than-stellar teaching moments DS had that year. I have no idea why that woman is still employed.

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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:35:44 PM
THIS 6th grade teacher WILL NOT be spoiling any magic. I'm the first one to cut things off when I know it's heading into "Santa isn't real" territory. A little bit of fun, a bit of magic isn't going to hurt my 6th graders, and for those who still believe, I surely will not be the one who ruins it. In fact, I'm pretty sure some of my students think their teacher still believes.

Yes, our 6th graders are still at the elementary school level, but I'll do anything in my power to keep them from growing up too early.



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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:37:28 PM
Our DS just discovered the Santa secret two weeks ago. He'll be 12 in a month.

I don't see anything wrong with keeping the magic of Santa alive as long as possible.

DD stopped believing when she was 8, but she kept the secret for 7 years for her brother.


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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:38:18 PM
First, Santa is not a secret for everyone.

Second, the story doesn't read as a teacher on a mission to out Santa.

Third, it is 6th grade NOT 1st grade.

A teacher using a sad story of how other kids might feel in order to explain the need for a charity such as Toys for Tots seems like an opportunity parents can springboard from not a teacher bash.



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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:42:57 PM

First, Santa is not a secret for everyone.

Second, the story doesn't read as a teacher on a mission to out Santa.

Third, it is 6th grade NOT 1st grade.

A teacher using a sad story of how other kids might feel in order to explain the need for a charity such as Toys for Tots seems like an opportunity parents can springboard from not a teacher bash.


Who is teacher bashing? In my very first response, I admitted I wouldn't even call.

I don't think the teacher was on a mission to hurt his students. But I do think he has an extra obligation to tread carefully in certain situations, this being one of them.

Third, I state again...I can think of about a trillion ways to explain Toys for Tots without even *mentioning* Santa. And a million ways to answer any questions that might arise should children ask about Santa.



~Kristen~

clee321
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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:48:51 PM
KikiNichole - you and I have gone round on this for years. Not interested this year.

I disagree with the uproar. My opinion has been respectfully stated.



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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:51:41 PM

KikiNichole - you and I have gone round on this for years. Not interested this year.

I disagree with the uproar. My opinion has been respectfully stated.


Oh, I'm sorry. I thought by posting your opinion (twice), you were engaging in the conversation. I had no idea you weren't interested. My mistake.


~Kristen~

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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:54:42 PM

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought by posting your opinion (twice), you were engaging in the conversation. I had no idea you weren't interested. My mistake.


oh then let me be more clear. I am not interested in discussing this again WITH YOU SPECIFICALLY.

I don't mind with others as there isn't a history of ABSOLUTE DISAGREEMENT

Go be rude to someone else



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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:55:54 PM

KikiNichole - you and I have gone round on this for years. Not interested this year.

I disagree with the uproar. My opinion has been respectfully stated.


Let's see...sarcasm, an eye-rolling emoticom, and an accusation of "teacher bashing" (of which I see NOWHERE on this thread). Yep, you sure did "respectfully" state your opinion.

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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:58:01 PM

But, let's face it, it's not that darn hard to talk about Toys for Tots without giving away the secret of Santa Claus. It's not.


Actually, I think it would be hard to discuss Toys for Tots without this coming up. If the teacher didn't mention it chances are one of the kids might - possibly even one of the kids who does still believe. My dd was about 8. We were shopping for a family we were sponsoring for the holiday and also picking up a toy for Toys for Tots. She asked me why we had to buy toys for these children when Santa brings the toys. My boys at a similar age came home from the school the first day back at school in January and asked why Santa brought some kids lots of gifts and other kids only a few.

The fact is, all kids are going to eventually learn the truth (and please, spare me the 'I still believe'). It may happen on the school bus. It may happen when a teacher doesn't realize that a room full of 11 and 12 year olds might contain a couple of kids who still believe. It may be logic. It is life. It is growing up. It may happen earlier than you would wish - it may happen later. It is not worth a furious phone all to the school.

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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:58:41 PM
Ds is 9 and still believes. He asked about the Easter Bunny and did not like the answer so I'll probably never know if he ever doesn't believe. lol

Heck, we're homeschoolers so even if he's 13/14/15 and still believes, people will just group it into that being normal homeschool weirdness.





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Posted: 11/28/2012 5:59:42 PM

Let's see...sarcasm, an eye-rolling emoticom, and an accusation of "teacher bashing" (of which I see NOWHERE on this thread). Yep, you sure did "respectfully state" your opinion.


Putting a differing opinion out there and saying that I see validity in the teacher's approach vs. teacher bashing doesn't imply or accuse any Pea of bashing. It is in general discussion of the situation.

Yes, sarcasm for my first comment and clarification with my second. I stand by my view on this subject.



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Posted: 11/28/2012 6:00:11 PM
Well I'm not KikiNichole and I also don't see any teacher bashing OR big uproar in this thread, you must be confusing it with a different thread. I see some parents with kids this age chiming in to confirm that not all 6th graders have been let in on the secret and they would be disappointed for them to find out in this way.

You don't want the Santa tradition at your house, no problem. But we live in a society and we still have social norms and traditions and Santa happens to be one of them for a huge part of our particular society. You think it's edgy or counterculture or honest or whatever you think it is to spoil the fun so it doesn't inconvenience you? Fine. Just don't complain when you get the big anti-social/grinch label tossed back at you.



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Posted: 11/28/2012 6:00:53 PM

The fact is, all kids are going to eventually learn the truth (and please, spare me the 'I still believe'). It may happen on the school bus. It may happen when a teacher doesn't realize that a room full of 11 and 12 year olds might contain a couple of kids who still believe. It may be logic. It is life. It is growing up. It may happen earlier than you would wish - it may happen later. It is not worth a furious phone all to the school.


This isn't my first rodeo. I understand that it can happen anywhere. I just think that a teacher of 11 and 12 year olds (an age where maturity levels vary greatly) should do the best that they can do to avoid the topic.

I would not be placing any furious phone calls (I rarely do anything in a furious manner) but I think there's a big difference between an accidental slip up and purposefully telling children Santa isn't real.


~Kristen~

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Posted: 11/28/2012 6:02:06 PM
I really think teachers should not touch the santa conversation with a ten foot pole.


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Posted: 11/28/2012 6:04:38 PM

I would not be placing any furious phone calls


The furious phone call comment was referring back to the OP's statement that she expected the school was going to receive a couple of irate phone calls, not to you.

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Posted: 11/28/2012 6:31:55 PM
We had a toys for tots program at our elementary school and the subject of Santa never came up. The teachers and staff are specifically told not to talk about Santa since it's not their place to break the news.

I think the teacher shouldn't have said anything.
Talking about TFT doesn't have to include Santa.


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Posted: 11/28/2012 6:33:41 PM
From a Pea without kids ... how are you so sure kids in the 6th grade (regardless if they're recently 11 or an older 12) still believe in Santa Claus?

I ask because I'm the oldest in our family (e.g. no older siblings ratted out the secret) and I pieced it together in second grade. I remember asking a friend during an overnight if she thought maybe this Santa thing was just a story, and she said that yah, it was probably Mom and Dad.

Flash forward -- uh, some years -- and my 10-year-old niece figured it out this summer and asked her parents. I thought she was a bit on the older side based on my childhood, and SIL said that as a fifth grade teacher herself, they were going to sit down with my niece anyhow at the first of December so they could control the attitude in which she learned it. (I said on another thread that we high-fived her and planned special shopping trips to welcome her to the adult side of the game.)

SIL said the kids come up to her all the time in class saying that they don't believe in Santa, but don't tell my mom! Please! I still want presents and she won't buy them if she knows I know. Now she always sticks with the standard "what do you mean he isn't real?" line but that kids who even pretend to still believe among classmates are targets for harassment.

Again, this is all anecdotal rather than scientific studies, but I guess it's why I didn't read the OP's story with any at the teacher's remarks.

Julie



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Posted: 11/28/2012 6:34:14 PM
Here is what a friend taught me when my kids were little, and it stood me in good stead all through their childhood, in response to questions about both why Santa didn't always bring their most expensive requested gifts, and why some children hardly get anything from Santa and need a little help:

***Santa sends the bill to the parents.***

So you don't get anything from Santa that the parents wouldn't approve or be able to pay for.

I'm only saying this to explain there are ways for teachers to talk about Toys for Tots without necessarily revealing any big secrets.

I'm sort of surprised to learn there are kids over the age of 8 or so who don't know, but if that's the way it is, then teachers ought to be sensitive to the situation. It is thoughtless and unkind to knowingly reveal a secret like that, no matter what your personal philosophy on the subject may be.


LUCYG
northern california

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
--Bertrand Russell



~scrap-it-all~
PeaFixture

PeaNut 7,143
October 2000
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Loc: IL

Posted: 11/28/2012 6:42:56 PM
6th grade is still grade school where my kids go to school. Their teachers do the same thing - "out Santa Clause". I don't agree with it. I think that should be left up to the parents...of course, then when do you draw the line? I guess for me, I think if they did it in 7th grade, that would be okay. It's a personal opinion of course, but I believe they should NOT tell just because it can be a sensitive subject.



gryroagain
PeaAddict

PeaNut 463,630
April 2010
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Posted: 11/28/2012 6:46:50 PM
We talked about Santa with my oldest when she was little. E presents, the sleigh, all that. When she was about 4, we were living on a military base with no fireplace, and she asked about the chimney. So I came up with something. Then she asked about something else, and unscrambles for another story. And it went on a little while, with me spinning bigger tales, and I just felt...bad. I was lying to the kid, because...? It isn't like talking about war or sex and its not developmentally appropriate, to me (please understand I mean for ME and my kid) I was creating this huge web of lies and getting her to believe for no good reason. So I finally just told her he wasn't real, but that Santa was a feeling, and we were all Santa, and we gave gifts out of love, and some other bullshit. And she was one pissed off preschooler! she was crushed we would lie to her, and make her believe in something totally fake and everyone adult knows, and why would we ever DO that?!

So I felt about an inch big, and we never pretended Santa was anything but a story with my youngest!

But, well, no wonder they cry- you've been spinning this story for years and years, and they feel stupid for believing it! They aren't particularly sad about no Santa I'd bet, they are sad it wasn't real and everyone knew! IMO, its wrong to be mad at the kid on the bus or the teacher who spills it, because you've known too all along it wasn't real, right? That's the risk you take in starting in it the first place. I'm not actually trying to be all judgey and hand sloppy, just trying to inject my view here.

And now I'm hitting submit and ducking!

candleangie
Sequin Sewer

PeaNut 140,337
April 2004
Posts: 14,949
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Loc: Portland Oregon

Posted: 11/28/2012 7:09:20 PM
I'm gonna sit with Lauren on this one. I don't think people are doing their kids any favors by "keeping the magic alive" for so long.

We did the Santa thing, but not to great lengths. Santa has some of the same wrapping paper as we do and his handwriting looks an AWFUL lot like mine. LOL We never went out of our way to make him REAL, and my kids just naturally transitioned from believing to not around the 2nd or 3rd grade. No big crushing conversation with drama and tears.

I'm another one who thinks that they're more upset about being deceived so completely and convincingly.


The blog, finally resurrected!





Maizie
* Happy Camper *

PeaNut 223,117
September 2005
Posts: 16,361
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Loc: Heffalump Hollow

Posted: 11/28/2012 7:13:07 PM
Wow. That wasn't the teachers place at all!!!


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I made it! Now what?

PeaNut 211,494
June 2005
Posts: 5,292
Layouts: 208
Loc: Idaho

Posted: 11/28/2012 7:25:16 PM
I was a second grade teacher and I always had quite a few nonbelievers. The first mention of Santa and they would try and set the record straight. I always pulled them over and told them that I knew they were right but it is a lot of fun to be on the grown up side and keep the magic alive for those kids that still believed. They always felt so grown up and part of the adult crowd. The nonbelievers were the ones from that point on that would play up Santa really big. I always had a few that would tell me how much fun it was to pretend with the other kids.

I have a nine year old and she still believes. I'm glad she does. It is fun. I know it will be spoiled soon enough but then she gets to join the grown ups and keep the magic going for her younger siblings.


Melissa
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