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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Chlerbie
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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:02:22 AM

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.


Exactly. I'm 100% sure that ALL children will grow out of it, but it's not something that needs to be forced. We all live lives where illusion is a part of our makeup to one degree or another.

And thanks Batya and Tina for getting all logical and analytical!


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Dalai Mama
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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:02:42 AM
Twinsmom, FTR, my son who, according to you, should be red-flagged as possibly developmentally delayed, never did express doubts about Santa.

I'm certain that he no longer believes but he still 'plays along' for his younger brother's sake. He no longer believes in God either but, likewise, he 'plays along' for his father's sake. Maybe I should point out to him that he's being manipulative?

Edited


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KikiNichole

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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:04:25 AM

I can't even imagine they would still believe in Santa at this point without being completely ridiculed in school.

Just out of pure curiosity, if parents are still "babying" their pre-teens and teens, do you think those are the ones who avoid talking about sex and drugs and other things with their children?


Please. Imagine it. I, and others here, have shared that it's true.

To my knowledge, my daughter has never been ridiculed or made fun of for believing in Santa. She's a popular, well adjusted, intelligent child who has lots of friends and is involved in many activities.

She hasn't asked about sex yet, either. And since I'm fairly positive she's not having it, we haven't really discussed it other than on very basic terms.

I really don't understand the conclusion people are drawing that if an 11 year old believes in Santa he or she must be some poor bullied loner with no friends and no ability to reason. It's baffling to me, really.



~Kristen~

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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:05:17 AM
My brother is eleven years younger than me. I was told by parents that until my brother figured it out that I was to believe

Twyla

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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:10:24 AM

But I came on here a few years ago worried that my 9 yr. old's best friend would tell her the truth and everyone was basically on the side of the friend, that 9 yr. olds should not believe in Santa, and it's just too bad that my daughter was told. So I think those of us who want our children to believe as long as possible are in the minority here.


I take heart in believing that *here* is the ONLY place we're in the minority.



~Kristen~

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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:13:34 AM
As for the true believer argument, there are many people who WERE true believers in santa as children and want their children to be true believers as children. That's apples and apples. There is no difference. And they expect them to discover or outgrow it at a time when they are ready. You know as children, we all came to our maturity levels at different times. It's a spectrum, not a deadline. So one child's lightbulb came on at 8 y/o while another's may not have until 12. And it isn't for anyone to rush or to decide. And no one would think to rush a child's development--except on this santa thing.

And while we're on the subject, as for the gods, there are some people who are indoctrinated with that culturally acceptable religious belief and education b/c it's what their society requires. Say in the Bible Belt for example. BUT either their lightbulb comes on and they have to squelch it b/c they will be demonized by their community (the opposite of what happens here where a child is forced to give up santa and grow up faster than he or his parents desire) or the lightbulb comes on and they realize there is no G-d and they live life as an atheist in spite of the indoctrination they were subject to by this culturally accepted norm.

There is a belief that raising a child with religion, regardless of whether it is or is not mainstream and regardless of whether you as a parent truly believe, can be damaging to a child who then, regardless of age realizes that there is no G-d. They can feel that their parents and/or clergy however well-meaning perpetuated a lie over the course of their lives. (Sound familiar santa haters?) So all your talk of developmentally appropriateness and acceptability means nothing when you are the child or adult who is left fledgling.

Parents indoctrinating religion on their kids don't KNOW it's the truth. YOU think you do. YOU believe it is. You have FAITH but you don't KNOW. You want to think you KNOW. But it isn't the same thing. You want them to believe that Santa is true for now. And that's pretty much the same. And you will allow them to come to their own realization on santa at an appropriate age just as I hope you will on religious beliefs. It's no different. We all start to question. As we should.

I don't think anyone saying teachers should not be the ones to pull the plug on santa are saying parents should go overboard with the santa myth for a child who is questioning. I don't believe that, at any rate. My argument is that if you are saying a child is developmentally challenged b/c they believe this at a certain age, then 1- you may not know fully the spectrum of maturity on which children develop, and 2- that belief in god(s) falls into that category and adults are not rational thinkers if they believe in any gods.

I myself, and my belief in G-d challenge that b/c I am a rational thinker to a fault. But I also believe that an older child can be developmentally fine and have a faith in a myth that an adult may not want to acknowledge. My mind can stretch that way.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




mamashosh
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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:15:03 AM

And just to let you know where I stood on the Santa business, as someone who clearly doesn't believe in it since were Jewish and participate in Christmas not at all, I told MY children, that we don't believe, but they are not to tell kids at school that Santa isn't real or that they shouldn't believe b/c it is something very special to them.

That's respect. When it means nothing to us as a family or a religion or culturally. So I don't see any problem with expecting anyone else to have the same courtesy. It's a big part of our culture. It's not walking on eggshells. It's being kind. And for me, being kind is easy. I guess, for others it takes too much work.


This. The only time we talk about Santa in my house is when I give ds his yearly 'don't blow it for everyone else' lecture. It seems like teaching him to respect others beliefs is a good thing.



twinsmom-fla99
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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:17:12 AM

Why would you think it's "OK" to ruin something in childhood that's fun, and just shrug it off as "no big deal."
Where did I say it was okay to ruin it for a child. I specifically stated that as a teacher I never told anyone Santa wasn't real. I also said that if I knew a child still believed in 6th grade, I would not deliberately spill the beans.

But, it is not MY responsibility to continue your family traditions. If your 6th or 7th grader is playing with my 7th grader who has known the truth since 2nd grade, I would never even consider telling her that she needs to pretend to believe in Santa "just in case" that friend is still a believer. Nor am I going to avoid all mention of buying my chldrens' gifts instead of letting Santa deliver.

If my DD came to me and said that her friend still believed, I would tell her to let it go and just not discuss it if she felt uncomfortable. I certainly wouldn't tell her to "ruin Christmas" for her friend. Even though my girls knew by 2nd grade, they were told to keep it to themselves and not spoil it for anyone else. Of course that doesn't mean that they didn't have playground conversations with other nonbelievers that might have been heard by believers, but that isn't their fault.

If you refuse to tell them the truth, then you need to accept the fact that as they get older, there will be more and more opportunities for them to "accidentally" find out since there will be more and more nonbelievers. I am NOT going to question every single tween or young teen who enters my home about their Santa beliefs so that I can decide what I can or can't say in front of them. It just isn't on my radar to think I have to be careful about what I say to a middle school student about Christmas. That doesn't make me "evil" or "mean-spirited".


twinsmom-fla99
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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:44:38 AM

Twinsmom, FTR, my son who, according to you, was developmentally delayed, never did express doubts about Santa.

I'm certain that he no longer believes but he still 'plays along' for his younger brother's sake. He no longer believes in God either but, likewise, he 'plays along' for his father's sake. Maybe I should point out to him that he's being manipulative?
Way to put words in my mouth. Please show me where a child who believes in Santa in middle school is developmentally delayed? I said it was a "red flag"--i.e. ONE thing that could show developmental issues. It is not a developmental delay by itself! But it could certainly be a sign that the child is emotionally or socially delayed if there are other red flags that go with it, or it could even be a sign that the child is behind academically IF there are other things to show that delay.

And again, I said it was a red flag to be aa TRUE believer, i.e. one who has no doubts about the Santa story. It is developmentally normal for MOST kids to have doubts about Santa long before middle school. They might still believe, but their doubts are there. If a middle school child is a TRUE BELIEVER in spite of everything they have been taught to the contrary, that is a red flag. If that is the ONLY thing that would suggest a delay, then there is probably no reason for concern. But if I had a 6th grade student who openly professed a true belief in Santa and got seriously upset if others said he wasn't real, then yes, I would be keeping an eye out for other signs of delay.

As someone posted earlier, there are SOME kids who still believe by that age, but they are getting to the extreme end of the continuum. By itself, that belief isn't a big cause for concern, but it does call for monitoring the child for other signs of immaturity that could be risk factors. Those "socially immature" students are the ones most at risk for bullying or manipulation by other students. Would you prefer the teacher just ignore it?


twinsmom-fla99
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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:57:30 AM

Parents indoctrinating religion on their kids don't KNOW it's the truth. YOU think you do. YOU believe it is. You have FAITH but you don't KNOW. You want to think you KNOW. But it isn't the same thing. You want them to believe that Santa is true for now. And that's pretty much the same. And you will allow them to come to their own realization on santa at an appropriate age just as I hope you will on religious beliefs. It's no different. We all start to question. As we should.


But parents who indoctrinate their children about Santa KNOW FOR A FACT it is an outright lie b/c they are the ones providing the presents. It is one thing to try to convince your child about something you believe to be true and that you believe is important to their "mortal soul". It is quite another to tell your doubting child, "Yes, I know that Santa seems quite improbable, but he IS real!" and then continue with a charade to convince them it is true when you know it is absolutely false.


I don't think anyone saying teachers should not be the ones to pull the plug on santa are saying parents should go overboard with the santa myth for a child who is questioning. I don't believe that, at any rate. My argument is that if you are saying a child is developmentally challenged b/c they believe this at a certain age, then 1- you may not know fully the spectrum of maturity on which children develop, and 2- that belief in god(s) falls into that category and adults are not rational thinkers if they believe in any gods.
I did NOT say that a child is developmentally challenged if they believe in Santa in 6th grade! I did say it is a RED FLAG, i.e. a "stop and look a little closer" sign to see if there is anything else that doesn't match the child's developmental age. By itself, believing in Santa doesn't mean the child is developmentally delayed. But if I were being asked to assess a child's development at that age, it is one thing I would consider. ONE part of the whole puzzle! And if the child professed a belief, but also had doubts, then I wouldn't be too concerned about it. But if a 6th grader is a true believer with no doubts, then yes, that is a concern. Again, by itself, not enough to say there is a delay, but if there are other signs, this one should also be considered. And FTR, I do understand the "spectrum" of developing maturity in children, and true belief in Santa by middle school is getting up to the far end of the spectrum. Just because it is still on the spectrum of "normal" doesn't mean there isn't an issue. As I said, it is a RED FLAG to look more closely or keep an eye out for other issues. It doesn't mean the kid needs a referral for an evaluation.

Dalai Mama
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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:58:25 AM
Fixed it. I guess I could I have put "developmentally abnormal/not meeting developmental expectations/developmentally inappropriate", but I figured that was double speak for developmentally delayed. My bad.


Jo Mama

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candleangie
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Posted: 11/29/2012 11:00:53 AM
Kristen...I didn't say your daughter was delayed. That's certainly not my intention, NOR is it my belief. What I'm trying to say (badly..lol) is that it would not have been on my radar for a child of that age to still believe.

By the time their kids were about the third grade, everyone I know had stopped going to great lengths to hide the 'conspiracy.' lol There was never a big bomb dropped...it just slowly became clear to the kids that mom and dad were probably Santa. They would have had to purposefully ignore about eleventy-hundred signs to still believe strongly enough to be in tears in class over it.

It surprises me (obviously) to hear that there are 11-year-olds who still believe. I'm probably placing too much weight on where my own kids were at this age, I don't know. But I can't image my very grown up 12 year old still believing last year. It would have been really out of sync with her maturity level at that time (thus my badly worded comment about it being developmentally questionable.)

Am I going to purposely make it my mission to inform every 6th grader that they've been duped..DUPED I TELL YOU!!! Of course not. I don't think it's a teachers place to tell either. I just don't think the teacher even had it on her radar that kids that age still believed. And I'm betting she probably felt really bad....

To be honest, if my child still believed at that age, I would probably have started dropping some not-so-subtle hints about the whole thing. But that's with my own kids, not someone else's children. I'm VERY GLAD your daughter doesn't have trouble with teasing, but not every kid is so lucky.



The blog, finally resurrected!





Captain K
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Posted: 11/29/2012 11:14:22 AM

I'm not prolonging anything...when she asks, I'll tell her. But she hasn't asked. And all I'd ask of *you* is that you be aware...you don't have to agree but just be respectful. As I would you.


At what point can people stop being "aware" and not talking about it openly? 7th grade? 8th grade? Senior year? When they're out in the work force?


whirled peas
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Posted: 11/29/2012 11:17:12 AM
I teach fourth and fifth grade (home with a sick babygirl today) and I can say that I am always amazed at the number of my students that still believe. I love the innocence of it all. I never invite the conversations that happen around this time of year, but I always hear them and it never fails to make me smile.

Also, know this. I teach in a gang-infested neighborhood with extremely low-socioeconomic families. Maybe they (and their families) just *need* this little bit of magic as an escape from their everyday lives.

Just a thought.


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aka_sasha
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Posted: 11/29/2012 11:18:54 AM
Honestly, if my kid was that age and really believed in Santa I'd be a little concerned. I mean, do they really think there's one Santa who determines who is worthy of gift receiving, that elves make the gifts and he flies around with his reindeer across the world to deliver gifts? That he comes down the chimney?

I would think a kid that age who still believes in Santa would be in bigger danger of being bullied for believing.

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Posted: 11/29/2012 11:22:33 AM

At what point can people stop being "aware" and not talking about it openly? 7th grade? 8th grade? Senior year? When they're out in the work force?



Yes. When they're out in the work force. Clearly the same thing as an 11 year old.

I'm 45 years old...to my knowledge I haven't blown the fantasy for anyone...except my own kid, when I stuck my foot in my mouth one Christmas morning. The subject honestly doesn't come up that often and when it does, I tread carefully...just in case. Really not that hard.

Angie, thanks for explaining with more detail. I understand it's not something you'd do purposefully, nor do I think most here would.

I do feel like some people would be completely indifferent if they *did* happen to give away a secret and that's the part I don't understand.



~Kristen~

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Posted: 11/29/2012 11:31:28 AM

Ducking for cover but I still think some of you are being duped by your kids because they love the magic.


Okay. Let's go with that. I'm being duped.

Duped to do what? Share a tradition with my daughter? Wrap an extra present I don't take credit for? Fill a couple of stockings with goodies?

Is that supposed to make me feel embarrassed? Or like my children are taking advantage of me? Getting the better of me somehow?

I was duped the time my son told me he spent the night with a friend when really he was at a girls house. I was duped the time my daughter told me she was going to bed and snuck out of the house.

Continuing a fun, innocent, harmless tradition as part of the holiday with my children does not equal being duped. At least not in my book.


~Kristen~

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Posted: 11/29/2012 11:31:30 AM
twins-we're talking about two different things. I'm talking about someone who wants to believe. You keep bring up someone having doubts and a parent trying to convince them otherwise. I never mentioned that and I don't agree with it. Frankly, I don't know where that came from?



OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




aka_sasha
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Posted: 11/29/2012 11:41:54 AM


Okay. Let's go with that. I'm being duped.

Duped to do what? Share a tradition with my daughter? Wrap an extra present I don't take credit for? Fill a couple of stockings with goodies?

Is that supposed to make me feel embarrassed? Or like my children are taking advantage of me? Getting the better of me somehow?

I was duped the time my son told me he spent the night with a friend when really he was at a girls house. I was duped the time my daughter told me she was going to bed and snuck out of the house.

Continuing a fun, innocent, harmless tradition as part of the holiday with my children does not equal being duped. At least not in my book.




I find it extremely hard to believe that a kid at 10 years old or older would have only had 1 incident where Santa's cover was blown. If your kid watches TV, how do they interpret holiday sales commercials? Clearly they know that Santa isn't the only gift giver.

To get so bent out of shape over the possibility one adult may "ruin" it for your kid at an age where your kid should be able to figure out that a fat man isn't coming down your chimney seems really ridiculous.

I tend to think that the parents have more invested in keeping their kids in belief because it's hard to acknowledge that your kid is growing up.

I wonder -- if your kid was one in the teacher's class and they asked you if Santa was real, would you continue to lie to your kid?

Captain K
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Posted: 11/29/2012 11:42:10 AM

At what point can people stop being "aware" and not talking about it openly? 7th grade? 8th grade? Senior year? When they're out in the work force?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Yes. When they're out in the work force. Clearly the same thing as an 11 year old.



I'm serious. In your opinion, at what age CAN others openly acknowledge that Santa isn't real? Kids can be in the work force at 15 or 16... it isn't that far off.

Is it high school that is acceptable to you? 8th grade? I'm truly serious. Because in my mind, 6th grade would be a point when you could openly acknowledge that. But in 3rd or 4th grade, I'd feel like you, "C'mon... did you have to say that? Why ruin the fun?"

So your cutoff is after mine. I'm curious when it is. I mean, there has to be a point at which you feel comfortable acknowledging it. Is it after they are 18 because then they are adults? I'm not being snarky, truly asking.

aka_sasha
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Posted: 11/29/2012 11:48:51 AM

I'm serious. In your opinion, at what age CAN others openly acknowledge that Santa isn't real? Kids can be in the work force at 15 or 16... it isn't that far off.

Is it high school that is acceptable to you? 8th grade? I'm truly serious. Because in my mind, 6th grade would be a point when you could openly acknowledge that. But in 3rd or 4th grade, I'd feel like you, "C'mon... did you have to say that? Why ruin the fun?"

So your cutoff is after mine. I'm curious when it is. I mean, there has to be a point at which you feel comfortable acknowledging it. Is it after they are 18 because then they are adults? I'm not being snarky, truly asking.


Exactly -- what is the appropriate time? Do the parents really believe that Santa's cover hasn't been blown multiple times? Hell, when my kid was riding the bus in the 3rd grade, she heard the other kids saying Santa doesn't exist. I find it extremely hard to believe that 10 year-olds haven't heard it many a time that there is no Santa.

If the parent wants to keep the fantasy alive, continue to lie about it to your kid. But at a certain age, the Santa fantasy seems more like it's for the parents to experience the "magic" versus their kid's.

Simply_Lovely
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Posted: 11/29/2012 11:51:15 AM

Just to recap, believing in a man who walks on water, feeds the masses with a few loaves of bread and raises the dead doesn't raise any 'red flags' because he has the numbers on his side. Believing in the man in the red suit who flies around the world delivering presents does raise red flags because, at around the age of 10, we should all have the cognitive ability to see how utterly ridiculous that is.


I'll go as far as to say that BOTH should raise red flags in kids. Kids should question things, especially those based on pure faith. That is what develops critical thinking!!! They should be taught both sides of things and then when are of the right developmental age they can make the decisions for themselves. I never had religion pushed on me by my parents, one of whom believed and grandparents all of whom believed. They'd answer my questions and left it at that. When I was old enough I decided for myself what to believe based on ALL available information.
So while I think it's ridiculous to compare Santa to God, I think it's problematic if a child not questioning the existence of either at a certain age.




Meow!

KikiNichole

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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:05:57 PM

I wonder -- if your kid was one in the teacher's class and they asked you if Santa was real, would you continue to lie to your kid?


No. If my child asked me, I would tell the truth.

And I'm NOT bent out of shape that a teacher talked about it in class. I didn't become bent out of shape until people started insinuating a child of that age who may still believe may have developmental red flags or that a parent who hasn't willfully spilled the beans by a certain time is somehow opposed to critical thinking or setting their child up for trust issues. You say ridiculous to one, I say ridiculous to the other.

And Captain K. I don't have the precise answer to your question. Of course, I think there is as much difference between an 11 year old and a 15 year old as I do between a 15 year old and 20 year old. But I think you see that too...and I don't think taking care around a particular age where levels of maturity and innocence are so varying is really that hard to do.

Sure...once she's given up jungle gyms at recess for holding hands in the hallway, I think we're safe to freely talk about Santa. But it's not that hard a concept to err on the side of caution with a group of kids where some are still happy playing dolls and others are spending their days posting self portraits on Facebook.



~Kristen~

asr70
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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:06:45 PM
This thread makes me laugh and feel so sad all at the same time.

and Kiki about your DD. Mine was the same way.





sues
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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:14:36 PM

Do you think that older kids just convince their parents they still believe so they don't miss out of gifts?
Who the heck stops buying presents for kids when they stop believing in Santa? Who ARE these people? I see this argument brought up time and time again- kids are duping their parents, just looking to keep the presents coming. WTH?

aka_sasha
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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:15:18 PM

And I'm NOT bent out of shape that a teacher talked about it in class. I didn't become bent out of shape until people started insinuating a child of that age who may still believe may have developmental red flags or that a parent who hasn't willfully spilled the beans by a certain time is somehow opposed to critical thinking or setting their child up for trust issues. You say ridiculous to one, I say ridiculous to the other.


I understand how you would feel that way.

I wouldn't call a kid developmentally delayed if they still believe, but if my 10 year-old still did, I'd honestly be worried about that particularly since I know that they have probably had multiple times where someone has blown Santa's cover.

And I agree with the other poster -- I think the kids that still believe want that "magic" of Christmas and are less likely to really believe a fat man in a red suit delivers them toys.

Anyway, sorry Kiki -- hope my comments weren't my typical of my usual rudeness!

Miglets
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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:17:13 PM
I've been lurking on this thread and hot topic is an understatement!

I taught special ed for 10 years and wrote many an IEP. While the term 'developmentally delayed' was used often, it was never associated w/believing in Santa. Don't see how one has anything to do w/the other.

And while the actual words may have only been used once, the phrasess 'on my radar' and 'red flag' have also been used and basically allude to the same thing.

There are plenty of topics that can be derailed by simply telling the child/student/class to ask their parent/guardian. This is one of them. Change the subject and move on.

That being said, I'm sittin' on Kristen's bench. Let them believe as long as they want to (or as long as their parent wants them to) and let it go.




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sues
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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:29:47 PM

To get so bent out of shape over the possibility one adult may "ruin" it for your kid at an age where your kid should be able to figure out that a fat man isn't coming down your chimney seems really ridiculous.
I don't think it's 'bent out of shape over the possibility that one adult may ruin it' - it's irritation that the one adult didn't have the sense to consider what he was saying and who he was saying it to.

My daughter started hearing the 'not real' stuff in pre-school from wiseass kids that took joy in telling the 'secret'. Kids that believe in Santa learn to write off kids like this (in terms of the Santa thing) and keep on thinking what they think.

Every year they realize more of the truth, can't overlook the obvious indicators of Santa being a myth - and one year, they don't believe anymore. Some kids make a big, fast leap to this conclusion and others are loathe to go there. Not because they're babied or delayed (save me, really)- but because they're sentimental. If they don't think too much about it, they don't have to come to any realization. Sort of like a hand over the ears "LALALA- I can't hear you!" for the holidays.

The kids that believe longer aren't likely trumpeting it around middle school. They're sentimental- not clueless. The years since pre-K have taught them that not all kids believe- so by middle school, they're well versed in that knowledge.

And for the pea who wonders if the parents who allow their kids to believe longer, are also the ones who refuse to tell their kids about sex... Really? That's quite a leap. How old are your kids?

aka_sasha
PeaNut

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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:37:14 PM

Who the heck stops buying presents for kids when they stop believing in Santa? Who ARE these people? I see this argument brought up time and time again- kids are duping their parents, just looking to keep the presents coming. WTH?


Sues, I took that as the kids would fear there would be no gift giving if they didn't believe, not that their parents wouldn't give them gifts.

Dalai Mama
La Pea Boheme

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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:43:16 PM
Because I somehow missed this gem:

Just out of pure curiosity, if parents are still "babying" their pre-teens and teens, do you think those are the ones who avoid talking about sex and drugs and other things with their children?
I had a full discussion about sex, (vaginal, anal, oral), masturbation, homo/bisexuality, gender identity, STDs and prevention of pregnancy when my kids were 8 and 9. Drugs were an ongoing discussion starting long before that.


Jo Mama

***********************************

Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight. - Bruce Cockburn

The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. - Douglas Adams


kittymomma
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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:52:21 PM
As a teacher, I never felt it was my place to dispel this myth, much like it wasn't my place to discuss my religion with my students. If these things came up--and they did because I worked in a school that focused on multicultural education, we looked more at the idea that everyone has different beliefs and how to accept that. When Santa came up, I told my students that each family has different beliefs about it and that they should discuss it with their parents.

Now mind you, I taught kindergarten and first grade--so I DEFINITELY didn't want to chance bursting that bubble!



KikiNichole

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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:54:55 PM

Every year they realize more of the truth, can't overlook the obvious indicators of Santa being a myth - and one year, they don't believe anymore. Some kids make a big, fast leap to this conclusion and others are loathe to go there. Not because they're babied or delayed (save me, really)- but because they're sentimental. If they don't think too much about it, they don't have to come to any realization. Sort of like a hand over the ears "LALALA- I can't hear you!" for the holidays.

The kids that believe longer aren't likely trumpeting it around middle school. They're sentimental- not clueless. The years since pre-K have taught them that not all kids believe- so by middle school, they're well versed in that knowledge.



Sue. SUE. You said this wonderfully. And I believe you've just described my daughter.

I know she's heard rumor. I know kids have talked, adults have slipped in her presence...I know she's heard it all. And I know if she really sat down and gave it some thought, she'd realize that a real man can't pull a sleigh through the sky and around the world in one night. She just hasn't allowed herself to go there yet.

She will. And in the same way I didn't worry when she only showed interest in potty training just after age three that she wouldn't go to Kindergarten in diapers, I don't worry she'll go on to high school still believing in Santa.

But yes, Sasha, I think her belief is more want and fantasy than it is a literal, absolute, undeniable belief in a sleigh and 8 reindeer. And that's okay. I wish I could still want like that. I wish I still had the ability to block out all the noise from everyone else and just believe. Whether that belief be in Santa, God or eternal world peace. Whatever. I wish we could all retain just a little bit of naive innocence...I think our worlds would be much happier if we could.

Oh, and I remember when I was a child, I would spend a couple of weeks each summer with my grandparents. One of my favorite things to do was go fishing with my grandpa. One year, when I was about 7 or 8, I caught a turtle who had swallowed my hook. My grandpa had to slit the turtle's throat to get the hook back. I was traumatized by the belief that I had killed this turtle (even though I had a bucket of fish sitting next to me in the boat...go figure).

My grandpa, without even the slightest delay or stutter as he thought simply said: 'Oh, Sis. Don't worry. The water heals. As soon as we put this little guy back into the river, that cut will heal right up and he'll swim right back home'. And I watched as he put that turtle back into the water and believed wholeheartedly as he swam away that the water healed.

I didn't think about that again until I was 15 years old and sitting at my grandpa's funeral. That was, honestly, the first time it dawned on me that what he told me was made up.

Not because I was delayed or stupid but because I just hadn't had the occasion to sit down and weigh his words and because I was sensitive and hopeful and I *wanted* that turtle to live.

I think that's where my daughter is with Santa...she just *wants* him to be true. And I'm okay with that. And I'm also confident that when she's old enough to drive, she won't be attempting any trips to the North Pole.

But I'm good with where she's at, who she is and what she believes in the here and now...today...

But, thank you Sue...you nailed it for me.


~Kristen~

asr70
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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:57:43 PM

Just out of pure curiosity, if parents are still "babying" their pre-teens and teens, do you think those are the ones who avoid talking about sex and drugs and other things with their children?
I was pretty honest with my dd about sex and drugs, because of my own youth and the lack of guidance and real parenting from my parents. I encouraged her to wait until the right guy came along or until she was ready. Last week I held her 20 year old person while she cried her heart out over the jerk who used her after she thought he liked her enough for her to give it up. Now I wonder if I did wrong by encouraging her to wait. Maybe if I just stayed out of it she could have experienced it early on and had time to harden up, like I did?

She doesn't do drugs and she waited til she was legal to drink. She stopped believing in Santa on her own around 11 or 12. Again, I didn't want to destroy her innocence like my parents, with all their dysfunction, did for me, so I prolonged the myth. She doesn't hate me for it and there was no anger or cruelty from other kids over her prolonged belief. There were other friends her age who believed also.




Creativegirl
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Posted: 11/29/2012 1:23:14 PM
I don't think there are only two options: believe in Santa and be filled with childlike magic, mirth, merriment and don't believe in Santa and be a grumpy adult.

My parents were always up front that Santa was pretend. My Dad has some STRONG feelings about this issue and the fact that to him, it was a big huge lie and he wanted us to be able to always trust them to tell the truth. That said, we still "did" Santa- surprise Santa presents under the tree, stockings, etc. My grandparents even had a tradition where all the kids would go into a closed room and the adults would stomp around and say "Ho Ho Ho!" while they filled the stockings. When we came out, "Santa" had been there! Woohoo!

I LOVED all those traditions even though I knew it was pretend. To me (a VERY imaginative kid), it was a big month-long game of pretend that all the adults I knew were playing, too. How freaking awesome! AND it involved presents!! The magic was not lost on me and we were all freed from having to keep up a charade. I'm the type of kid that I'm sure would have been pretty pissed to find out my parents were lying to me, so I'm glad they didn't. I just wanted to put it out there that there can be tons of fun and magic for all even if kids know Santa is not real.


Anna




aka_sasha
PeaNut

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Posted: 11/29/2012 2:13:08 PM

But yes, Sasha, I think her belief is more want and fantasy than it is a literal, absolute, undeniable belief in a sleigh and 8 reindeer. And that's okay. I wish I could still want like that. I wish I still had the ability to block out all the noise from everyone else and just believe. Whether that belief be in Santa, God or eternal world peace. Whatever. I wish we could all retain just a little bit of naive innocence...I think our worlds would be much happier if we could.



I really do understand what you are saying. It's sad that kids are growing up too fast in other areas.


Elenort
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Posted: 11/29/2012 2:32:25 PM
My 10 year old is questioning. But, I've heard her say several times that there is no way Mom and Dad bought all that stuff, so there had to be a Santa! She thinks we are cheap because they never get toys during the year. But, we go all out at Christmas, and if she wants to keep believing in Santa, I'm all for it.

ScrapWench*
Seems a pity to miss such a good pudding.

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Posted: 11/29/2012 3:04:21 PM
Sue, Kristen, Batya, Dalai


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.


It comes as a shock that she says snotty things about children? C'mon, it's Lauren.


----Theresa

gryroagain
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Posted: 11/29/2012 5:12:12 PM

And gyro...I think it's great that you have teens who still drag out a tent to camp and play with American Girl dolls...but how would you feel if I told you that must mean there is some kind of delay because *my* teens don't do that kind of stuff?




Kristen, please reread my posts, I Think you have me mixed up with someone as I never mentioned development, delays or anything of the sort. I posted earlier than that part of the thread.

Kirsten71
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Posted: 11/29/2012 5:58:16 PM
My son found out through a school teacher as well. She said to the class "you know he isn't real right?" Not sure why some teachers feel the need to clarify this. Totally pissed us off.hapenend a while ago but still GRRRRR

~Lauren~
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Posted: 11/29/2012 6:07:23 PM
Unclench ladies. Your middle schooler WILL recover from the trauma of learning there is no Santa, despite your overprotective tendencies.

Say what you will, while I don't go out of my way to spoil Santa for any child, I'm not going to pussy foot around middle schoolers who still believe Santa comes down the chimney. And I don't believe teachers should either. And FWIW, I don't believe any of those middle schoolers really believe; even yours Kristin although she's doing a great job of convincing you and keeping you riled up about it.





Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian - Henry Ford

KikiNichole

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Posted: 11/29/2012 6:09:51 PM
Gyro, you're right. I apologize.


~Kristen~

ahiller
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Posted: 11/29/2012 6:21:06 PM

Say what you will, while I don't go out of my way to spoil Santa for any child, I'm not going to pussy foot around middle schoolers who still believe Santa comes down the chimney. And I don't believe teachers should either.



I'd bet dollars to donuts that you'd be on here singing a different tune if it happened to Jackie.

ITA with Kristen. On all of it.

~Lauren~
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Posted: 11/29/2012 6:22:55 PM
Jackie is 5 years old. She's in kindergarten, not middle school. If she were 11 or 12, I'd be saying the same thing I am now.

But in the end, no, I wouldn't be singing a different tune, even if *gasp* someone outs Santa to her even now. I do not get my panties in a bunch about Santa Claus, or many of the other things that peas seem to melt down over.





Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian - Henry Ford

Canadian Girl 77
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/29/2012 7:01:28 PM

Every year they realize more of the truth, can't overlook the obvious indicators of Santa being a myth - and one year, they don't believe anymore. Some kids make a big, fast leap to this conclusion and others are loathe to go there. Not because they're babied or delayed (save me, really)- but because they're sentimental. If they don't think too much about it, they don't have to come to any realization. Sort of like a hand over the ears "LALALA- I can't hear you!" for the holidays.

The kids that believe longer aren't likely trumpeting it around middle school. They're sentimental- not clueless. The years since pre-K have taught them that not all kids believe- so by middle school, they're well versed in that knowledge.




DD figured it out just after she turned 6. I actually blogged about it. http://bringingthecrazy.blogspot.ca/2010/12/santa-secret.html


"Yeah, I am 6 now. I'm big enough to know. It's not like I'm 2. Then you wouldn't have told me." she said.

I told her that as soon as she asked the questions I would tell her the truth. Even if she had been 2. I think 6 is a little young to be in on the secret but, it is what it is.


Since then we have discussed that we don't spoil the secret for others. "Just don't talk about it" is the family mantra. We talked about this a few days ago. This evening at dinner (which made me look for this post) she started telling me about the kids at school - in her class - who pretend to believe for the presents and that maybe two or three kids really think Santa is real. These are third graders.

Kids talk. When they doubt, they doubt. But we're kidding ourselves if we think that our kids tell us everything. I know DD doesn't tell me everything. Luckily she hasn't figured out that I can hear her side of the telephone conversation with her BFF.



Sue_Pea
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Posted: 11/29/2012 7:17:01 PM





I've been afraid to open this thread.




That was wise of you. <whispering> There are Grinches on this thread.

Simply_Lovely
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Posted: 11/29/2012 7:27:34 PM


That was wise of you. <whispering> There are Grinches on this thread.

Thinking that a 6th grader is too old to believe in Santa is hardly being a Grinch. The season has plenty of magic without him.




Meow!

Sue_Pea
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Posted: 11/29/2012 7:28:46 PM


This could all be avoided if some adults would just avoid the subject of whether or not Santa is real-or anything related to that. If you are giving a talk to kids about Toys for Tots, you should be smart enough to do it without mentioning Santa. Mind your own business.


Are some adults really that dumb? That is sad. You never know who still believes in Santa. What if there is a developmentally delayed kid in the class? Surely you can write your speech leaving Santa out of it. At least, I hope that you(general you) are clever enough to do this. FFS.

Sue_Pea
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Posted: 11/29/2012 7:31:10 PM



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That was wise of you. <whispering> There are Grinches on this thread.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Thinking that a 6th grader is too old to believe in Santa is hardly being a Grinch. The season has plenty of magic without him.


You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion. I happen to think that adults that are stupid enough to mention that Santa might or might not exist in a classroom should probably be shown the door. It's not their business. Why is minding one's own business a recurring theme in our society?

~Lauren~
Original Pea #1803

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Posted: 11/29/2012 7:51:36 PM
Ah, the old "if you don't do it the way I think it should be done, you must be stupid". "if all adults don't protect my dream that my snowflake will believe in Santa till he's walking down the aisle, then of course, you're stupid".

No one is under an obligation not to discuss stories or a fictional character because you have a pre-teen who still think like a first grader.
And how is it minding your own business to insist on what others speak about?







Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian - Henry Ford

Sue_Pea
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Posted: 11/29/2012 7:54:40 PM

Ah, the old "if you don't do it the way I think it should be done, you must be stupid". "if all adults don't protect my dream that my snowflake will believe in Santa till he's walking down the aisle, then of course, you're stupid".

No one is under an obligation not to discuss stories or a fictional character because you have a pre-teen who still think like a first grader.



Well, if you work in a classroom with other people's kids, then you had better develop a filter-fast. And yes, you are dumb if you tell kids things that might upset their parents. You open up a big can of worms. Like it or not, that's the way that it works in schools.

Minding your own business comes into play because Santa is not germane to the Common Core Standards. He does not enter into what you are supposed to be talking about with your students.
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