Wednesday, 19 December 2012

What to do when the game is up on Santa!!


He is a big part of making Christmas magical, but what happens when your children no longer believe?
I remember all too well when I realised that the Father Christmas story was not real. The man who brought me presents every year was all of a sudden replaced by my parents laying the stocking at the end of my bed. That is how I found out.....I pretended to be asleep and remember feeling a bit deflated that I hadn't spotted the man in the red suit, but my Mum and Dad sneaking in!

From what I have been reading recently, there are some parents who have an honesty approach with their parenting, and therefore are truthful from the start that he isn't real. I think this is a shame, as I feel the whole magic of Christmas for children surrounds the whole idea that there is one jolly man with a white beard who wants to make children all around the world happy at Christmas, but they have to be on his good list first!!

However, we do need to realise that our children are not stupid, and that there comes a point when they are old enough to realise the truth. I kept my realisation quiet for a couple of years, as I was actually worried that if I told my parents I didn't believe that I wouldn't get any presents for Christmas. I also has a younger sister who still believed and I didn't want to ruin it for her.

One way I have seen of dealing with the matter is found at http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/no-longer-believing-in-santa/ . A lovely letter from a mother to her daughter answering the questions she had been asking constantly about the man in the sleigh.
Here are a few tips to help when your child loses their belief in Santa :

1. When they declare they no longer believe, ask them if they have any questions and answer them honestly.

2. Explain that there was a man called St Nicholas where the whole legend comes from.

3. Explain that the whole Santa idea makes Christmas even more magical for children. Some people tell their children that because they do not believe anymore it means that they no longer need Santa because they have learnt the true meaning of Christmas.

4. Some children get very upset that their parents have "lied" to them. Try to explain how you understand their feelings and that the whole point is give people happiness at Christmas and work out how you can bring joy to someone at Christmas, such as this story http://climbingeverymountain.com/tag/child-doesnt-believe-in-santa/


I still believe in the magic of Christmas, and although there may not be a man bringing the presents to our door this year (aside from my husband!) The magic of believing in Father Christmas is here with our daughter. Watching her face light up when she meets Father Christmas in the town, or sees his image around her wherever she goes at this time of year, is worth the explanation we will have to do in the future. Father Christmas is the image of giving and brings joy and happiness to children around the world........and there should be more like him in the real world!!

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