HELP! How should I tell DD about Santa?

OK- I need some advice.

My oldest- dd, is 9. As far as I know, she still believes in Santa (or she is a very accomplished actress- which is ALSO possible.)

I have a very good imagination, and I have been able to answer any questions about Santa quickly and believingly.

I am glad we have had this time with the myth, but what do I do now?

Should I tell her? Or wait until she comes to me? If I wait, will she be afraid of telling me she knows the truth b/c she is afraid of not getting any gifts?

How old were you when you found out?

How did you find out? What has worked for you as a parent?

Just wait until she asks, or you find out somehow. My 11 year old has never told me he knows Santa is not real. I’m sure he’s afraid of not getting gifts. I know he knows, because I heard him and a friend talking about it last year. I’m not going to talk to him until he wants to. And then, it’s easy to explain anyway. Santa is part of the magic of Christmas for children. It’s just fun to say that a big fat man somehow got down the chimminey and gave us free stuff. That’s it. Good clean fun. Of course kids will worry about not getting gifts if you know they know. It’s natural for kids to want gifts. It’s natural for kids to figure out that Santa’s not real. Usually some other kid tells them anyway. Or they find out on accident when some TV show is on. That happend to me. It wasn’t a big deal. To be honest, I don’t think I told my Mom yet that I know! Merry Christmas.

When I taught Third Grade my students wanted me to tell them if Santa was real or not. Some of them proclaimed that he wasn’t. I told the class that I believe he is real. I believe in the spirit of Santa Claus. I felt it was pretty easy for me to tell them this as they were all eight, but I think it would be harder to decide when to tell your children. I hope morre people answer this post because I’ve always been curious about how to handle this too.


My daughter is also 9 and came home a couple of weeks ago and told me that she got in an argument with the kids at school because they told her there was no santa.She was very insistant that there was. I wish the parents of the kids that don’t believe would tell them not to spoil it for those who still do.
My oldest who stopped believing when he was 8 was told not to spoil it and has done a great job keeping the secret.

This is how I handled it.

First, I sat my daughter down when her sister was not around. I told her I wanted to talk to her about Santa Claus. I told her there really is a Santa Claus, but he wasn’t exactly what she thought he was.

I explained that Santa is anybody who is so joyful at Christmas that he gives a present secretly, without taking credit for it. I explained that there are many people around the world who are Santa, like those who give to Toys for Tots. I pointed out that she herself was Santa every year when she helped me pick out a present for our local Angel Tree.

Then I told her, “Daddy and I are inviting you to help us be Santa this year. After your sister falls asleep, we’ll come get you, and you can help fill the stockings. Be sure you don’t tell your sister because part of being Santa is keeping the secret.”

Well, she absolutely ate it up.

Nowadays, my younger daughter also knows the “secret,” and they takes turns being Santa (and the Easter Bunny).

If your daughter doesn’t have any younger siblings, you can still get a present for a child via an Angel Tree or something similar. That way, she not only gets to experience being Santa but she also learns one of the things Christmas is really about.

What a wonderful way to approach the situation. I don’t understand why parents wait until their children figure it out for themselves.That has always seemed cruel to me. I would not want my child to have other kids, as insensitive as other kids are, be the ones to explain Santa to them.

My son is nine and he still believes. I believed until the fourth grade. I wouldn’t say anything yet if she still believes. Why take away the fun?

My son wants a game for an old Nintendo, and he told Santa that he would have to get it off E-bay!

My brother found our when he was 12, he was deeply hurt and is still resentful. If a child believes well after his peers, he/she is going to withstand a lot of teasing. Why put a child over ten through such pain? (I realize that the OP’s child is only nine)

Today, I told my nine year old daughter there was no such thing as Santa. She was not upset but excited. I told her that whenever we do nice things for people and don’t get credit then we are being a Santa.(thanks Kay Cee)

I tell my children at nine, but I think that ten years old-maybe 11 for a more immature child-is the cut off age. You aren’t ruining it for the child. I have four kids, three I told about Santa. None were upset, or devastated. In fact, they acted as thought they had been let in on some great adult secret.

My youngest is only seven, so depending on her level of maturity, I will probably tell her around nine or ten.

I am 41, and I still have not talked to my parents about Santa!!

My 10 year old, soon to be 11 year old, 5th grader still believes, as do most of his classmates (I work in their school, so I hear the conversations). Unfortunately, I think this will probably be the last year he will believe in the magic of it all. Something does change after they “know”.

Yes, there is a change. As Kay Cee pointed out, though, the change should be from the happiness of receiving to the joy of secret giving. There is a time to let go of childhood, but that doesn’t make it a time to let go of a child’s joy in life.

The only thing that can fill the place where the magic used to be is the chance to make miracles yourself.

Thanks for your replies everyone! Especially you, Kay Cee. What great advice!

Anyone else?:smiley:

I don’t think I ever believed in Santa Claus, except for maybe as a joke – my parents may have talked about Santa Claus, but it was simply as a veiled reference to themselves, and we all knew it, even as younger kids.

If I ever have children, I don’t intend to tell them about Santa Claus in the first place.