Tell The Truth Or
Let Them Believe?

When should you tell your kids the truth about Santa Claus? Find out why parenting experts say there is nothing wrong with keeping this fun tradition alive and read one mom's struggle with the truth about santa - and how she came to believe.

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What age should you tell?

Grace E Mauzy of GEM Parenting agrees. Mauzy is a leadership coach for parents raising children with natural high self-esteem.

"I do not think there is a correct time to tell children," says Mauzy. "If fact, I encourage parents to stretch this innocence as long as they can." Mauzy explains that the "magic" parents create for their children creates a unique trust between them. "When you encourage and enable inner creativity to develop, you are giving your child an amazing sense of self-esteem."

My clumsy reaction to my daughter's question was completely backwards. Deep down, I think, I worried that her friends might tease her or try to humiliate her. Looking back now, I realize that it was my answer – not my daughter's belief – that was cause for humiliation. I was devastated by the way I had handled this. Regretful that I couldn't take back that simple shake of the head. Desperate to repair the damage.

The spirit of the season

When my daughter finally emerged from her solitude, it was apparent that she didn't care to talk to me about this. For my benefit, she left pencil drawings of Santa and elves and reindeer around the house. Each drawing included a simple statement, like "I believe," or "It is real."

She understood what my husband did. Her written words indicated that her question was not about the jolly bearded guy. "I believe" and "It is real," truly reflected the spirit of the season.

"Let them believe as long as they can," adds Mauzy. "Re-guide them to believe in Santa when they have been told the 'truth.'"

It's been three years since that fateful day. And never again in our household has anyone suggested that "he isn't real." Our daughter enjoys every festive moment of the season. Even as a sixth-grader, she plays Christmas with her sister – there are sleighs, elves and Santa suits, but more than that, there's anticipation. Faith-driven anticipation that "He is real," and that's why we celebrate this beautiful holiday every year.

Tell us: When do you plan on telling your child the truth about Santa Claus? Comment below!

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Comments on "The truth about Santa Claus: When should you tell kids?"

Milly December 21, 2013 | 6:05 PM

Santa is real!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nancy December 24, 2012 | 5:17 PM

Ummmm.... I thought Christmas was about the birth of Jesus. Just sayin

wendy December 21, 2012 | 4:00 PM

its up to your children. if they dont believe you, let them. you should let them believe if they want to. i mean, childrens imagination grows every day. if they believe santa is real, dont argue.

sjkm April 08, 2012 | 8:44 PM

@Hailey...plain rude...tell YOUR children what you want; you have no place to make that decision for others' children!

hailey December 25, 2011 | 8:16 PM

why do people keep this seceret from their kids i mean their kids are going to find out 1 way or another so nobody should have made up that myth im sry but i found out that santa wasnt real at the age of 10 just let out the seceret im mean i let it out to my children when they were 7 i just couldnt hold it in anymore im sry but kids who get on here im letting out the seceret to you all that santa is make believe !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sry your parents held it in to you for so long !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A December 23, 2009 | 10:26 AM

How about not lying to them in the first place and quit lying to yourself? How about asking people to look up the origin of christmas and then ask them if they can still believe it?

Amanda December 23, 2009 | 7:10 AM

Ah, but what to do when they have the "Santa test"... That's what my daughter is doing this year.

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