My kids are asking if Santa is real…
It’s inevitable that kids will eventually grow old enough and wise enough to challenge the concept of the tooth fairy and Santa Claus.
While the age varies, it does seem that after 5 years old, suspicion is on the rise, and most 8 year olds are critical thinkers and can conclude that circumnavigates the planet and visiting every house via a chimney seems unrealistic.
Most kids feign believing in Santa for a year or two. It’s a fun fantasy to keep alive, and heck you might just keep getting those extra Santa gifts too! Why tip your cards early? Some children will react to finding out by saying “ I knew it! I knew it!” and they merrily go about their lives. Other kids seem deeply hurt that their parents have duped them and they are embarrassed that they were fooled in this way.
How will you know how strong your child’s reaction will be? You can’t. Children decide for themselves what to make of their life situations. I can tell you that a child is more likely to feel betrayed and duped if you go to enormous efforts in your Santa games. If you go hog wild in PROVING his existence – you likely have some bigger explaining to do. Try to keep it light and simple: a bite out of a cookie and sip of milk gone from the offerings left out by the kids. When your kids ask, you can simply say “I still believe in Santa and the miracle of Christmas, I don’t know about you.”
Read my full response here