So tonight, I officially told my youngest daughter (7 1/2 years) that Santa is not real. She really, really wanted to know the truth. At first, I said "What do you think?" She said she really didn't know ...that some kids said he was and some kids said he wasn't. I asked her if she was sure she really wanted to know. She said she really wanted to know. I asked her if she would be happy or sad to find out if he was real or not, or if it didn't matter if he was real or not. She said she didn't think it would matter. That's the short version of our conversation.
Here is the longer version....
When she said some kids say he's real and some kids say he's not, I told her some people say a lot of other things are real and a lot of other things are not real. Then the subject of God came up. And I asked her if someone told her God was NOT real would she believe them?
She said no.
I asked her if she believed God was real.
She said yes.
Then I told her that I knew God was real.
Then I asked her if someone told her Santa was not real, would she believe them.
She said, she wasn't sure...wouldn't I just tell her.
I asked her if I had ever told her Santa was real?
She thought about it and said no.
"So what do you think?" I asked.
She said, she wasn't sure.
I asked her again if I had ever told her that Santa was real or that he put presents in her stocking?
She thought about it and said "no."
What are all the reasons you think he might be real and what are all the reasons you think he might not be real?
Can't you just tell me, Mom?
"I can," I said, "Do you really want to know?"
"Yes," she said.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes," she said, "but I think I know what you are going to say."
"If I said, no, he wasn't real, would you be sad? Or happy or it doesn't matter?" [If she had said, she might be sad, I might have asked her if she wanted her answer at another time or if she still wanted it now. But I would have still told her the truth.]
"I don't know she said. Can you just tell me?"
"_________ [Her name]," I said, "Santa is not real....How do you feel about that?"
"I don't know," she said. "How did the presents get in the stocking?"
"Dad and I put them in," I said.
"How did we not see you do it?"
"We waited until you fell asleep or we waited until early in the morning before you got up."
"Oh," she said. "What if I would have stayed up or seen you?" [Or something to that effect.]
"Your brother did that one night and saw us, but I think he already had been told that Santa wasn't real at that point. Are you sad that he is not real?" I asked.
"No," she said. "What should I tell other kids who think he is real?"
[This is where I think I should have first reflected the question back to her, about what she thought she should do, but oh well.] "I think you should let their parents or someone else tell them. Do you think you will still have fun at Christmas and have fun opening your presents in your stockings?"
"Yes," she said. "It will still be fun."
I told her that we could learn where the traditions of Christmas really came from and how they got started. [On school nights, (not in the summer) every other Wednesday, the girls look forward to choosing a subject they want to learn about and then we do research together on that night. So based on their questions and desires to learn we have watched so far about planets, chicken eggs, the video, "The Miracle of Life", and maybe volcanoes...or maybe volcanoes was a book we looked at and not a video. Anyway, they really look forward to those Wednesday night learning sessions, where they determine the subject they study.]
Then her next question was, "What I would really like to know is, where did God come from? I have always really wondered about that question."
I told her she could ask God about that question. She could ask Him anything and He would hear her prayer. "Do you believe that?"
"Yes," she said, "but I'm scared to ask?"
"Why are you scared? "
"I don't know."
"Have you ever asked Him anything? (I believe she understood we were talking about personal prayer and not family prayer or dinner prayer.)
"Yes," she answered.
"Have you ever had a prayer answered?"
"Yes," she said, "But can't you ask him, Mom?"
I said, "Let's both ask Him and then talk later."
So that is what I am going to do. I am going to ask God how to handle this and how I should answer her and what the answer for her is. I will ponder and pray for it about a week. So far, I haven't had trouble answering my kids questions honestly and simply about where babies come from, or answering any other doctrinal questions using my experience, knowledge, or the scriptures. I just want to really have inspiration in answering this question in the right way. I know this is ultimately up to me how I handle this. But was wondering how other parents have handled this and how were your feelings of how you answered this question if you were ever asked it by your kids or if you ever answered it. What scriptures or questions did you use or would you use to help them with this?
I have decided not to look at the answers or comments you give me on this thread for a week. And even then, I realize that by asking others, I might be relying on the "arm of the flesh." I want to try to come to an idea with my own searching and seeking and praying first, and then discussion with my hubby, then read your answers and see if there is anything else I should pray about after reading the answers on this forum here in a week.