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When Kids Stop Believing in Santa Claus
The Atlantic ^ | 12/21/2014 | OLGA KHAZAN

Posted on 12/21/2014 8:18:14 PM PST by SeekAndFind

Earlier this week, a woman wrote in to Slate's Dear Prudence advice chat asking whether it's considered lying to allow her daughter, who is three, to continue to believe in Santa Claus.

Prudie's take: Nah.

"Reality will eventually out," wrote the columnist, Emily Yoffe, "but there’s so much reality in this life, that one of the delights of childhood, and of being a parent, is to spread a little fairy dust occasionally."

Later in the chat, though, another person wrote in saying that his or her parents kept the Santa thing going until the writer was nine, at which point this person found out and felt "incredibly embarrassed" that he or she had been "duped" for so long.

The takeaway is clear: There is no way to not traumatize your children.

So, barring an early reality check from an elementary-school Scrooge, when is a normal age for kids to realize who's actually leaving those presents under the tree?

In studies for which she interviewed children, University of Texas psychologist Jacqueline Woolley noticed a drop-off in belief in Santa after the age of five. That's also when belief in the Tooth Fairy peaked, as well:


Percent Who Believe, by Age

Jacqueline Woolley


Her findings resembled a 1978 study that found that 85 percent of 4-year-olds believe in Santa, but only 65 percent of 6-year-olds and 25 percent of 8-year-olds do.

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Society
KEYWORDS: santaclaus
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1 posted on 12/21/2014 8:18:14 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Oh they still believe in Santa Claus, only now he lives in Washington DC.


2 posted on 12/21/2014 8:21:01 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind

As young as I can remember, I never believed in either.


3 posted on 12/21/2014 8:21:39 PM PST by yarddog (Romans 8:38-39, For I am persuaded.)
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To: dfwgator

RE: Oh they still believe in Santa Claus, only now he lives in Washington DC.

I knew this would eventually be mentioned :)


4 posted on 12/21/2014 8:22:30 PM PST by SeekAndFind (If at first you don't succeed, put it out for beta test.)
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To: SeekAndFind

When they stop believing he pops a cap in they ass.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3239719/posts


5 posted on 12/21/2014 8:22:41 PM PST by cripplecreek (You can't half ass conservatism.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Our house never had any discussion or symbols of Santa Claus to be found when the children were being raised.... only the story of the birth of Christ. Somehow I can’t wrap my mind around the concept of ‘lying to your children’... even if one thinks it is for the intentions of fantasy.


6 posted on 12/21/2014 8:22:51 PM PST by hecticskeptic (In life it's important to know what you believeĀ….but more more importantly, why you believe it.)
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To: dfwgator; fieldmarshaldj; GOPsterinMA; BillyBoy; sickoflibs; NFHale; stephenjohnbanker; ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpaOy8b8X6A

I don’t recall ever believing Santa or the Tooth Fairy were real, certainly not at 7.


7 posted on 12/21/2014 8:24:13 PM PST by Impy (They pull a knife, you pull a gun. That's the CHICAGO WAY, and that's how you beat the rats!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Awhile back I was talking with a friend about long-ago schoolyard fights. He said that the worst fight he was in was in the 7th grade. He was at 12 at the time. A fellow student told him that there was no Santa Claus.

My friend took strong exception to that statement, and the fight was on. Unfortunately, I don't remember who won.

8 posted on 12/21/2014 8:26:10 PM PST by Leaning Right (Why am I holding this lantern? I am looking for the next Reagan.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I think by 9 I knew mom and dad, and the grandparents were responsible for the “Santa” presents.


9 posted on 12/21/2014 8:33:01 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: yarddog

As young as I can remember, I asked my mom, how could Santa fit down our chimney? since we had coal furnace, and I had a conception of the whole thing. She replied in exasperation, that he didn’t come down the chimney, but came in the front door. It was in that moment that I knew, more from the tone of her voice than anything else.

Well, so be it. My grandkids are so much more sophisiticated than I was at their age, yet they are still naive in so many ways. It’s a magical time, and let it take its course.


10 posted on 12/21/2014 8:33:06 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: SeekAndFind

When my son got older and would say, “I know you’re Santa Claus”, I would answer, how can I be Santa Claus? How can I go around the world, very to every house and give presents to every kid on Christmas Eve?


11 posted on 12/21/2014 8:34:25 PM PST by ifinnegan
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To: SeekAndFind
I was a little disappointed, but certainly not devastated.

I was still able to go work the next day.

12 posted on 12/21/2014 8:38:18 PM PST by Ken H
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To: Ken H

lol


13 posted on 12/21/2014 8:41:42 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: hecticskeptic

My 11 year old still wants to believe in Santa...she still believes in the tooth fairy too.
Santa is merely included in the story of Christmas at our house, but he is a very fun part of the story.

Truthfully, I didn’t want to be the parent who’s kid ruined it for other kids!


14 posted on 12/21/2014 8:41:45 PM PST by porter_knorr
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To: ifinnegan

RE: When my son got older and would say, “I know you’re Santa Claus”, I would answer, how can I be Santa Claus? How can I go around the world, very to every house and give presents to every kid on Christmas Eve?

He shoulda said — I know you are MY Santa Claus...

Did he say he saw Mommy kissing you underneath the mistletoe?


15 posted on 12/21/2014 8:45:51 PM PST by SeekAndFind (If at first you don't succeed, put it out for beta test.)
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To: SeekAndFind

My kids are 21 and they still believe in Santa Claus. How do I know that? I ask them- every year. It all started when they were about 5 (they are twins). Rather than go into the regular song and dance, I just told them that Santa Claus only gave presents to children who believed in him. So every year I ask them if they believe in Santa and every year they tell me yes and every year they get presents from Santa.


16 posted on 12/21/2014 8:46:34 PM PST by fini
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To: SeekAndFind

My favorite Christmas was when my oldest son knew there was no Santa .. but the youngest son did not. The oldest one had more fun than most preparing stuff for the youngest.

It was so much fun.


17 posted on 12/21/2014 8:46:55 PM PST by CyberAnt ("The hope and changey stuff did not work, even a smidgen.")
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To: SeekAndFind

There is no need to lie. We have always told our kids the truth and it has been great fun to get stuff in stockings. As they grew, our kids would also help to stuff each others’ stockings and that is what they’re teaching their kids as well.

Telling about Saint Nicholas does not at all detract from the Christmas story or the fun of stockings.


18 posted on 12/21/2014 8:48:09 PM PST by Jemian (War Eagle!)
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To: SeekAndFind
The takeaway is clear: There is no way to not traumatize your children.

That's not the takeaway. The takeaway is that parents who look for takeaways also consider their children to be a daily to-do list, and therefore THEY will always traumatize their children.

For the real parents, sensitivity, nuance and assessment of intellectual and emotional development will guide the proper time to tell the truth to the child so they understand the tradition as creating a way for people to be kind and generous to each other across sometimes difficult social boundaries, for their whole lives - not just as children, and not as some dirty trick played on the child by their parents.

Of course, for liberals obsessed with Leftist-assigned self-hating cultural suicide talking points, none of this matters.

19 posted on 12/21/2014 8:48:54 PM PST by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: SeekAndFind

How many children and adults across the globe believe Jesus’ birth is why we celebrate Christmas?


20 posted on 12/21/2014 8:50:56 PM PST by longfellowsmuse (last of the living nomads)
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