12 days of Christmas
On the fourth day of Christmas The RiotACT gave to me – the fourth part in its comprehensive guide to dealing with Christmas in the Territory.
Believe it or not – how to deal with the dreaded Santa Claus question
It can be really confusing to know what to do when it comes to the big S question. Do you lie? Do you tell the truth? Does this mean the rabbit is out of the bag with the Easter bunny & tooth fairy?
Even if your choice is to not tell your kids, another parent or family member might let slip the Santa truth. You also might be a blended family where one set of parents want to tell the child and the other parents don’t. Perhaps you don’t want religion to be a factor? This question is something really difficult to navigate.
Taking a proactive approach to the situation helps avoid or tackle any devastating impacts you and your child might face. Regardless of what you decide here are some tips on how best to scale this monstrosity of a question.
If you tell your child alert them – other kids may not know about Santa
Your family may never choose to participate in the Santa side of Christmas but there are likely to be a significant amount of parents in your community who do. Ask yourself if you want to be responsible for shattering a child’s view of Christmas. Remind your children how important Santa is to other children and that this time of the year is about giving and joy.
Talk to your children about other religions and cultures
“Each to their own”, “Not my cuppa tea, but good for them”, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. There are almost as many colloquial slang sayings about beliefs as there are actual beliefs.
Giving your child the gift of learning about different cultures and religions allows them to expand their curiosity and discover diversity. This might also make the dreaded Santa question easier to explain.
Talk to your partner
This question can be particularly difficult if there are multiple sets of parents, family and grandparents involved. Before walking into any conversations about what is going to happen ensure that you and your significant other are a united front. Unfortunately you might find yourself in a situation where you are hearing from your child that another party told them. You want to ensure that you’ve been proactive and already have a solution if you are presented with this.
Seek advice from friends and family
You often hear of delightful and heart-warming ways that parents tell their children. Talk to those around you and see how they feel it is best to break the news. Seek advice on how they told their children and think back to how you found out and whether it was a positive experience.
Let your child be angry
When they do find out, because they eventually will, let them be mad. It is pretty devastating to find out a core belief you held was not real. For a child this belief let imagination expand and grow so it is important to help them continue to explore their individual creativity. Encourage them to talk to you about how they are feeling and what you can do to make them feel heard.
Do you remember when you found out? Have you told your kids or have plans to? We would love to hear from you.
Up next in your comprehensive guide on dealing with Christmas in the territory the RiotACT brings you: Day 5 – Advertising, why is Christmas advertising everywhere in October?
You might also like to check out Day 3 – Christmas with the family and in-laws – a survival guide