My 13 year old still believes in Santa Claus - should I tell him the truth

Karen - posted on 11/04/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )




will believing in santa at 13 get him ridaculed at school?


Tammy - posted on 12/01/2011




Of course you should tell him you stupid ninny!! That is way too old. Forget all the sentimental stuff, it is rubbish at his age when it comes to believing in Santa. And of course it will get him ridiculed in school, unless all the other parents are as dim witted as you. People please, post real questions on here, not common sense questions that you already should know the answer for and are wanting some other overprotective mother hen to side with you and tell you its ok to continue warping your child's mind.

Valerie - posted on 08/23/2012




tammy you are rude and you don't deserve to be able to comment on this board. not only is it a shock for the children to find out but a realization for the parents that their children are growing up. karen I hope that you have disregarded what tammy posted she probably doesnt have any children of her own.

Laura - posted on 11/04/2010




At 13 your son most likely would be teased at school for having a heart-felt belief in Santa. He is entering into puberty and is no longer a child; he is becoming a young man! However, I caution against just blurting out the factual truth--that could also have negative effects on his emotional state. You are in a delicate situation: You need to tell him the truth but in a way that lets him down as gently as possible. Communication will be a neccessary parenting tool at this time!

I would start by asking what he knows about Santa. In finding out the extent of his belief and knowledge, you may discover that he is aware of the legend/myth and simply chooses to play along at Christmas. If you suspect that his belief is "real", then I would ask him what he thinks his peers believe and why he thinks they believe that way. This gets him to think outside of himself and can give him a different perspective on Santa. He may begin to get the picture himself.

If he still isn't connecting the dots, you can continue leading him down the path of truth and self-discovery: Ask him how he feels about Santa; what are his emotions towards the big guy--happy, loving, reverent? Then ask him what other things in his life give him those same feelings. The goal is to try and connect his feelings/state of being with Santa to you. After all, every parent that uses the Santa myth at the holidays IS Santa!

If he still hasn't made the connection, then continue with the questions: How would he feel if there wasn't an actual person named Santa Claus? Remember, we are trying to get him to deal with his emotions because Santa generates such strong emotions in kids (and adults, too). If there were no actual person named Santa, could Santa exist in other ways? Again, you are trying to get him to discover the truth on his own; it can be less traumatic that way.

By this time he should have figured out on his own that Santa himself is not a real person but a parent. If he still hasn't figured it out, connect his positive feelings of Santa (love, joy, etc) to you directly. All those things he loves about Santa are with you as well. At this point you may gently tell your son that YOU are Santa at Christmas. You may choose to tell him some of the legends and myths about who Santa may have been historically (St. Nicholas, a Turkish priest who gave out money to poor children back in the Middle Ages is one such story). That spirit of love and generosity lives on as Santa in people who give freely to others without expectations of receiving (except maybe in cookies and milk!). Those positive feelings he has associated with Santa can continue--hopefully they will now be associated with you! Hope this helps and good luck! (I believe in Santa!)

Megan - posted on 11/04/2010




Santa isn't real?
I figured it out in the middle of grade school (I don't remember how old I was). But my parents kept it going. Actually, I demanded equal "Santa rights" as I was much younger than my sisters, so Santa kept visiting our house till I was in college. (Probably because I baked Santa a special batch of cookies each year and my father didn't want to do without them). And really, is the spirit of Christmas something that should be dismissed once we reach puberty? I love seeing the wonder in my son's eyes when we hit Christmas time and he see's Santa in the mall.

At about that age I was playing along so that I would continue to get presents, greedy kid that I was. I would check and see if he really believes or if he is just after the additional presents.

Erica - posted on 11/04/2010




YES!!!! My kids figured it out last year when they were 10. They do have a little brother so i told them not say anything to anyone ,but your son is older and most likely in middle school , where this is something that he would never live down. I have alot of neighbor kids around here that age so I know how cruel they can be. I would just talk with him about it just in case.

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Rachel - posted on 11/05/2010




My six year old just told me a couple days ago "I don't believe in Santa Clause!" I don't know if it was because he was in a bad mood or what, but I do think he's having doubts. it was kind of sad. I just said "Well, who do you think brings you all your presents?" He's naturally skeptical, so I don't think we can keep the story up much longer.

Stifler's - posted on 11/04/2010




I never believed in Santa. My parents never told me he was real or anything.

Peita - posted on 11/04/2010




I just figured it out at 8 or 9yo, but because of my younger brothers, Santa kept coming to me lol!! I think Santa visited me until I was 13 and then mum and dad signed the cards from them!!
If your son truley does believe, I would tell him the truth, because yes, other kids can be cruel and he may get teased about it!! Tou are lucky you had the magic for so long!! My youngest brother was told by his yr 1 (he was only 6) school teacher that Santa wasn't real and my mum hit the roof, the magic was taken away by someone else who had no right to do it!!

Louise - posted on 11/04/2010




I have never admitted to my grown up sons about santa I never had to. But I still sneak the presents under the tree when they go to bed it is all about the magic of Christmas. I would not worry about this to much he maybe just playing along like my sons did.

Amanda - posted on 11/04/2010




Jennifer your lucky that you got to know the truth at 10, i was almost 8. it kinds sucked at first especially because i have 2 younger siblings so i had to keep pretending.

[deleted account]

How does he still think he exists? I was told by friends at school when i was about 10 that he wasn't real.

Julie - posted on 11/04/2010




my 12 year old does too...or says she does..I suspect she doesn't reallllly but plays like does for the fun and fantasy of just go along with it and trust your kid to know when to let go and what to say in front of who

Libby - posted on 11/04/2010




What Jodi said is true, how do you know he still believes. My friend's 10 year old just asked her this week. She suspected last Christmas and kept a piece of wrapping paper b/c she thought it looked like her mom's writing and was going to compare it again this year. But she just decided to ask her mom instead. She said it had been on her mind ever since. My oldest is 8 1/2 and I think I'm going to let him believe for as long as he wants. It's a piece of their childhood you can't undo once they know. I don't think it's going to be something that other kids will make fun of at school. In fact, if a kid says something to my boys and they aren't sure about it they will come home and ask me the truth (not related to Santa, but in general). I just don't think this will come up enough in school that kids will pick on each other for it. And if it does happen then they will come home to ask me about it and we will address it then.

Jodi - posted on 11/04/2010




I chose to tell my son at 11. he was about to go to a school where there were much older children, and I would rather he hear it from me than others.

However, I will say, how do you know he still believes in Santa? A lot of kids DO pretend, and they can be pretty good at it.

Having said that, I do know my son didn't know when I talked to him about it. A few days later he came back to me and asked "Mum, you know how Santa isn't real? Well, does that mean that the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny aren't real either?".

Based on that, I figure he really did believe and it just took him a few days to take in.

Personally, I think it is time to talk to him. If you are worried about it, look up the real stories about St Nicholas, and use that to tell him that once Santa WAS real, and that today we carry on the tradition.

Edited to Add: 6 months later, we discussed sex and had the talk (we had already had the *changes* talk a while back)......I think there comes a time that our kids need to grow up. Do you really want to be explaining Santa and explaining sex and reproduction in the same lesson? I would actually hope you already had the latter discussion at the age of 13, so why do you have an issue with the Santa discussion?

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