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>we do our best never to lie to them.

"Santa sees all, so behave"

"If you misbehave you go to hell"

"Don't sit too close to the TV or you'll go cross-eyed"

"Masturbating makes you go blind"

"Respect your elders because they are more mature/knowledgeable"

Basically we constantly lie to our children.

"We" as a culture, sure, but we don't use any of those.

Interesting. I'm debating whether I'll tell my child that Santa doesn't exist from the beginning. Kind of because I don't want to lie for the sake of tradition.

How'd your child deal with their friends believing in Santa and them knowing it's a hoax at that early age?

- Daddy, is Santa real?

- What do you think, dear?

Followed by discussion of the evidence... if all goes well they learn to use their own judgement and cope with coming independently to their own conclusion in opposition to 99% of their peers...

"Santa Claus is a great game we (our culture) plays. Every year we pretend (x) (y) and (z) about someone called Santa Claus, and pretend he's real! Do you want to play this game too, or would you rather not?"


"A lot of other kids really enjoy the Santa game. So don't spoil it for them. Like when you're playing being a pirate captain you don't like it if another kid says you're too young to be captain or your cardboard pegleg is fake..."

Kids more easily accept games and makebelieve, and happily hop into different games.

(2 kids, 4 3/4 and 2)

I told my kids that the santa is real, but I have never threaten them with how santa is spying on kids to see if they behave and not giving presents to bad children. The funny thing is, my oldest daughter, to old to believe in santa and know very well he isnt real, "wants" to belive in him. She is prefectly rasional about it. It is the stories and the good feelings of exitement, fairytails, mysteries that she cheriesh.

As far as how we handle Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. - we decided to be up front that they aren't real, but treat it as a game that parents play with their children.

So we still do presents from Santa at Christmas, Easter Bunny baskets, and Tooth Fairy money, but they know it's us doing it. So far it still seems to have enough magic of anticipation that they enjoy it.

We kind of skirt the edges of that one with "some people say that..." We don't just flat-out tell them that Santa was made up to sell more toys at Christmas, but we also don't present him as an actual real entity.

And let's face it, Santa works pretty well as a cryptid alongside the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny... :)

The problem with Santa is other parents. If you have that one child that doesn't believe in santa, and they gleefully inform all the other children at the daycare/school that santa is a lie, then you can imagine the blowback from parents of other children.

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