Even for most adults, Santa Claus continues to be a favorite character. Most of us still get a warm feeling whenever we read "The Night Before Christmas". But what should you tell your kids about that jolly old man?
- First: That Santa Claus loves children and likes nothing better than bringing them presents. Avoid the image that "he's always watching you" or "he knows if you've been bad or good".
- Second: Let each child fantasize about his own personal Santa Claus. If he gets caught up in it, fine, but don't exaggerate the story yourself. The more important we make him, the harder it will be for our children to give him up and the greater their sense of loss when they do.
- Third: Most children ask their parents "if Santa Claus is real" at about age 6 to 7. When your child does, tell her the truth. Say, "Yes, he's make-believe, mom and dad are the real Santa Claus. But it's fun to pretend that there could be someone like that." If your youngster doesn't ask by age 7, start dropping more hints. On the other hand, don't let older siblings spoil it for younger tikes by telling them too soon. Instead, get the older ones involved in playing Santa Claus too.
- Finally: Just because you told your child that Santa Claus is make-believe doesn't mean she'll suddenly give him up. Let her continue to hold onto her Santa Claus dream as long as she needs to.
If you have any questions about your child's health, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.