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Friday December 20, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday December 20, 2013 MYT 8:06:54 AM
by robert nickell
Before you respond, consider your child's question carefully.
WHEN your child comes to you questioning if Santa is real and asking you, the parent, to confirm – one way or the other – I suggest taking a step back and a deep breath before responding.
Begin by asking your child why they’re asking this question in the first place.
Did they hear something from another child at school?
Or did they determine on their own that “Santa’s job” is seemingly impossible?
If they’ve thought about it long enough and critically enough to determine on their own that Santa might not be real then it might be time to explain to them that they’re, in fact, correct.
Don’t forget to put a silver lining on it; something like, Santa is able to personify the spirit of Christmas; the joy, happiness, love, selfless giving, empathy and more that encompass the whole idea of Christmas, and when you think about it that way Santa is simply the face of Christmas.
If, on the other hand, your child explains to you that another child from school just happened to claim loudly that Santa isn’t real then your child still likely believes in Santa and is looking to you for answers; if this is the case, I suggest letting them know that not everyone believes in the same things, and that’s perfectly OK, but that if your child believes Santa exists then nobody can take that belief away from them.
With seven kids of my own ranging in age from one year old to 27 years old, I have kids who believe, and kids who now know better.
It can be fun to get your older kids involved in keeping the idea of Santa alive and real for the younger kids in your family.
Include your older children in the shopping, the wrapping of presents and more while your younger kids still believe he exists.
Tackling the “Is Santa Real” question is tricky and not the easiest subject to tiptoe around.
Remember to be sensitive, understanding and even creative in your response!
Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind there’s no one-way to handle this sensitive issue, and different techniques will likely work for different families.
Daddy Nickell – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Robert Nickell, aka Daddy Nickell, father of seven, offers his five cents’ worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of Daddyscrubs.com, delivery room duds and daddy gear for dads, and the Daddyscrubs.com blog where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids’ gear, all from a dad’s perspective.
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Lifestyle, Family & Community, Daddy Nickell, Santa, children, parenting
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