A few tips on what to do when your child’s belief in Santa starts to fade…
Remember when you were a child and every Christmas you looked forward to Santa’s triumphant return? Then one day you found out Santa wasn’t real and from then on your Christmas spirit began to dwindle. Statistics show that on average, most kids stop believing in Santa between the ages of 7 – 9. As disheartening as it may sound, it is simply the inevitable; your children will grow up and slowly grow out of certain childhood traditions. With that in mind and as difficult as it might be, try not to panic, but focus on a solid plan for when the time comes to discuss this with your child. I understand it can be quite challenging for some parents to recognize and acknowledge, so below are a few tips on what to do when your child’s belief in Santa starts to fade.
1. If you discover that your child is starting to doubt Santa’s existence and you find yourself wondering how you can encourage your child to continue believing in Santa, a good way to encourage their confidence would be to tell them of how Santa came to be through the story of Saint Nicholas. In doing this, you explain that through believing in Santa; it helps to keep the spirit and legacy of Saint Nicholas alive. Also try to incorporate other fun Christmas themed books (The Polar Express, Olive The Other Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Night Before Christmas) you can read together before bedtime. Go the extra mile with these other fun tips….
- Have your child write a letter to Santa and make sure Santa writes back on Official stationary from the North Pole.
- Make and leave Santa Foot Prints for your children to discover on Christmas morning.
- Bake special cookies with your child to leave out for Santa (Apron Set below)
- Get someone in your family to dress up and play Santa on Christmas Eve.
- Introduce Elf on The Shelf into your family.
2. If you have older children and are afraid they might let Santa’s secret slip, sit them down and explain that there are believers and non believers of Santa and just because they choose not to believe doesn’t mean they should ruin it for there younger siblings. Put a fun spin on Christmas and include them in helping keep the fantasy alive for their little brothers and sisters by helping you play Santa around the holidays.
3. Children go through many phases as they grow up and if your child is going through their curiosity phase and asking “Why Santa is everywhere?” While there are a many creative ways to answer, one would be to tell them… because so many kids love and believe in Santa, it gives him the power to be in lots of places at the same time.
Siobhan Freegard of Channel Mum advises… If a situation should arise where your child forwardly asks, ‘Is Santa real?’ “There are two important questions you should ask, First ‘Why do you ask?’ and second, ‘What do you think?’” By asking these two questions you will be able to give your child an appropriate answer based on their response.”
4. If you are in a situation where you feel your child may already know that Santa does not exist, and feel your child is at an appropriate age to know Santa’s secret. Explain to them that just because they no longer believe in Santa it does not mean Santa’s spirit no longer exists, but more importantly, Christmas will still be celebrated the same. Additionally, encourage them to try to keep it to themselves for the sake of children who may not know.
5. Contrary to popular belief, a child does not lose their innocence simply because they stop believing in Santa. Once your child knows the truth, it is up to you to guide and teach your child the value and importance of Christmas and most of all be supportive of their growth. “Christmas is about helping others, giving selflessly and being thankful for what you do have and not what you don’t.”– Charity Hutchinson.