‘Tis the Season for Lying?

It’s happening.  My 7-year-old comes home from school this week and asks, “Mom, is Santa real?” Apparently, the kids at school are starting to talk. Some kids are telling all the other kids that Santa is not real and that it’s really just your parents.

I’m torn. I don’t want her to lose the sense of magic that comes along with believing in Santa. We get so little time to be kids and believe in magic and in the impossible before we have to face reality, I want that to last as long as possible for my kids. But I don’t want to straight up lie to her at this point either. She’s too old for that too. Especially since one of the big things I stress with my kids is that lying is a big NO…that whatever you do, lying about it is going to make it ten times worse. It’s important to me that my kids know that whatever happens, the most important thing is to be honest about it so we can talk about it and work through it.

So…how can I possibly lie to her?

I mean, I also try to teach them common sense. It’s okay to not tell the whole truth if you are planning a nice surprise for someone. That’s a good thing that the person will know about soon and will make them happy. It’s okay to tell your 3-year-old sister that the doctor checked her out too while she was asleep in the stroller during your appointment so she stops crying that she needs a checkup too (my 3-year-old LOVES going to the doctor for some reason). No harm done, happy little sister. And even in these situations, I kind of feel bad okaying lying since I’m so seriously against it the majority of the time. But, life isn’t all black and white, and you also need to teach your kids how to handle the grey areas, right? So…does Santa fall into this area of exception? A harmless little lie to make our kids happy…

So far since her direct questions started this week, I haven’t outright lied to her. I have been answering all of her questions with my own questions for her. I figure until I make a decision, I can just get her to form her own opinions.

Conversations have gone like this…

“Is Santa real?” “Well, what do you think?”

“Kids at school say he isn’t real.” “Well, why do they think that?”

“They say it’s just your parents pretending to be Santa.” “Well, how do they think their parents get all those presents?”

This has been my solution while I make a decision. Don’t outright lie….let her think what she wants. Let her figure it out or not. Let her decide what she believes. I mean, that in itself is another life lesson, right? Make up your own mind, decide for yourself what you believe in.

I’m definitely not going to lie to her at this point. I am definitely not going to look her in the eyes and say “Yes, Santa is real.” I value trust between us too much for that. And, honestly, I don’t want her at school adamantly standing up for the reality of a Santa that isn’t…based on lies we told her. But I also can’t imagine looking her in the eye and just outright crushing the magic of Santa for her. Not yet. And, yes, maybe part of me isn’t looking forward to admitting to her that we lied in the first place.

So I’m going to keep on guiding her to make up her own mind…telling myself that I’m not lying and am using the situation to teach her another valuable life skill in helping her figure it out on her own. The fact that she needs to figure it out based on lies I already told her…let’s just call that a grey area. A grey area all dressed up in a red suit and a white beard. Ho ho ho.


About spicysugarblog

I’m a mom. And you can’t take the rest of me without taking the mom part. You can’t love the fun-loving, football-watching, martini-drinking, hip-shaking, sarcastic girl in me without also loving the mom. I will spend my days loving my kids, trying to read to them twice a day, doing all the activities they love that drive adults crazy, taking them to the irritating kid-play places, going out of my way to make sure I am making the best and healthiest choices for them in every way I can, and generally doing what I can to make them happy whatever it takes. On the other hand…I will also put on my mini-dress and heels and go out dancing, or wear my bikini to lay by the pool and have a cocktail, or avidly watch football on Sunday while drinking beer, downing wings and yelling at the TV. I’m not the typical mom. I’m also not the typical stiletto-wearing girl in the club, bikini-clad girl on the beach, or jersey-wearing girl in the sports bar. But it's all part of the package that makes me…me. And what fun is being typical? View all posts by spicysugarblog

One response to “‘Tis the Season for Lying?

  • leahmariev

    My mom (when I was a kid) would NEVER admit Santa was not real. I swear until I was 18 she continued with Santa… I obviously knew the reality by that point and just laughed it off. Her response was just “There is always magic at Christmas, you just have to believe”. So she never said either way… I would poke at her and say “just admit he isn’t real!!!”.. fond memories now and I hope to do the same with my children.

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