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How old was your child when you told him/her that Santa is not real?

I am not interested in hearing from those who do not celebrate Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc. We do "believe" in them in our household and have great fun with it. I only raise this question because my son will be turning 11 in a couple of months and even though he says and acts like he still believes, I have a feeling it is just an act. I have always told my kids when they questioned me in the past, that "to recieve you have to believe". I am afraid that if I sit down and explain it to him, he will immediately run and tell my 7 year old daughter and possibly spill the beans as my youngest grows us also. I know most of his friends tell him that they are not real and I really don't want him being ridiculed in the future. How old were your kids when you told them and how did you break the news?


Asked by Jen528 at 11:35 AM on Jan. 16, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (17)
  • My son is 9, and still "believes" in Santa. He use to ask us when he was younger (right after starting kindergarten) if Santa was real. To which I answered yes. After all DH and I are "Santa". Just because we aren't fat, wear a red suit, and have a white beard, doesn't mean we aren't Santa. We get the presents, wrap them, put them under the tree, eat the cookies we help bake, etc. We even "know when he is sleeping, know when he's awake, and know if he has been bad or good". When he is old enough (maybe next year) we will tell him the truth, and explain that he is not to tell his little sister who just turned 1. I found out about santa at 6 when my Mom marked "from Santa" on a bike that she bought when I was there.

    Answer by Angel8203 at 4:02 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • I have always said the exact same thing, "if you don't believe, you don't recieve." My daughter will be 11 in March and I am not sure what she thinks either. Both my daughter and son who's 8 were asking lots of questions this past year about Santa. I am thinking by next Christmas, we will have to sit down and talk about it and I will explain that they can't reuin it for their 5 year old brother. I have fun with it and playing Santa for them. I hope a part of them always has that fun spirit in them.

    Answer by busymom3kids3 at 11:47 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • I told my older kids around 7-9, I told them out of anger, wished i could of grabbed it as soon as it left my mouth, but they were fine with it. I did manage to salvage the easter bunny, so I think around 10-11 was when they really questioned that.

    They haven't spoiled it for my younger ones (the kids are 17, 16, 16, 15, 7, 4, 2 ). They realize that the only reason they still recieve the amount they do from Santa is because of the little ones, so they keep thier mouths closed LOL, They also enjoy playing Santa on Cristmas Eve, setting everything out, writting the letter to Santa etc,.. ( My oldest DD keeps these) , and helping wrap. I have to admit it is nice having all those extra hands.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 12:05 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • For me I never wanted to lie to my children and that there is such thing as Santa...ect. so what i always said to them when they asked is "Do you believe in _?" They said yes then I would say "Well then he his" I have 4 children- My 11 year old and 10 year old know the truth and that's only because one year they saw what we got them by accident and I just explained it to them that this in not a bad thing. I am 32 and I still believe in the "spirit" of Christmas and Santa. Even though I know he is not real there are still those "child-like" fantasies of when I did believe that come out at Christmas time. I am a believer that communication is key. Just be truthful and honest but only when they ask. I wouldn't go out of my way to tell them. Let them believe as long as they want to. They'll "let go" of Santa in a sense when their ready. But I think that their will always be apart of them that still believes.

    Answer by SgrplmsnSnflwrs at 1:01 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • my oldest was probably 6-7 and like previosuly said she was told out of anger. My son probably around the same age. The 2 yo just found Santa this year.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 2:19 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • I believe in being honest with my children so when my son asked we told him the truth. We also made it very clear that he was not allowed to tell his brother or sister, both of whom are younger then he is.

    He talked about the meaning of Christmas and Santa and that even though the parents by the gifts there is still a spirit of the season that we believe in.

    He totally understood this and he never told his brother or sister anything.

    Good Luck

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 3:15 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • 7. But my daughter is a born skeptic, and was questioning the whole Santa myth from about 3 years old. It was really hard to keep the illusion for her until 7. She had asked lots of probing questions before, which I usually deflected with "Well, what do you think?" or "I always wondered that when I was your age, too." Finally she asked me point blank. I told that there is a Santa, but Santa is not a person, Santa is a tradition. And she is now old enough to be on the "adult side" of the tradition. She has enjoyed doing Santa activities for her younger brother and really helps keep the spirit alive. I think she actually enjoys it more, from the "adult side".


    Answer by at 4:07 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • (cont)

    My son just turned 7 and he is a born believer. He doesn't question it all, just eats it up. It's possible that at some point I'll have to just tell him, so that he's not ridiculed by his friends. If he doesn't know by about 12, I'll tell. I'll try to wrap it with an opportunity to "play Santa" buy selecting gifts for younger kids, so that he gets that same satisfaction of graduating to the "adult side".

    Answer by at 4:07 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • My son is 9 and he found out from a little girl in school Christmas before last. I was honestly relieved that we don't have to play the Santa game anymore and be sneaky. I suppose it was fun when he was littler, but it is nice now not to have to deal with it. When he came home after that little girl told him Santa was not real, he asked me if it was true. I just said "well what do you think?" and he said he thought Santa was fake and he really didn't care either way. So it was totally fine. I do make a point to him to not be like that little girl and ruin it for other kids though, that is not his job. He still has plenty of friends that still believe and I don't want parents getting mad if he were to tell their kids Santa is fake.

    Answer by KTMOM at 5:55 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • I have never told my kids there isn't a Santa, eventually they get old enough to realize it and at least in our house it's no big deal. The older ones play along for the younger ones.

    Answer by sammiesmom2000 at 8:15 PM on Jan. 16, 2009