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At what age do they stop believing in Santa?

I have a 7 yo and a soon to be 4 yo. The 7 yo is on the edge of figuring it out, and had we not been with the 4 yo when she asked the last time I don't think I would have been able to keep the lie going. I should also say that we weren't really keen on the whole idea of Santa to begin with. It was our extended family that started it. And we've always just told them about the spirit of Santa as opposed to an actual person that comes to the house. That they've picked up from other kids and TV. Just wondering when I should expect the truth to come out. One last note, we homeschool now so she is less likely to hear about it at school.

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Asked by Star76 at 7:48 PM on Nov. 26, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (9)
  • I do the whole santa thing and my teenagers they play along with it for their younger siblings. Its all in good fun for us and sets out family traditions like putting out carrots for the reindeer and cookies for santa. Its great. They do outgrow it though, just at different ages. My dd whose 19 still loves christmas because we even had santa (someone dressed like him) walk down the road and all the kids thought it was real. The christmas spirit is fine, but santa (the real one) was a good man and I see no reason not to just let them go on believing and have your older one play along.

    Answer by gemgem at 8:03 PM on Nov. 26, 2008

  • My mom told my sister and I when I was 9 and she was 7. We didn't have any money that year and we learned about Santa, Eater Bunny, and Tooth Fairy all at once. It is a big blow, but they will soon find out. You can keep it going as long as you want, but when the 7 year old finds out they need to help keep the special secret from the 4 year old.

    Answer by coala at 8:05 PM on Nov. 26, 2008

  • i think some parents play it out till they really just dont believe in santa and they they tell the parents themselves they dont believe anymore, some kids have older brothers and sisters that eventually ruin it for the younger ones. my son is 10 and still believes in santa, unfortunetly, some of the family members are ruining it for him, i'm just going to play it out till someone ruins it for him or he starts questioning it.

    Answer by americansugar80 at 8:07 PM on Nov. 26, 2008

  • My daughter still believes at 8 1/2, though her 5 year old brother has expressed his doubts! Frankly, I'm a little tired of it, and would be happy to tell them the truth. It was awkward when I took them shopping for toys for some needy children. I explained that these kids' parents had no money for gifts, and it was the responsibility of people like us, who have more than we need, to share. She asked, "but won't Santa just bring them stuff?"

    Answer by yarnjunkie at 8:58 PM on Nov. 26, 2008

  • I let my kids find out on their own. My 13 year old found out ( I think) when she was 10. I found out when I was 5. My youngest is 7 and she's asking questions this year.

    Answer by lilmizmoore at 9:32 PM on Nov. 26, 2008

  • This is so funny, I didn't even think about when I found out. I think I was about 10? My brother and I found out together when we found one of my gifts from Santa a week before the big day. We kept our mouths shut though because we had two little sisters and we knew our mom would keep getting us gifts from Santa until they found out. Funny part was they found out the next year and didn't tell us. I think I was still getting Santa gifts until I was 14 and my sister finally confessed.

    I think we're just going to keep the story of the spirit of Santa until she catches on.

    Answer by Star76 at 10:00 PM on Nov. 26, 2008

  • If you think your older child knows then go ahead and tell. Remind the 7year old how fun and excited he/she was when they were younger and how excited it made him thinking santa brought gifts and that you arent suppose to tell younger children. It will make the 7 year old feel more grownup knowing the he/she is able to keep a BIG secret!!

    Answer by MKSers at 5:54 PM on Nov. 28, 2008

  • I believe that when they start coming home from school with questions, you should tell them the truth. But, if you have younger children, be sure to give the one that just found out a special job of helping you "play Santa" so they don't feel left out.

    I made the mistake of not telling my oldest son soon enough. (his birthday is Christmas, and I wanted the magic to stay alive as long as possible) And he ended up getting into fights at school trying to defend Santa's credibility! (He's known since he was 9) but he hasn't spilled the beans to his younger brother, since I have him help me with "Santa" activities. He loves it!

    Answer by mdavisfae at 10:31 AM on Nov. 29, 2008

  • I enjoy telling my children the truth about St. Nick and the meaning behind, not Jesus' birthday. We all know that is not his birthday. But sharing in the history with my children is what we enjoy the most. We have shown them the origin of Christmas and the characters that the bible shares in it. They enjoyed knowing it was actually Nimrods birthday on Dec. 25th. And they enjoyed the story of St. Nick and how he became known as Santa. I would love it one day if my childrren became history majors. LoL. They love it as much as the parents do. It's our way of family time as well.

    When your children do finally get the lie, just let them in on the truth. That is the most rewarding part.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:13 AM on Nov. 30, 2008

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