This woman is fussing because her ex-husband told their their eight year old son Santa does not exist. Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t eight years old a bit long in the tooth for (sincerely) believing in Santa Claus for a modern child?
8 is too old for it to continue, in my opinion.
I don’t think so. Me, my brother and my sister, now 19, 16, and 13, believed in Santa until we were 10, 10, and 12 respectively. I think it’s perfectly fine to believe in Santa as an 8-year-old, unless kids have gotten a lot more mature in the past nine years.
8 years old was about when it (slowly, painfully) dawned on me that the tooth fairy was my parents.
No, 8 is not too old. It’s right about the time they usually figure it out. It’s not unusual at all for kids as old as 9 or 10 to still believe it.
I was 11, my sisters were around the same. I don’t think 8 is too old to still believe at all. I always wished I could have believed for longer and I wish more kids would believe for longer today. But, it seems people are telling their kids at around 5, and kids aren’t good at keeping it a secret, so ruining it for everyone else.
My son (now 8) has known for a couple of years, but he’s always been a skeptic about everything. The issue in the article is less about age and more about a father explicitly disregarding what the mother said to the child.
Also, just because my son knows the truth doesn’t mean it’s up to me to tell my friends’ kids the truth about Santa. That’s just being a dick.
I still recall the "traumatic " experience at the age of 7 when a friend friom a fundamentalist family informed me that he just learned that Santa was a hoax. Both of us still believed in God for many years afterward. Go figure.
Actually it was no big deal. And I never had an opportunity to inform my two kids on the reality of Santa or the tooth fairy. They just played along milking the fantasy for all it was worth.
It’s OK if the child figures it out on his own (or is told by another child) but it’s rude for an adult to tell them, and especially for the child’s absent father to do so, as in the advice column.
Wow, I’m amazed that it’s actually possible to hide it for 8 years. Is the kid locked in a basement all day or something? Doesn’t he talk to other kids? Doesn’t the basement dungeon have google?
I feel that if a kid hasn’t figured it out by 8, it’s time to have a little talk. But I do know people who sincerely believed until 11 or even 12.
I believed it up to ten years old. But a year before the truth was admitted, I had read a book about the origins of the myth.
I was a weird kid.
I had a colleague once whose 11-year-old son still believed in Santa and the mom was adamant that he not be told the truth. How ridiculous to be so overprotective, whatever the child’s age. Why on earth would it ruin one’s childhood to know that Santa doesn’t exist? Do kids sit around crying because Santa isn’t real? (I know I didn’t.) I guess it might ruin one’s childhood in retrospect to realize that mom and dad had lied to them for so long.
Here’s something I don’t remember the answer to (but then, I think my family never made a big deal out of Santa Claus other than as a “Let’s pretend” thing when I was very young): surely, kids are well aware that many of the presents they receive were bought for them by their parents and other relatives, no? So what exactly is the role that they think Santa Claus is carrying out? Just additional presents? Or are these older kids who still believe in Santa Claus somehow kept ignorant of the whole frantic world of Christmas shopping going on around them?
(As a side note, what particular confuses me is movies like The Santa Clause, where Santa Claus turns out to be real but adults are stubbornly reluctant to believe in him. Surely, those adults would be well aware if the presents under the tree didn’t simply correspond to the presents they bought?..)
I don’t know what everyone else does, but my brother’s children get some gifts from Santa and some from my brother and sister-in-law. (Actually, my brother is organized enough that he divides up the children’s wishlists among Santa, both sets of grandparents and the various relatives, so there’s little duplication.)
That Father sounds a bit mean.
Why should it be important to him to pop the bubble of his son’s sweet and harmless belief in Santa.
Perhaps a lot of children outgrow Santa at about this age; but his son may be a bit young for his years and still needs a bit of magic in his life. I see no harm in that.
Let him figure it out at his own pace.
Wait. What? Are you guys saying that Santa doesn’t exist? :eek:
Eight years is pretty much the end of the run IMO.
But the bit that floored me.
I love how she makes the leap from “My child’s father and I split up when I was five months pregnant, and I’ve raised our 8-year-old son by myself.” to daddy curses himself for not wearing a condom and heads for the hills.
I think I very much agree with Dewey.
There’s no reason for adults to ruin the mystique. I recall having a very logical discussion with some friends at school whet about 7 that the math just didn’t add up. But no grown-up ever came out and said as much.
I continue to imply to my kids that Santa is out there even though my eldest is now 8. Though not forcefully.
There’s believing and there is “believing”
I find it hard to believe an eight year old “really” believes in Santa.
It’s like most things in life, it’s just more FUN if you believe so you choose to believe it.
Like when you go into a fun house or watch a scary movie. You know it’s a movie but it’s more fun to visualize the murder outside your house