If my daughter discovers the truth about Santa before her peers do, I think I’ll her this:
You know how we read stories that are make believe and you pretend to be a fairy sometimes? You know and I know that youíre not really a fairy–youíre a little girl–but we do these things because make believe brings us joy and make us smile. Believing in Santa makes some children very happy. So even though you know the truth about Santa, itís best if you keep the secret to yourself.
Some secrets arenít good to keep. Keeping them hurts people. But other secrets make people happy–like when we surprise you by taking you to Disney World or giving you a party for your birthday. Santa is like one of those secrets.
Many of us believe in things we canít prove really exist. Just like you and I believe in God and angels, some people donít- and thatís okay. But it makes us happy to believe in God and angels, and if weíre wrong, and God and angels donít really exist, we might not want to know, right? The same goes for Santa.
You can always tell me the truth–about anything. Here at home, your secrets are safe. But when youíre with other kids who believe in Santa, letís enjoy helping them feel happy, okay?
Would I feel like a fake for asking my daughter not to be completely authentic at school? Am I squelching her from being ALL HER, ALL THE TIME? No. Iím teaching her about compassion, and encouraging her not to be constrained by truth but to be respectful of it and the consequences of what telling the truth can mean.
Itís a fuzzy line, though! And I havenít had to face it yet. What about the rest of you? What do you do when your kid busts you for putting a ribbon around the bicycle he asked Santa for? What do you say when her friend tells her Santa isnít real? Do you argue with your kids? Try to convince them they made a mistake? If your child discovers the truth young, how do you keep them from causing a riot at school? How do you encourage them to stay PINK in the process? How do YOU stay authentic to who you are while allowing your children to enjoy living in fantasy?