My kids are five years apart, so by the time my second was born my first was in kindergarten and well on his way to having other kids opinions influence him.
I will never forget when he came home and told me that his friend Parker told him there was no Santa Claus. The look on his face was so devastating as you could see his disappointment at the prospect of his belief in Santa Claus being shattered.
I asked him if he thought it was true and he said, “No way”! At that moment I knew he needed to hold fast to his own belief. As the next two years passed he began to question his belief in Santa Claus, but we always let him decide if he wanted to believe.
Then, as my daughter started to believe at 2 and 3 years old, my son came to me again with a question. He said, “Don’t you think we should believe in Santa so my sister can believe like I did?” I told him once again that his beliefs were his own and yes, I did agree that ‘we’ should believe for her.
He said, “Yeah Mom it’s like giving her a present she’ll never forget”.
When thinking about the age-old question when or should we talk to our kids about believing in Santa Claus I thought I’d consult a reliable source, Webster’s Dictionary, about what the word belief actually means.
Belief is an opinion, a conviction, a confidence in the existence of something even without visible proof, a faith, trust and a value of something. Now I don’t know about you, but I think every one of these definitions sounds like something I want especially surrounding the holidays.
Children need an imagination it’s their own little piece of magic. Children need to hold beliefs close to their hearts to help them make sense of their world. Children need a foundation of rituals in order to know how to make and keep relationships with others. And what gives children these needed values? It’s the freedom to have both real and imaginary beliefs.
So in the season, don’t take away what your kids want to believe because they are at a certain chronological age or someone tells them not to believe.
Give your kids the gift of belief and it will turn into believing in them selves.
Have a wonderful holiday filled with love, generosity and devotion to what you believe,