2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
Towards the age of reason, your child may begin to doubt the existence of Santa Claus. But that doesn't mean the end of the holiday season.
If the bearded old man lives forever in our hearts, there comes a day when the magic crumbles a little. But it is up to us to recover the situation and ensure that those who no longer believe carry on the tradition for others. Because Christmas is a bit like that: keeping the magic alive and keeping the flame alive!
No longer believing in Santa Claus is a normal step in the development of children. Around 4 or 5 years old, many children start asking questions. It feels like they're a bit doubting the plausibility of the character's existence. At this point, we turn his questions around by asking him, for example, “Do you think it could be reindeer flying in the sky? ". Do not cause the magic to stop too abruptly. At this age, children throw poles and wonder above all about the risk of no longer receiving gifts if they stop believing in them. Parents must let the little ones detach themselves little by little from Santa Claus without anticipating the end of the dream and the magic. The older they get, the more they hear, what theysee and what they understand shakes their beliefs. They want to grow up, but still need to immerse themselves in the magic of Santa Claus and all the wonderful stories.
An Angus Reid poll found that 36% of Canadians believe a child is never too old to ask Santa for gifts. One in four respondents believe that children no longer believe in Santa Claus between the ages of 9 and 11.
From belief to tradition
Then, around the age of 7 - the age of reason -, children have acquired a lot of knowledge (logic, ability to classify, count, make hypotheses, etc.) that allow them to better delimit the true and the false. One of the steps is therefore to fully realize that the story of Santa Claus does not hold water. He can go around every house in the whole world in one night? He knows everyone's wishes? Does he really live at the North Pole?
At that time, there's no need to hide the truth from him. The children will not hold it against you for this “lie”. In fact, for everyone, Santa Claus is a myth, a legend and above all a tradition. Once the mystery is solved, get your child to perpetuate the tradition for the smaller children around him (brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, etc.). The children mourn their beliefs to now set course for tradition.
In a sense, “no longer believing” becomes almost like a rite of passage, as Serge Larivée, professor at the School ofpsychoeducation from the University of Montreal, in this article Santa Claus is not garbage. In family gatherings, the children who have solved the mystery are now on the side of the adults. They become the keepers of the secret and the actors who are active in promoting this beautiful story to the youngest.
Ideas to keep the magic going…
- The joy of giving. Children understand that gifts come not from Santa Claus, but from the people who love them and have taken the time to think about them hoping to make them happy. Make them discover the real pleasure of giving back. Make them your little elves who will help you choose gifts for the little ones.
- A family gift. None of your children believe in Santa Claus anymore? Continue the tradition anyway by giving yourself a "family" gift that you will have chosen together and that you will all enjoy: a game, an outing, a TV series, etc.
- New elves. Get the grown-ups involved in your preparations for Santa's visit. You share a common secret! You'll see, your "big" elves will be proud of this new bond.
- To believe a little longer. It is not forbidden to act “as if” one still believes. Because, even adults, we are surprised to still believe in it a little… Because the dream, the imagination and all the magic related to Santa Claus bring back a host of sweet memories from our childhood… and it’s so good! Whosaid to be rational at Christmas? It's up to everyone to transform their magic…