kids on truth

Author: angiem, 01 03rd, 2010

Isn’t it funny how as kids we believed everything our parents told us? Whether it was true or not, we swallowed it without much consideration. I know I asked a lot of questions just for the sake of asking as I liked hearing myself talk. And I also know my parents answered because it was easier to do that than to ignore me. Some of the replies I remember to this day, only because I find myself repeating the same absurdities to my own children.

My son, possibly the smartest person in our house, isn’t buying it anymore. “Do you really believe that mom?” He often asks. Long time ago, before I was even married, I made a promise that I will not deceive my children. So I admit that no, I don’t, and ask him to repeat the question so I could give an authentic answer.

And so he does, but I truly hope he isn’t exasperated with me, because even knowing this I sometimes catch myself parroting my answer, and see his eyes roll.

Just the other day while visiting with friends, I asked a child my son’s age what Santa had brought. My son rolled his eyes, “Santa isn’t real mom. C does not believe in him anymore.”

“Why not?” I replied. “I still do!”

“Do you really, mom?”

“Well yes. Everybody’s got a Santa.”  I said.

“Kids don’t like to be made fools of, you know?”

Yes, of course. How could I forget? Here he is, almost 10, so eager for truth. So ready to dispose of the magic of childhood and demand to know the harsh realities of life. And he deserves to know. I just wish the truth wouldn’t disillusion him.

While I still may, I will hug him and kiss him and fill his head with enchanted stories.  Gotta pass those absurdities on.  Somehow.


34 Responses to “kids on truth”

  1. Renee Khan Says:

    Oh and yes, we have to keep some up. I always said I believe in the spirit of a jolly santa and that Christmas brings out that spirit in all of us.

    Love Renee xoxo

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    I’m not quite sure if my children ever believed in Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth fairy…..
    Your son sounds pretty bright to me.
    Enchanted stories YES
    things that can delight us
    games we can play
    but not any sort of forced belief…..

  3. Mary Moon Says:

    I think for some wise souls, there is no need for anything BUT truth. Everything else is the delusion.

  4. Ava Says:

    Sounds to me like your son may be wise beyond his years. I remember the other things he had said to you and I’m in awe.

  5. Jena Says:

    For some only the truth will do.

  6. deb @ talk at the table Says:

    We are a truth telling family.
    And a questioning one.
    Somewhere on the edges of reality is mystery.
    That faith is worth believing in.

  7. French Fancy Says:

    I think it is good you have chosen to be honest and upfront with your children. It must be so easy just to trot out some easy explanation that sounds good but isn’t true - and your beautiful children deserve only the best truth of all.


  8. angiem Says:

    Renee, I agree!

    Elizabeth, my son questions EVERYTHING!!! He’s already skeptical about so many things. I don’t want him growing up cynical, I suppose.

    Ms. Moon, yes, you are right. Yet how much truth can a 9 year old handle before he falls under the pressure of it?

    Thank you, Ava. He does say some amazing things. He leaves us in awe.

    Yes, Jena, but the whole truth? At his age? Truth can be such a burden for a little soul.

    Deb, you said it so beautifully… You always do.

    Julie, thank you. Maybe I am the one with the issues. I have struggled with my faith for so long, and in the church while growing up, the actual truth was often camouflaged based on the fear of people’s judgment.

  9. Deb Says:

    I used the old “only those who believe in Santa receive a present from him.”

    The clever lads allowed me to maintain my illusions - I’m sure it had nothing at all to do with the gifts :)

  10. Bebe Says:

    I think that past a certain age kids begin to question everything. Are they just wanting to undermine the parents authority? Some people believe that.

  11. Jennifer Says:

    Angie — My son is still little, only four years old, and he clearly wants to believe in certain things (including things that scare him in the middle of the night, such as his notion that his toys come alive at night). I do think that some minds are more amenable for the fantasy and magic than others. I’m more of a rational mind, but I also remember feeling crushed when I realized the truth about Santa. And a little betrayed. So I feel strange playing up that particular character, but haven’t ignored him altogether.

    Happy New Year!

  12. Wendy Says:

    I want to be as truthful as I can with my kids, but it can be so hard. My oldest asks about 40 questions an hour. It’s absolutely exhausting!

  13. willow Says:

    The magic never ends.

  14. angiem Says:

    Deb you are funny!

    Bebe, I’ve read that somewhere and wonder at it too. Certainly there are those who like to undermine a parent’s authority once they get to a certain age, however, I like to think that my son is too young to be acting so.

    Thanks Jennifer. I remember feeling so as a child too, and I remember when my son found out the truth about Santa’s existence. He blamed us for letting him believe such a foolish thing, and he blamed himself or being so stupid as to believe it. He was only 5. Poor little guy. I didn’t do anything different with my daughter though. I want her to believe in the magic for as long as possible. Childhood is too short. I want them to have enchanted memories of it.

    Willow, so true. The magic never ends.

  15. Laura [What I Like] Says:

    Your son is so precocious! I held onto Santa for quite some time. A classmate of mine told me he did not exist when I was about six and I ran home totally incensed to tell my parents that this classmate had no idea what on earth he was talking about.

  16. Kristin Says:

    I’m keeping at the Santa ruse as long as I possibly can, because I remembered what a bummer that first Christmas was that I didn’t believe!

  17. Jeanne Says:

    I smiled when I read your post. I had the exact same conversation with my 10 year old son. We still believe together but he said it would have to be our secret. I have three other teenage children and they all believe…that is the answer for us…believe :) Thanks for stopping by my blog. I look forward to following yours. All the best. Jeanne

  18. Jessica Says:

    I want to be honest with my kids too. There has to be a way to tell the truth and still maintain the wonderful joy and innocence of childhood.
    Funny about your son. :-)

  19. Karen@SurvivingMotherhood Says:

    Yes, childhood is too short. (Though there are days when it seems to long…*sigh*)
    And I struggle right now with seeing my 11-year-old (Can only say that for nine more days. Gulp!) fighting so hard to be an adult. He wants so much to be treated like an adult, wants to be a man. And I look at him and just want to make him understand that it’s OK to be a kid. That it’s good!
    But I remember being on that side of the fence. Being grown up seemed like it would be so much better, cuz you wouldn’t have to listen to anyone tell you what to do…Oh, to be a kid again!
    But now I’m the grown-up, and I am desperately depending on God’s grace to help me raise these children.
    Bless you today, my friend!

  20. Susu Paris Chic Says:

    There’s plenty of time to be serious in our lives. But funnily, when we are young we want to be older and vice versa. Like they say in France - si la jeunesse savait, si la vieillesse pouvait (If the youth would know, and if the elderly could do)… Just keep on kissing and hugging your son, as long as you can. Maybe for a long while…

  21. Mary-Laure Says:

    Kids are just amazing… I wish there were more of them around me in my life now.

  22. Make Do Style Says:

    I think you always retain the magic of Santa after your wise-ing to world phase. You always go back to the magic!

  23. kanishk Says:

    Everything else is the delusion.
    wagyu steak

  24. La Belette Rouge Says:

    There is truth that is metaphorically true and not literally true. I think there is nothing wrong with telling kids there is a Santa. After all, there is a Santa, he just doesn’t live in the North Pole.
    Happy New Years, Angie!

  25. rochambeau Says:

    Hello Angie M.
    Happy New Year to you! You propose a complex question here. Your son sounds like a smart guy. It seems you are learning from one another! I think you know, but I do not have children, only have God children.
    Renee’s answer sounds good to me.

    Wishing you an abundance to joy for 2010!


  26. Heather Sunseri Says:

    Oh, what a sweet story. My 10-yr-old wasn’t buying that a couple of years ago. But I still like to share the magic of the season with my children, and I think deep down, my daughter loves that I do. Sometimes it’s just simply good to believe in a magic.

  27. Barbara Says:

    Ah, Angie, you’re Renee’s Angie. I’m sorry I should have connected that. I’ve read about you of course. I loved this post about Santa and your perspective on it. Kids do grow up so fast. And when we get older, we just want to slow it all down. Ironic, huh? Sounds like your son is going to be quite a young man when he grows up.
    Stay warm up there!

  28. corine Says:

    My ten year old boy seems to prefer fiction, the more far-fetched the better, just like his momma.

  29. julie Says:

    Hi Angie
    What a clever boy you have. I like that he speaks his mind!! but also I like that you want them to still retain some childhood innocence… it’s what makes this world sweet. Well Santa may not be a physical person [ssshh!!!] but his spirit is certainly real!! take care dear Angie xx Julie

  30. angiem Says:

    Laura, I like that you were so confident in your knowledge!

    Kristin, I don’t remember much about my own reaction to the news that Santa wasn’t a literal figure.

    Jeanne, that is so sweet about your son!

    I agree, Jessica! Please let me know when you find the way, will you?

    Thank you for your blessings, Karen. I understand completely. I remember I couldn’t wait to be a grown-up. God be with your son!

    That is what I plan on doing Susa! For as long as he allows me, and even longer, even if I have to resort to when he’s sleeping.

    Mary-Laure, very soon there may be kids around you. After all your sister just got married, didn’t she? And what a fabulous wedding! Congratulations to her and her new husband!

  31. krista Says:

    ah, a science minded child, it would seem.
    perfect opportunity for him to hold onto the beauty of metaphor.

  32. angiem Says:

    Make Do Style, I hope so. I want my kids to have magical childhoods.

    KanishK, apparently true for some.

    Thank you LBR, same to you!! Everybody’s got a Santa, right?

    Constance, my kids are my greatest teachers. I mean it. Particularly my boy. He leaves me in awe.

    Heather, the season is magical!

    Barbara, I am sorry. Renee is a dear, dear friend, but I’m afraid you might be confusing me with her daughter, whose name is Angelique. Thank you for the compliment! And thank you for stopping by.

    Corine, I prefer fiction too.

    Julie, thank you. Yes he certainly speaks his mind!

  33. angiem Says:

    Krista, oh yes, he is a little scientist. The guy needs proof for everything it seems.

  34. Holly L Says:

    My son whole-heartedly believes. My husband says I need to tell him the truth before someone makes fun of him…I say let him figure it out on his own…he will soon enough….but he must play along…his sister is 2!

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