30 answers

Breaking the News About the Easter Bunny/Santa

My daughter keeps asking me if the Easter Bunny is real. My question is what age is the right age to break the news WITHOUT breaking her heart. My fear is her feeling like she has been lied to for so long. Any advice on how this discussion is approached would be greatly appreciated!

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Thank's to all of you for all of your feedback! It was great to see how this topic has been approached by everyone.

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My boys that are 8 & 11 have asked me this question for years. I have asked them why they ask and it's because other kids at school tell them that they aren't...kids can be mean... I ask my boys, if they think that Santa and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are real. I tell them that if they believe, than those 3 are real. What they believe is totally up to them, I know that when my 11 yr old quits believing that the younger one will to, because they are so close. My sister-in-law (children ages 25-22-19) still get Santa and Easter Bunny gifts. They know the truth but it's fun for them and fun for my sister-in-law.

I dont know everyone thinks that i am wrong because i dont just bring the idea of easter bunny, santa or any other sort of thing. I just think its wrong to put ideas in kids mind and them not be true.

My daughter is 9 and questioning the fun things we believe in. some of her friends do not. I told her it was ok if her friends don't believe then I simply asked her if she believed. she said yes and we left it at that.

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My Mom never broke the news to me. I am 31, the Easter Bunny still visits my husband (he's 30), our son (he's 11) and I. So does Santa Clause. Why break the news to them? Eventually kids in school broke the news to me, but I never told my Mom and even now she makes me a stocking from Santa. I won't ever tell my son. I'll let him believe in magic until he wants to stop.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband and I have never lied to our kids about the Easter Bunny and Santa. They know the real meaning of the Holidays, and that is what we celebrate! That way, when they are older and find out anyway, we won't look like big fat liars to them, and they will still trust us to always tell them the truth.

1 mom found this helpful

WHen my girl starts asking that question I was given some good advice and will pass it onto you. I was told to tell her that as long as she beleives that the easter bunny or santa etc etc is real then they will still come and visit and bring eggs and presents.

I dont know everyone thinks that i am wrong because i dont just bring the idea of easter bunny, santa or any other sort of thing. I just think its wrong to put ideas in kids mind and them not be true.

It really depends on her age and how you approach it. My son is now 12. Last year before Easter (age 11), he would say things that made me believe he either already knew from kids at school, or was questioning it. As hard as it was, I sat with him away from his siblings, and explained that the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, etc. were all reflections of our love for one another-the spirits of those holidays. I told him that while it was fun to be a kid and not know the truth, it was almost more fun to have this special secret that your little ones did not know about. He became very excited, and helped shop for Easter goodies, and even hid the eggs last year for his siblings,and of course himself, because he wanted to still pretend for them. This year he and I ran around in the snow hiding eggs, and he couldn't help giggling the whole time because he is now in on the secret, which he thinks is better than not knowing the truth. As far as Christmas this past December, I took a cue from "Polar Express". I bought a large silver bell ornament that looked like the one in the movie from Santa sleigh. I made a poem about why he was receiving the bell, and signed it from Santa. Then the ornament was hidden on the tree, and he had to find it. I told him to shake it, and he caught on, and said that he could still hear it (just like in the movie). While he knew the truth, the other 2 children did not. They thought Santa left him a real sleigh bell! So I have 2 more put away, and as the other 2 kids learn the secret, they will receive their bells with the same poem. It's sad, because it's another part of childhood gone, but exciting to pass on the "secret". Good luck!

I would just tell her that as long as she believes that the Easter Bunny is real.

I think my sister had a good idea for this, when my nephew was about 10 or 11 he kept asking about them too, she asked him, "what do you believe" and she bascially told him all that mattered was what he believed. She had told us about this, so when he asked me, I told him the same thing.
He was at the age where he knew he probably wasn't real, but was just unsure and he was satisfied with that answer he got. Plus my sister told him it doesn't matter if he's real or not, as long as you believe you will still get presents, etc.

I simply tell my kids that some people believe in the Easter bunny and Santa. And if they do that's fine. If they don't that's fine.

Best Wishes,

J. H.

My daughter asked this year (she's 7) I just always say "Of course..." and let it go. She'll find out soon enough inevitably. I figure why bother...let her be young as long as you can.

I just told my son about the Easter Bunny and Santa. It came up because he lost a tooth and he acted like he thought the Tooth Fairy was stupid. He's 10 by the way. So we just started talking about it and I told him the Tooth Fairy wasn't real. He seemed really surprised. He wanted to know where all that money came from, and how we got the teeth out from under his pillow. So one thing led to another and he figured out that the Easter Bunny and Santa aren't real either. Even though he still believed in them he didn't act upset.

My kids are 21 and 17 y/o and I still tell them that I believe in Santa and the Easter basket still shows up at the doors in the morning. I really can't remember at what age, probably pretty old like 9 or 10, I told them that I believed in the giving, peace, and joy that are personified in these characters. There might not be a person living in the north pole, but he represented those aspects of the holiday and I believe in those things.

I was raised without believing in Santa/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny etc. I feel that it really stunted my imagination & kept me too far removed from all the wonderful magical things that are out there when you have an uninhibited imagination.

I was unsure on this topic so I've trusted my husband who feels very strongly that giving kids these kinds of things to believe in is incredibly important in having a good imagination & a capacity for a strong inner life. The letdown could be devastating at any age - I don't know how to predict that, kids are all so different from each other. But the alternative of not letting them believe in it at all seems like it might be more damaging in the long run for most kids. It seems like it might not be much worse than any other of the many disappointments we can't protect them from forever.

I don't know - it hasn't come up for us yet. We homeschool so our kids are largely isolated from other kids. Our oldest at home is 9 & she still believes in all that although we had 1 close call with the tooth fairy a couple of months ago.

We joke that we'll have to tell them each after they get married that they'll now be filling the role of Santa & tooth fairy in their own households. Who knows, with the kids isolated from other kids it really may last much longer than average!

I'm interested to read the other responses to this question.

My daughter started asking around 8 or 9. The first I said "please just be a kid a little longer" and then eventually I just fessed up. I have always an honesty policy with her and don't usually "lie" about stuff but I was stuck between brutal honesty and tradition. I don't think she was damaged or thinks Im a liar. I'm also not a good tooth fairy so that was probably the tip off. I would say if they are asking they know the answer and to just say it's you.

My advice is to let her believe as long as possible. They are only children once, and in this world, they grow-up way to fast as it is! Let her live in the "magic" of childhood...

M., I completely disagree with some of these other women. A child should be allowed to have an imagination...we all have to grow up someday but why push it.

As far as setting a specific age...I think it depends on how mature they children are.

Also, being a step-parent...if the biological mother is around then it is not your place to tell or not tell..I am a step-parent of a 10 year old. (her dad and I have been together since she was 2 months old) and she was told at school at age 8 and it was her mother's call at that point to tell or not to tell...her mother told the truth.

If they are old enough to know the truth it won't break their hearts!!! If they are too young then yeah...it's going to be a complete disappointment.

As far as the discussion, I think if you explain to them that it is something most parents do for children because we love them and want to nurture their creativity most children who are old enough will understand.

My sister recently told her 6 and 7 year old son's the truth because they are ultra religious people and I completely think it is WRONG. I made it known that if my 6 year old came home from their house (he stayed with them a couple days over spring break) with this information her and I would have serious issues. I want my son to be a kid and have something to get excited about!!!! He'll find out that what this world is really like soon enough!!

I have a 3 year old grandson who asked me if the Easter Bunnie comes to my house and I told him No. I also told him that I bought him the things that were in his basket because I loved him so much. I explained to him that the "story" of the Easter Bunny is about celebrating Spring, the eggs are about baby animals being born and the flowers are about the earth waking up after winter. If the Myths are explained as some kind of game or story that we play with our kids and that it's all about loving someone and wanting to do fun things and show that love, I think that it is easier to accept without trauma. Santa Claus doesn't come to my house either. My grandson is already questioning things and I believe that honesty is the best policy.

I am an evil mommy. my son asked me at before he was three if they were real i asked him if he wanted them to be real. he replied no, so from then on they were not real. the great thing about both santa and the bunny are that they are associated with two significant days if you belive in God. that is what we focus on is giving to others and rejoicing in all that we are allowed b/c of christ. Kids only ask what they themselves are ready to accept, so if she is asking then give her an answer that is honest, but when she show signs of resistance or that she no longer cares than stop. I think is goes for all topics not just the easy ones like this. open honest but not to much.

My daughter is 9 and questioning the fun things we believe in. some of her friends do not. I told her it was ok if her friends don't believe then I simply asked her if she believed. she said yes and we left it at that.

M., my older sister never told her kids about Santa, etc. and they believed in them for years and years, because they chose to. They are 29 and 27 respectively, now, very well adjusted and content. My kids are 21,18,16 & 11 and they all just kind of came to that conclusion on their own, at about age 10. They get the ideas from kids at school, and older siblings and as they mature they make their own decisions about whether or not they exist.I don't ever remember one of them asking me outright if the Easter Bunny existed, but I remember telling them that no one lives hundreds of years, but that the Spirit of Santa lives in each of us, to the extent that we let him.

I was never told growing up that Santa, the Easter Bunny, or even the Tooth Fairy for that matter was real. And I didn't grow up without an imagination. My mom always told me that it was fun to pretend. And that we could pretend all I wanted that they were real. I plan on doing to same for my kids. I'm so glad that I didn't ever have to go through the heart break of finding out there wasn't a Santa. My cousins did. It was awful!

I have to agree with the folks that say, "If you believe it, then he still exists...". Now let me caviate that, I caught my parents puting Santa's toys under the tree and they told me that Santa didn't have time and asked them to do it...bought them another year or two until the school kids told me...which broke my heart...It's far better to hear it from you than from their friends...

HOWEVER, when my hubby and I got married, I started giving him an Easter basket. When he asked, "Why?" I told him the EB did it...(he also left baskets for the dogs). I think it's important to instill and keep some of the magic that goes behind these characters in our kids. It is also a good time to teach them the gift of giving to other kids who might not have their own Easter Bunny or Santa...this helps keep it alive in others...

I ADORE the movie The Polar Express and I think it embodies the true spirit of the season...I'd suggest watching it with the kids and asking them what they think the bell means and what it means when he says at the end that his parents couldn't hear it and eventually his friends and sister couldn't hear the bell either. How do you think he felt? How do you think they felt not being able to hear it? Which do you prefer? Hearing it or not hearing it? To me, it was simple...I'd rather hear it and share the beautiful sounds with others... :) I think if you watch it together, you'll find the same answer...

If your child keeps asking she probably has doubts already.
I usually turn it around with....well, what do you think?
Judging by her answer you will know if she still WANTS to believe. Some kids pretend to believe even when they know, because it makes it more fun. When it is time, just make sure they know not to spoil it for other children!!

I'm glad to see this question come up because we have been dealing with it as well. My son is a very perceptive 8 1/2. The major problem with him is that he has a big mouth. He is the 2nd oldest grandchild (meaning there will be many, many little ones younger than him) and I don't want this spoiled for my younger son or anyone else's kids either.

He had apparently heard something at school because he came home with a lot of questions about the Easter Bunny, saying another child told him that it was just his parents. See, that is what I don't want him to do when he knows. Anyway, I denied it, felt guilty later and talked to my husband about it. He said, "If you don't believe, they don't bring you anything." I have talked to other friends and they have said that it was never discussed outright with their families that Santa, Easter Bunny, etc. wasn't real. They just came to an age where they "knew" though.

I"m still deciding what to do with mine because I like the idea of sharing that moment with the oldest and letting him in on the secret. However, I do think he will spoil it for others.

M., being the stepmother, is the mother around? If so I feel she should be consulted on what you tell the girls. I was never told. It is something i figured out as I grew older. I still believe in The Easter Bunny because he represents life as Christ brought us a new life after his resurrection. Same as for Santa being St Nick or Christ. It is part of the religious experience for children to understand. I do not feel that believing in either takes away from the meaning of these holidays, it is what makes helps to add to the meaning for them to understand. Santa and the EB ccontinues to come to my house and my daughrter is 33.
A. B

We had to tell my daughter when she was 4. She was convinced that her pawpaw (my dad) was the "real" Santa Claus. We told her that the idea of Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy is really the joy of sharing with others. (We also have the St. Patrick's Day Fairy and Halloween Fairy at our house; which she knows are all me.) When you see one of these characters, it is to remind you of all the love and joy you have inside and wish to share with others. It did not break her heart. She is now in the second grade and loves playing her part in helping to keep the secret from her class mates, younger cousins, etc.
Let your daughter help pick out stocking stuffers or things to put in Easter eggs. Emphasize how much fun it is to pick out things you know (fill in the blank) will like. Giving of yourself is the most wonderful value that you can teach a child.

Hi, I have 2 sons ages 16 & 9. I told my 16 yr. old the year he turned 9. He was upset about it some. So I haven't told my 9 yr. old yet (he will be 10 soon). He ask about santa claus, easter bunny & tooth fairy. I ask him what he thinks. When he says he thinks there is one, I tell him that I do also. He will find out soon enough that it is all fantasy. So I figure let him enjoy this time of being young & have some fantasy & dreams that are harmless. He does know the true meaning of christmas & easter. He also believes that santa claus has to be paid for all the gifts that he brings. That is why some kids get more than others. Some parents have more money. Let your daughter believe, she will not do so for much longer as it is.

I was raised to believe in these things and I don't see any problem with perpetrating it on my own children. I basically told the kids that Santa was once a real person called St. Nicholas. And many, many years ago, he loved to give presents to the poor children in the village during Christmas, often leaving them in their wooden shoes outside their doors(something I read about) and because he was such a good man, people commemorate him now by celebrating and pretending to be Santa for children.

That way they didn't exactly feel that the grownups had been LYING to them, but were continuing a loving tradition.

The Easter bunny was a little harder, we only did that when they were really little, because we wanted to focus more on the religeous aspect of Easter. They gradually figured out we were doing the baskets, and it became a fun thing that we still do even though they are in highschool and jr high.

My boys that are 8 & 11 have asked me this question for years. I have asked them why they ask and it's because other kids at school tell them that they aren't...kids can be mean... I ask my boys, if they think that Santa and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are real. I tell them that if they believe, than those 3 are real. What they believe is totally up to them, I know that when my 11 yr old quits believing that the younger one will to, because they are so close. My sister-in-law (children ages 25-22-19) still get Santa and Easter Bunny gifts. They know the truth but it's fun for them and fun for my sister-in-law.

Kids are being told about Easter Bunny/Santa in the second grade already. My kids have asked how parents can tell their kids that and I wonder, too. At that age most kids can't keep a secret and they tell their friends and ruin some other kids ideas. We told my oldest after her 10th Christmas. She had been asking for several years if we believed and I always said 'Yes", for I do believe that when we give we are Santa and Easter Bunny. It is that spirit that lives in us. When I told her she was very upset. She told me that I broke her heart. She never blamed us or accused us of lying just that her heart was broken. It broke my heart too. My son is 9 and he has been asking questions because, again, a child in his third grade class came to school and told everyone in her class that her grandma (who raises her) told her there was none. He doesn't want to believe it but he is thinking about it. I am not going to confirm anything until I think he really wants to know.

You know, they only start comprehending the concepts at age 4 and to let them only enjoy it for 3 to 4 years is sad. You have to do what you feel is right for your family but for mine, my oldest says each holiday season that not knowing has taken some of the fun out of the celebration. She gets excited for her siblings but she is not as bouncy and gung-ho as she ues to be. I can't do that to my son yet.

Good luck on your decision. I don't think there is any age thought that it won't hurt them. Their happiness is broken but I do think that it is better when they are older and they then can keep a secret so they don't ruin it for other kids. Also, their time of fun and innocence is so short in this day and age that it is a shame to rush it.

L. KC

I have been having the same problem with my 8 year old daughter. She keeps hearing everyone say they are not real and I always tell her that if you believe then they are real cause in some cases there might really be someone out there that you can call Santa or whatever the holiday is.
Kinda like for me this past christmas I didn't have much money to get my kids stuff and I had signed up for help but on of my co-workers asked if she could go buy some stuff for my kids and she did. All the stuff that came from her was marked from Santa to my kids cause to me the co-worker was santa.
Hopefully you can just tell her that if she beleives then it's true.
Take care and God Bless

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