13 answers

I Have a Hard Time Telling Those "Little White Lies"

My 5 year old daughter is very curious and wants confirmation on everything! Make believe characters, tv etc all has to be black or white for her. It is either real or it isnt. Example today... I bought her a notepad with the disney fairies on the front. She asks me later on, what fairies really look like and do they carry a wand or is it just dressed up people that are not even real. I want to be totally honest with her about things, because thats how she likes it.. But at the same time I dont want to already ruin the tooth fairy, easter bunny etc. I never had this problem with my older daughter- she just believed and never questioned things. (If they dont ask then technically Im not lying right ??) So , do I just answer everything in black and white like she wants it, or do I sugar coat just a bit for the fun stuff? Thanks moms!

Obviously this goes beyond fairies and santa- that was just the example today.

What can I do next?

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I usually ask "well what do you think?" and they can usually think of something and I usually say something like "that sounds right or I've never seen a real fairy so I don't know" My son is 7 and still believes in the tooth fairy and Santa. How does the tooth fairy & Santa get in? What do they do when they don't visit? Those are the type of questions he asks and I basically have him answer them.

3 moms found this helpful

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"Well, I've never seen a fairy in real life, so I just have to go by the picture."

For Santa, read her the book "The Polar Express". When she asks if Santa is real, ask her if she can hear the bell. I did that with my boys for years. They are teens, yes they know Santa is mom and dad, but they never even asked.

I think it would help you both to start talking about imagination and how wonderful it is. You don't want her to start discounting other children's play because she wants to think in terms of black and white.

All my best,

5 moms found this helpful

I don't want to be the one to break the magic of things like that, so whenever the girls have asked me questions like this I simply turn it around on them and say, "Well, I'm not sure. What do YOU think?" Then I can respond with, "I think that sounds lovely." I like to encourage their imaginations and their sense of play. It's healthy. If she presses you, you could say, "Fairies are thought to be very tricksy, and I've never seen one myself. But if I ever saw one I always imagine that they might look like ____ and have ____. Of course I don't know. What do you think?" This works with Santa and the Easter Bunny too.

At the same time, it's engaging their critical thinking skills. As they get older the nature of those questions changes. Instead of asking me what fairies look like, they ask me if the Tooth Fairy exists. As I always have, I ask them what they think. In turn, they work out the answers for themselves using logic and no one has spoiled anything for them... and they're proud of having figured out the mystery. They're also proud to now be in the know and to be part of continuing the magic for the rest of the kids who still believe.

4 moms found this helpful

I usually ask "well what do you think?" and they can usually think of something and I usually say something like "that sounds right or I've never seen a real fairy so I don't know" My son is 7 and still believes in the tooth fairy and Santa. How does the tooth fairy & Santa get in? What do they do when they don't visit? Those are the type of questions he asks and I basically have him answer them.

3 moms found this helpful

Well since she already knows the difference from make believe and real, be honest with her... I do understand wanting them to be kids longer and using their imagination but for some kids it's just not that...

Have you ever asked her a question back instead of answering the questions, like what do you think?

I remember one night my son was upset that the tooth fairy forgot to leave $$ under his pillow the night before... He was in the 4th grade, and I thought he did know that it wasn't real, well, I told him, I'm sorry I forgot to do it last night... then he said why didn't the tooth fairy do it, and I said come on, you know I'm the tooth fairy, and with a surprise reaction he was like "you are" and I said, "come on, I know you don't still believe in the tooth fairy and Easter Bunny", then he says "There's No Easter Bunny Either"... and started to cry... I felt all bad inside, then about a couple weeks later, he said, you know, I was just mad at you for forgetting, I don't still believe in them, well, not really... I was so mad at him, but I also remember what it felt like to be a kid and wanting to believe... heck at Christmas I still want to believe there is a Santa out there...

See what she believes and go from there... You can always be honest and say, well I've never really seen one, but I believe they look like this, or I imagine they look like.... let her decide for herself if she wants to use her imagination or not...

2 moms found this helpful

My kids are going through this with ghosts right now. It's so cute, because they really don't know if they're real or not, and we're not giving a definite answer. My husband 100% believes in ghosts and has a couple of true ghost stories in his life. I've never seen hide nor hair of a remotely supernatural situation, so I can't jump on the ghost bandwagon, yet don't have proof of course that no one else has experienced ghosts. Therefore, he tells them they're real, I tell them I've never seen one. So there's no way for them to know. :)
I would tell her the truth when she wants it. But with things like fairies, you don't have to say you hold scientific evidence that there are none. You can say, "people have written stories about them for centuries and believe in them. I've never seen one, but that doesn't prove anything" and keep the fantasy alive a little.

2 moms found this helpful

I always just asked questions back to my kids. Like, "what do you think?" Then have a great discussion with them, trying not to commit, but still not spoiling their fun.

2 moms found this helpful

When she begins to wonder or question Santa, get the newspaper article, "Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa." It was written in the late 1800's and is the most rerpoduced newspaper article ever written.

When my kids asked, I told them I believed in Santa, but if they ever stopped believing in Santa, then Santa wouldn't bring them presents anymore.

That solved the problem for several years. ;~))

But that's only part of the story. Every Christmas morning, I would get up around 5 am. I had a package of bells (little round chrome bells like you would sew on clothes) and I would sneak out in the hall next to their rooms. Then I'd shake those bells and in a very deep and altered voice, I'd half yell, "Ho Ho Ho. Merry Christmas. MMMMeeeerrrrryyyy CCCChhhhrrrriiisstmmmaass ! ! ! !" None of my eight kids ever caught me. I'd then run back to the bedroom, climb in bed, and pretend to be asleep. They would always come in to "wake" mom and dad. Their excitement and the twinkle in their eyes as they went to see what Santa had left them was absolutely priceless. The last time I did that, my youngest was 10, I think. It still brings good memories.

I don't think there is anything that can beat 8 kids being excited about Santa, or the Easter Bunny. The fun is indescribable and their joy is contageous. The people with just one child will never know what they are missing.

Good luck to you and yours.

2 moms found this helpful

I think you answer honestly and tell her the truth.

2 moms found this helpful

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