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Author Topic: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!  (Read 6814 times)

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CarolineMae

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Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« on: December 04, 2010, 02:15:40 PM »
We have chosen not to participate in Santa. We don't believe at it's the REAL reason for the season and Santa seems to bring on a case of the gimmes. It just works for our family. We will tell the kids that others do believe in Santa, but its just pretend. It will be said to the, that they can't ruin the surprise essentially.

When hearing about this, the first reaction is to usually tell me I'm destroying my Childs childhood, how could I.

I'm not sure what to say in return... I tell people our reasoning and leave it at that.

Yet they still want a response. They still want to know why and how I could do that.

What should I say?

kherbert05

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2010, 02:44:50 PM »
In my experience they are more worried that your child will "ruin" things for their "kids" (own children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or assorted cousins). I had one cousin (Teri) that was furious that a cousin (Claudia) who had converted to Judaism (marriage) wasn't teaching her children to believe in Santa.

One year Teri had to be escorted out of the room and asked what the blazing hell she was thinking disrespecting a parent like that. She went on and on about how Claudia's kids were going to "ruin Christmas" by spilling the beans to the other kids. (Note Claudia's son was either a senior in HS or Freshman in University. The little kids were her 2nd cousins kids and my oldest niece). She was told point blank her response was more likely to cause the beans to be spilt and either to shut up or leave. (By the hostess - her Mother) Teri sulked then and Claudia still avoids situations that would expose her now teenaged kids to her. (Thankfully our response telling Teri* to stop prevented a rift between the two branches of the family)


In other circumstances that I've encountered people like this I've asked point blank why it is any of their business. The main answer has been what if their kids tell my kids (broadly interpreted) the truth.


*Teri is considered a little off - This Thanksgiving she kept going on and on about how Opie called Andy Paul not Pa on the Andy Griffin Show (SP).
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

FoxPaws

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2010, 02:46:53 PM »
You already said it: "It just works for our family."

If you want, you could precede that with, "I appreciate your concerns, but DH and I put a lot of thought into this and we're comfortable with this decision. We realize it raises eyebrows [insert calm, understanding smile here], but we're confident it's the right choice for us."

Tone, delivery, and presentation are important here. You want to sound confident, but with enough warmth and humor in your voice and expression that you don't come off as holier-than-thou or defensive.

Good luck...and Merry Christmas!
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

camlan

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2010, 02:47:51 PM »
You know, just because people want a response doesn't mean that you have to give them one. Etiquette does not say that you must answer every intrusive question asked of you. In fact, etiquette rather frowns on the asker of the intrusive question.

It is perfectly polite to say, "We've made this decision for our family." And just leave it at that. Or maybe add, "We hope you will respect our decisions for our family the way we respect those you have made for your family."

Destroying your child's childhood? "That's an interesting assumption."

And then you move on to the bean dip. Or leave the room. Or hang up the phone. Anything to indicate that the subject is now closed for discussion.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


mbbored

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2010, 03:35:00 PM »
I'd simply go with that it works for your family and offer some bean dip.

My sis's BFF does not do Santa, while Sis does.  BFF's little girl says that nobody needs to come to their house, since her parents already bought anything she might need.  My nephew, who does believe, totally accepts that, and doesn't question Santa.

Hanna

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2010, 03:54:20 PM »
You already said it: "It just works for our family."

If you want, you could precede that with, "I appreciate your concerns, but DH and I put a lot of thought into this and we're comfortable with this decision. We realize it raises eyebrows [insert calm, understanding smile here], but we're confident it's the right choice for us."

Tone, delivery, and presentation are important here. You want to sound confident, but with enough warmth and humor in your voice and expression that you don't come off as holier-than-thou or defensive.

Good luck...and Merry Christmas!

I would not be inclined to feel much concern about the bolded portion with regard to one who questioned my parenting choices and suggesting I was harming my child.

You can simply say "My parenting choices are not up for discussion."

Nora

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2010, 04:05:10 PM »
We're not doing Santa either. We just say that we do Christmas our way. If anyone wants to tell me I'm ruining his childhood. they have a nice lecture on Developmental psychology coming their way.

I can describe, in excruciating detail how people ruin their children's childhoods. Giving presents from mom and dad instead of Santa = not one of them.
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

Sharnita

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2010, 04:08:31 PM »
I would avoid going into great detail about why you do it - some people might feel that by default you are critical of their choices and become defensive.  I like the "it works for us" wording.

MariaE

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2010, 05:14:38 PM »
My parents never did Santa, and our childhoods definitely weren't ruined. DH and I aren't planning to do it either.

Just tell them, "It works for us." That's really all the response they need.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

Animala

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2010, 05:19:06 PM »
I didn't do this for my son and my canned answer when it came up was he knows who St. Nicholas is and then, if needed, "Well the kid has to have something to talk to his therapist about when he's an adult." and the bean dip.

PaintingPastelPrincess

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2010, 05:23:16 PM »
We did Santa, and we all figured out the truth much earlier than our peers.  Knowing that Santa was just pretend did not ruin our childhoods one bit.  And we were all perfectly capable of not ruining it for classmates/younger family members/etc.

Honestly, I wouldn't bring it up with people in general, but if someone found out and was judgemental, I like the suggestion of starting with "It works for us," with a smile going quickly into "Our parenting decisions are not up for discussion" without the smile, if pressed.

andi

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2010, 05:29:40 PM »
we don't "do" Santa either.  My hubby and i were both raised without him and don't feel we were deprived in any way.  We simply never mentioned "Santa" to Bo o when he was smaller and he never asked.  This year (now in Kinder) he's asked, and we've simply said "some people believe he's real, but all your presents come from .... (insert list of people)

As earlier mentioned, i grew up with no "Santa: and never felt it necessary to "ruin" anyone else's Christmas beliefs, the thought never crossed my mind  As a responsible parent, that means teaching you child to respect other's belies - so how would your belief ruin something for someone else?

SiotehCat

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2010, 05:39:42 PM »
I never did Santa with my boy either, and he seems to be doing just fine.

TootsNYC

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2010, 06:03:32 PM »
Maybe you can say, "There are many ways to make Christmas special for kids. Santa is really just the idea that someone is spoiling you on Christmas morning, isn't it?"

That's what my mom told me, when I figured out that Santa wasn't real.
"Sure, Santa's real!" she said. "Santa is when someone tries really hard to give you something really special on Christmas, and to make you feel tingly with anticipation for Christmas morning. That hasn't changed."

kareng57

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Re: Ruining Childhood-Responses needed!!!
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2010, 07:10:05 PM »
I agree with PPs - "this works for us".  Don't get drawn into a discussion about child-psychology issues.

We did do Santa, but I came-clean when DS #1 asked (when he was about 7, which I think is pretty typical).  It wasn't just hearing rumours in the schoolyard, but it's about the age when kids start figuring out that the whole legend doesn't really add up.   He wasn't traumatised and promised not to tell his 6 year old brother - and I later found out that DS #2 had probably figured it out earlier, anyway.  (#2 never asked, lots of kids don't).

What I do object to are parents who won't "tell" once the kids start asking.  "If you don't believe, you won't get any more presents!" seems to be a common reaction, and I find it to be mildly-threatening.  I find it to be disrespectful of the fact that the child has reached the age-of-reason.  It's true that some of the magic of the season might be gone, but the sentiment is still there.

Oh, and an aside - I respect your decision but I do disagree with your assertion that belief in Santa brings along "the gimmees".  It never happened here - our kids never asked for expensive stuff, either before or after Santa.  Christmas has always been pretty low-key in our household.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 08:08:33 PM by kareng57 »