Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Which comes first, the sex talk or the Santa talk?

This morning I received a phone call from a concerned mother of one of Conrad's classmates. She told me, (very nicely) that her son said, that on the bus, during a field trip, I had told him there was no Santa Claus. WOW! I didn't expect that one, especially in February. I tried to remember if we had even spoken about Santa Claus. I seriously couldn't remember, but I did know my Santa Clause mantra, when children ask me if he is real. I generally parrot, "It's a mystery, It's a mystery..."
I told Hans that I felt a little bad knowing that my oldest might have spilled to beans about ol' St. Nick. But this got Hans (who told the kids about the Tooth Fairy when Conrad lost his 1st tooth) in a tirade. He reminded me that this boy was in the 3rd grade and then he asked "When does one decide to tell a child about Santa? how old does one have to be?"
We discussed some heuristics to answer this question: "Should one be told at 8, the age of accountablility? or 18, legal age?" Then we got thinking about other topics and appropirate ages for discussion and realized that it's been over a year since we watch the mandated Cub Scout film about sexual abuse. (Which we watched with both Conrad & Riley.)
Hans' conclusion was that "If they are old enough to know about sex, they are old enough to know about Santa." In fact, we even gave Conrad the complete "2for" (Conrad had his suspicions about both topics) back in November.
What do you think?

11 comments:

Dan said...

I love that I get to be Santa for my girls. It's like I get to be part something completely magical and innocent. For just one short day a year, all the wonder and excitement of Disneyland shows up in my living room. If I could cram that magic into a bottle and save it forever I would.
=]
Dan

Farnsworth Family said...

Good question...both topics I am putting off for as long as I feel I can. However, since kidergarten started this year, it seems like those conversations will not be put off much longer. Jessica is starting to ask a lot of questions and we try to always tell her the truth!

Jill said...

I want my kids to know that if they ask me a question, I will give them an honest answer. Katy knows(about both), becaue she wanted to know and I don't go out of my way to perpetuate any legends.
By the way, Judy Blume gives the Santa thing away in the Fudge books, so I think third grade is pretty safe. He had to find out sometime.
This is why I think it's a good idea to not wait any longer than being the first to tell them is likely. These are the sorts of things that we want to make the first impressions about so when they do hear things from their friends(as will happen), they already have a context for it and know how to respond.

i said...

i vote for the sex talk

Angie Larkin said...

I got to thinking about this very topic this week as well. I was sitting on the couch at my sister's house in all of my nine month pregnant glory and my nephew who is eight came in and asked how the baby was going to get out. My sister flittered in and assured him the baby comes out of the belly button. I thought...hmm... Did I make a mistake telling Afton all of the details? She seems fine with it. It's a mystery...It's a mystery....As for Santa...Who told you there's no Santa? You've been misinformed!

Michelle said...

I think it depends on the child, and when they become curious. (about sex) I would so much rather they learn that from their parents first!
Ironically, the santa thing really puts me in a bind. I have absolutely no idea when you are supposed to tell a kid, and then how you explain it. How DO you explain it? My dad told me when I was like 2 that there was no santa because he believed it was wrong to let us believe a lie.

Hans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hans said...

I think it's just better to tell kids that Santa doesn't like poor kids and that he likes rich kids even if they're bad; he's classist. For example, you might say: "He likes Britney Spears' kids better than you. Jesus was poor so Santa didn't bring him anything, so the kings had to come instead. And I saw 1000 kids in Nicaragua that Santa hates too. Is that the kind of person you want to send letters to and leave cookies for? You can decide."

Amy Jones said...

I let the Santa thing unravel itself....should some kid spill it, they've saved me the work. The sex thing on the other hand....that would be my job and my kids are no strangers to talks about body parts and functions. Shoot, I think Roma has taught my mom a few things!

Michaelson Family said...

When they ask, you tell. Hans, you made a petty good point there about Santa discriminating. I had never thought about that before. We focus so much on Christ that they really don't think much about Santa. They know that their dad dressed up as Santa once and Josh just gives us a knowing smile.

Jen said...

I don't like there to be a question in their heads that what I tell them is true. I'm a fan of Santa, but if they ask I tell them the truth. To me it's too close to the gospel in this way: both Santa and Jesus are invisible to them, so they rely on faith and what people tell them is true. I'm always afraid that if I lie to them and tell them Santa is real that someday they will question if the gospel is just a myth too. As for sex? Emma knows her stuff, and the boys will soon enough. I try to be very matter of fact, like its not embarrassing, its just the way we were all made. I'm hoping they will talk to me more when they are older that way, and we can discuss chastity along with other important commandments. Whoo- that was long winded :)