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How do you handle these issues?

Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting


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March 15th, 2011, 08:26 PM
MommaJones's Avatar Host of Surrogate Mommies
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As a parent, I never really thought about religious issues until my kids went to school. It was brought up each time I delivered about having the kids baptized, but we always just shoved it off and didn't deal with it. Now that they are in school, kids around them of course are going to church, talking about their belief in god and so forth.

With Easter fast approaching, I was curious how to handle things like the easter bunny and Santa Clause. My kids are currently 5 and 7. I would love to talk to them about the fact that the Easter Bunny is not real, that he is a pretend character that is fun and lets us enjoy the spring festivities because and then go on to explain the origin of Spring and the renewal of life and so forth at a level that they can understand.

However, my hubby thinks (and just to know, I am atheist, hubby is agnostic) that we would be spoiling their fun and ruining it at too early of an age. But my kids are not stupid, they have the knowledge to put 2 and 2 together to get 4.
For example, the other day my daughter and my son got into an argument because my DS who is 7 was trying to tell my DD who is 5 that mom and dad are the Tooth Fairy. She said no because the tooth fairy comes at night and takes her tooth, HOWEVER...she then remembers the last time she lost a tooth a few weeks ago when the so called tooth fairy fell asleep early and FORGOT to do the whole tooth thing. SO in the morning she awoke with a tooth under her pillow and no money. But when mom and dad came in the room to talk to her, suddenly the tooth was gone and money appeared under her bed with an explanation that the cats must have scared the tooth fairy and she dropped the money and ran.

LOL Yes...that was my idea. I don't want to spoil the fun....but they are at the age where soon the friends at school will be telling them that Santa is fake and all the fun stuff is fake.

What age did you handle this issue? Being non-religious did you talk about the nature part of things, spring/winter/fall/summer, stuff like that? Do you tell them that Easter is fake too? Or that Christmas is a scam?? LOL Just looking for some help!!
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March 16th, 2011, 05:45 PM
*Kiliki*'s Avatar i have absolute power
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honestly i never really encouraged the santa/tooth fairy/easter bunny stuff...my kids tell everyone that "mom and dad are santa" etc etc for us easter is a celebration that winter is over and spring is finally here and now we get to be outside in the nice fresh air...and enjoy being outside and with family....religion has nothing to do with it for us....same with winer its about family gathering and having a good time and enjoying each others companies

Kristy, wife to Karl 6.16.01, Mom to Raianna 12.7.00, Elyse 12.3.02 and Helena 7.20.07, step-mom to Frankie 7.3.97 and step-grandma to October 3.9.15

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March 16th, 2011, 08:12 PM
Zanahoria's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My oldest is only five, so we do the tooth fairy/easter bunny/santa/etc stuff because it's fun. In a couple years, he'll probably start to figure it out and then I'll ask him to just not spoil the fun for his little brother. There was someone, I can't remember if it was here or on another forum I frequent, that had a really good story about how Santa Claus was the spirit of giving, manifested in the parents, so although he turned out not to be a real person, it still kept the fun and "spirit" of Santa alive. Or something like that... I can't remember the exact details, but I know I really liked it as an explanation for when the kids figure out that Santa is really mom & dad.

Oh, and with regard to why we celebrate the holidays at all, my oldest hasn't asked that question yet, but when he does I will explain to him that some people celebrate events that happened in their religion, and in our house we're celebrating the arrival of the seasons and the changes to the earth they bring about. I'm not pagan, but their reasons for celebrating holidays make A HELL OF A LOT more sense to me. Like the whole celebration of the earth becoming fertile again (Eastre [Easter]) and the winter solstice signifying that the days will now grow longer once more. I'm kind of a nature junkie.
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March 16th, 2011, 09:16 PM
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March 18th, 2011, 12:49 AM
Momsince06's Avatar Mommy Since 2006
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for me, ive always celebrated christmas. But not in the religious sense. We celebrate that its a time of year that our family all gets together. We have the big meal, stuff ourselves, but its mainly all of us come together. other family members like cousins celebrate for the christ part, but we dont for our own family of 5 celebration. WE do the gifts cuz i love seeing my kids faces when they see stuff from santa. and yeh someday they will find out hes mommy and daddy lol, but till they i want them to enjoy the fun. as for easter bunny we just say hes best buds with santa. the kids love the easter bunny because whenever I wanted to do something big, like get rid of bottles or get rid of soothers, i told them they got an extra present from the easter bunny who collects them. it was a quick deal for getting rid of bottles and soothers. I will probably use it to my advantage of the last potty trainer in the house.

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April 3rd, 2011, 11:30 AM
Cali*Luvin's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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We celebrate Christmas but not in the religious sense. The kids have fun opening their presents. They are 5 and 3 so still young and don't know that Santa doesn't exist. As for easter we do an easter egg hunt in the backyard and they have fun finding the easter eggs. We don't celebrate the religious side of it.

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August 7th, 2011, 01:16 AM
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I know this is coming a few months after the original post, but I just wanted to chime in about handling holidays, especially now that my daughter is heading into preschool. I am a very firm believer that the more information I can provide my children, the better equipped they will be to make their own educated decisions about major life issues in the future. Although we celebrate holidays by spending time with family and friends, and we exchange gifts at christmas and birthdays, we have never pretended that mythical creatures like santa and the easter bunny are real. Of course my daughter has friends who's families are more "conventional", so she knows that the fat man in the red suit is called "Santa", but she also understands that different families believe different things and that Santa, etc. are just fun stories. We openly talk about these things and about how fun it is to think about, but she knows that these things are make believe. It's important to me that she know about the other customs in our world, such as Hanukkah and Cinco de Mayo, etc. I also fully intend to educate her about what it means to be christian, pagan, etc. Information is empowering, and I fully intend to make sure I give my kids the most information I can about religion, sex, life skills, everything. Although we have taught my daughter to be respectful of other people's opinions, I am slightly worried that now that she'll be in school with so many other kids who's families don't know our family (unlike the HeadStart program she was in, where we all pretty much knew each other), that there might be some conflict. Thanks for letting me get out my opinion. I am new to this website, and to message boards in general, actually, but I'm looking for an outlet since my triplet pregnancy keeps me anchored to my couch most of the time. Thanks again for reading.
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