What to do When Your Child Doesn’t Believe in Santa

The Christmas season has arrived in Kansas City, but what to do when your child doesn’t believe in Santa anymore?

There a few different ways to handle your child questioning Santa Claus…

Our Mom Squad shares helpful hints for when your child doesn’t believe in Santa AND how to handle your child asking if Santa exists. Take a look…

What to do when your child doesn't believe in Santa

When Your Child Doesn’t Believe in Santa

…How to keep the belief alive and how to tell your child Santa doesn’t exist.

When your child asks you if Santa is real, every parent probably has a different answer. Some have magical tales, while others are very blunt with their children.

But, knowing what to say can be hard…

So, check out these tips for what to do when your child doesn’t believe in Santa anymore & responses from other parents!

Explore the Complete 2019 Guide to Christmas in Kansas City, including where to take Pictures with Santa near me, 2019 Christmas light displays around town, our ultimate Holiday Gifts Guide & so much more…


When Do Kids Stop Believing in Santa?

Every child is different. Some children figure out quite young that Santa isn’t real. Others believe in Santa Claus’s magic much longer…

Some children catch on fairly quickly that parents and grandparents are buying all the presents.

Other children can be more of a challenge and argue with us that Santa was real. 

Our second child wasn’t sad or heartbroken…but he did go on a mission to tell all the other kids in his class at school, and the other kids at church that Santa and the tooth fairy were both fakes.

Whatever age your child is when they start to question Santa, here are some things you can do or say:


What do you do when your child stops believing in Santa?

Whenever your children stop believing in Santa, it’s important to help your child understand that all families celebrate the holidays a little differently…

Some families do lots of gifts for each other, while others only do a few gifts for the children. Some families celebrate the holiday on Christmas Eve, while others wait until the morning for Santa Claus.

Each family has their own special, and personal, holiday traditions that work for them.  Explain to your child that it’s not okay for them to disrupt how someone else celebrates the holidays.

You can also reinforce that we can enjoy Christmas movies, the holiday season and the spirit without the man in the red suit…

Explain What Santa Represents

Help your child understand that Santa Claus embodies the spirit of Christmas and we can all take a part in ‘playing Santa’ around the holidays.

Some families play Santa by giving gifts to another family in need, some play Santa by wrapping fun gifts and placing them under the tree and some play Santa simply by spreading joy around the Christmas season.

Santa doesn’t have to be one single person, it can be an idea that brings happy memories and fun experiences to us all in different ways throughout the season.

Personal Example:

One local mom told her daughter Santa was real and explained who he was & what he did for others in this community. Now, they choose someone from their community each holiday season to help. This helps them to understand Santa lives in our hearts…

An extra tip from this mom is to choose someone they will see soon, so your child sees the impact their gift makes. 

Make Believe & Imagination are Important

Help your child understand the joy of make believe.

In one of the last chapters of the final book in the Harry Potter series, Harry is standing near platform 9 ¾ when he sees Dumbledore, who passed away earlier in the series. Harry asks him, “Is this real or has this been happening inside my head?” Dumbledore replies, “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real?”

You see, there is magic in make believe and that magic can be enjoyed by all ages throughout the holiday season.

Or, Let it Be

Some parents just let their children figure it out for themselves & navigate understanding. This can help your children to be more independent…

If they are older, they may have suspected Santa wasn’t real for a while. 

How do you handle it when your child asks if Santa doesn’t exist?

It’s the dreaded question we know we’ll eventually get when our child grows up believing in Santa.

So, what are you supposed to do when your child asks you if Santa is real?

Have a Conversation

Open the door up for conversation.

Ask your child what qualities they most appreciate about Santa, aside from the fact that he delivers gifts. Is it that he’s kind? Or that he works hard to spread happiness?

Ask your child how the idea of Santa inspires others to have similar qualities around the holiday season. The qualities that define Santa can be found all around us, which makes it more real than ever.

Ask Questions

Ask your child, point blank, what they want to believe. You’ll be surprised to discover how maturely your child will handle it when the decision is left up to them.

Bring Santa to Life

Allow them to start playing the Santa role in your household.

Once your child stops believing in the man in the big red coat, invite them to be part of the tradition and to play the Santa role. The transition from believing in Santa to being a Santa helps to avoid any issues with sharing the news with other kids who aren’t ready to hear it.


No matter how you choose to handle when your child doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, it’s important to remember spending time together is the most important part of the holidays. 

Be sure you get The Scoop from iFamilyKC to stay up-to-date on all things Christmas in Kansas City!

From our family to yours, iFamilyKC