‘Is the Easter bunny real?’ What to tell your kids
The Easter bunny is about to hop into town … but at some point, every child starts to ask the inevitable. Should you ‘fess up?
The Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa are part of most childhoods.
But at some point, every child starts to ask awkward questions:
How does the Easter Bunny deliver eggs to every child?
How big is the Easter Bunny and where does it live?
Is the Easter Bunny real?
Do you continue the myth or ’fess up and reveal?
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University of the Sunshine Coast senior psychology lecturer Dr Rachael Sharman says we often expect children to grow up too fast, and the Easter Bunny is harmless magic.
“Kids go through a series of brain development stages and creativity and imagination are one stage – which explains why Harry Potter books flew off the shelves,” she says.
“They appealed to children and their love of magic.
“There is nothing wrong with helping children develop a sense of awe, wonder and imagination and believing in the Easter Bunny and Father Christmas gives children joy.”
How to answer kids’ questions about the Easter Bunny, Santa and tooth fairy
From the ages of eight to 12, children may start to ask questions.
“They might be tipped off earlier because there are always kids whose parents tell them the truth right off the bat,” says Rachael.
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“But generally, during primary school years, children start to question how Father Christmas can deliver all those presents or how the Easter Bunny can deliver so many eggs.”
Generally, if children are old enough to ask, they’re old enough to know the truth.
They’re probably starting to think the story isn’t real, or they’ve heard something that suggests the Easter Bunny isn’t real.
If they’re asking how things work – how does Santa get down the chimney, or how does the Easter Bunny make so many eggs, you can continue to play along with some creative stories.
“Some parents want to keep the fairytale going a little longer,” says Rachael.
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If you decide to tell the truth, explain that people pretend the Easter Bunny is real because it makes people happy, says Rachael.
“Mum or Dad get the Easter eggs and Christmas presents, but we do it because it makes you happy,” explains Rachael.
“Most kids will figure that out.
“They develop theory of mind by the age of four or five and realise that sometimes people do things that aren’t real or true for someone else’s benefit or for a bigger and better cause.”
Written by Sarah Marinos.