When To Tell Your Kid The Easter Bunny Isn't Real

Parenting is a tricky balance between letting children's imaginations run wild for as long as possible and introducing them to the "reality" of the world. When it comes to fictional characters like Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, or the Easter Bunny, many parents struggle to know the best time to "break the news" to their kids that these beloved creatures aren't real. As cute as it is to watch your children get excited over the Easter Bunny and begrudgingly sit on its lap for photos, knowing when you should tell your kid that the Easter Bunny doesn't exist can be a hard decision to make.

Of course, like almost every aspect of raising a child, the decision will look different from one child to the next. Some kids seem to be hardwired "realists" who disbelieve in the Easter Bunny (and other fictional characters) from the start, while others hold on to their childhood beliefs for much longer.

Similarly, families who placed a high level of significance on characters like the Easter Bunny or Santa might find it harder to tell their kids the truth, even if they find it out on their own through friends. Many parents worry that trust will be broken if they tell their kids that the fluffy Easter mascot doesn't exist, while others are perfectly fine with letting their children harmlessly anticipate the bunny's arrival each year. So where should parents draw the line?

One article from PBS discussed the fact that, from a young age, children rely heavily on their imagination and make believe. Be it a superhero, a character from a book, or a holiday figure, children are hardwired to imagine, play, and dream. Although the article was in reference to Santa Clause specifically, the principle remains the same for the Easter Bunny. Imagination is a good thing in children and shouldn't be discouraged too soon.

The article went on to say that by age 7 or 8, most children come to the realization that these characters aren't real. And contrary to parents' fears, most children hold no resentment or feel that they've been lied to. These realizations are part of growing up, but in the meantime, don't feel rushed to end your child's belief in the Easter Bunny. Age and time will do it on it's own.