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Teacher Asks If She's Wrong For Telling Her Student 'The Truth' About Elf On The Shelf

Photo: elf on the shelf
elf on the shelf

A child’s imagination knows no bounds, but one teacher may have crushed exactly that for one of her students.

She shared the story to Reddit’s "r/AmItheA-–hole" (AITA), a subreddit where users from across the internet ask for advice on a conflict in their lives, to explain how she revealed the beloved Elf on the Shelf wasn’t real.

Now she’s asking if she was wrong to do so.

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The teacher told her 9-year-old student that Elf on the Shelf wasn’t real.

The teacher opens the story by explaining how they’re a private tutor and helps teach a fourth grader, a 9-year-old boy, with "a lot of anxiety."

"He randomly brought up Elf on the Shelf and started frantically asking me where it came from and if I had one," the teacher explains.

Elf on the Shelf has become extremely popular among parents for how silly it can be.

The trend involves the parents posing the elf around the house with messages leading up to Christmas.

The teacher explained how they didn’t have one and the child questioned this, explaining that they also didn’t have one but he "celebrates Christmas" so he’s not sure why the Elf doesn’t visit his home.

"I explained to him that different families have different traditions so maybe it wasn’t part of his family's tradition."



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The student was still upset and bombarded the teacher with questions.

He asked where the elf came from and without knowing what else to say, the teacher told him that the Elf was bought from the store because it was a doll.

According to the teacher, he was shocked.

He was told by his friend that the Elf was real and came to children’s houses only if they believed in Santa Claus.

The teacher was puzzled because they didn’t realize "that kids, especially 9-10 years old, thought it was real."

Afterward, the teacher found out that the boy told everybody at school and the kids called his mother to let her know.

Now, the mother is upset at her and says it wasn’t the teacher’s place to tell her son the truth.

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Reddit users believe the teacher didn’t do anything wrong.

Of course, there’s no limit to when a child should stop believing in Santa Claus or anything holiday related, but many are pointing out how absurd it is for a 9-year-old to still think these magical things are real.

One parent shared how they are upfront with their children about these sorts of things.

"NTA. Sorry but this American idea of keeping kids 'kids' until they are 18 and [moving] out with zero adult things is weird. I'm Swedish and my 10-year-old knows Santa isn't real, most 6 and 7-year-olds know it too, it doesn't take away the magic at all, it just makes [it] different," they wrote.

Others explained how they have their own qualms with the growing trend of parents using Elf on the Shelf.

"NTA. Elf on the shelf is a weird/uncomfortable concept,” one person wrote. “It also sounds like they don’t use this thing in their house for Christmas so there wasn’t any harm in telling the kid? Honestly surprised a lot of them don’t see these dolls in the store and make the connection they’re just that.”

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Victoria Soliz is a writer with YourTango who covers news and entertainment content. Her work explores pop culture trends, film and TV, and celebrity news