Science

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town: How Child Psychology Gets Affected By The Myth

By Duna Bil , Dec 22, 2016 10:55 AM EST
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Christmas is that one time in the year when kids get especially excited largely because of Santa, the reindeers and all the presents that he brings. But we all know he doesn't exist, so why do parents insist on perpetuating this myth?

Psychologists weigh in on the reasons why parents lead their kids to believe in the big guy, and hand out tips on the best time to tell the truth according to child psychology.

When a child asks how Santa fits into the chimney, crawls down and comes out without ever getting any burns, you pause and think for the most plausible answer you can think of. The reason why adults would make an effort to retain the child's belief varies and depends on their life experiences as children.

Aside from the obvious answer that it's fun, some parents enjoy the idea of creating a world of illusion for their kids, one that gives them a reason to smile and be excited about something. They get a feeling of satisfaction when they see the delight on their kids' faces. Another possible reason is the poignant way that it transports them back to happy memories in their childhood, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Whatever the reason why parents allow their children to believe in Father Christmas, psychologists say that this surprisingly does little harm to the psychology of the child. This goes in conflict with the previous belief that lying to kids about Santa negatively affects their trust on the parents.

Recent studies on child psychology suggest that as long parents keep it simple, like repeating what the child states, the child will think things through and come to a conclusion. The child is bound to know the truth anyway as they approach the ages of five and seven.

Dr Justin Coulson, a psychologist and parenting expert is optimistic that kids are resilient. Once they demonstrate curiosity and are old enough to tell the truth, simply tell them what they need to know, he shares with Kent Live News.

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