Is Santa Claus real? One man admits to continuing to tell his son that Santa Claus is real. Keeping his son convinced seems like it would be harder than dealing with his son’s tears over finding out that Santa is merely a figment of his imagination. Frequently, children find out the truth about Santa from other kids at school or from an older sibling hoping to cause intense emotional suffering on the part of their younger sister or brother.
Many people remember and think fondly of the times when they still believed in Santa Claus. Even more might remember and not have fond feelings about when they found out that he was not real. How do we tell our children that Santa is not real, and that we have been lying, when their classmate proudly issues a spoiler at school? Some parents do not ever tell their children about Santa, but their children end up believing in him anyway. Experts sometimes suggest not telling stories and letting movies and mall Santas feed into whatever fanciful ideas your child is prone to have. Others suggest it is perfectly healthy since children naturally believe in things that do not make sense and they gradually learn something that makes them question their own beliefs, for example that their teddy bear has feelings.
The wisest approach is most likely to decide what you and your child value and let your son or daughter take the lead. With so many kids having access to the internet, keeping the Santa story alive is becoming increasingly difficult. Therapists have reported that they have heard many patients talk about the crushing moment when they discovered the myth about Santa. One could argue that those individuals were prone to instability or overreactivity to begin with. Others just think that a young child’s trust in their parent is far too important to risk shattering it over some silly tale. Those parents frequently tell their kids to be quiet and not shatter the joy of kids who think Santa Claus is real.
Some experts suggest that letting older children be part of creating the story of Santa, for example by stuffing their sibling’s stocking when he or she isn’t looking, can be fun for everyone. That seems easy enough, after all that is like playing a very longstanding trick on your brother or sister, which many enjoy.
It seems as though, with all the debate, parents are more concerned about Santa Claus than their children are. Some are quite adamant that telling their kids “Santa is real” poses a threat to their relationship with their son or daughter. Often times kids have suspicions that Santa is fake because they notice that the Santa at the mall looks different than the one that was there the prior weekend. Kids in this category are often proud to solve the mystery, rather than be distraught.
If you are really concerned about long term emotional ramifications of supporting this childhood myth then come up with a game plan ahead of time. It can be woven into a tale about how when many people believe in something it becomes true; or perhaps how Christmas is about giving. Explain that giving gifts is not about pride but about putting a smile on someone else’s face. That is what the whole idea behind the holiday is anyway, Right? Bringing joy. You can always remind them that even grown ups make mistakes and you foolishly believed that they enjoyed believing that Santa Claus is real.
By: Lara Stielow