EXPLAINER: When should parents tell their kids the truth about Santa?

EXPLAINER: When should parents tell their kids the truth about Santa? Image: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock.com

EVERY parent has been asked by their children if Santa Claus is real or not, now a psychotherapist has revealed when it is best for them to tell their kids the truth about Santa.

In an article published by Business Insider, psychotherapist Amy Morin revealed when parents should tell their kids the truth about Santa.

After receiving multiple questions from parents asking how soon they should tell their kids the truth about Santa, Ms Morin offered some advice.

Choose to address the Santa issue based on your values, beliefs, and the child’s needs

Morin said that she has “yet to have an adult enter my therapy office claiming that believing in Santa — or being told the truth — scarred them for life.”

She added that although the decision of when to tell kids the truth about Jolly Old Saint Nick might seem big now, parents shouldn’t “get caught up believing there’s one specific age when you need to come clean — or that there’s a single right way to handle the situation.”

It is important to “take cues from them and their understanding of the world”, Morin pointed out.

However, as kids get older, they will naturally question the existence of Santa, Morin noted, although they might not simply ask if Santa is real.

Morin said that as they learn to think more critically, children somewhere between the ages of five and seven will begin to ask other questions, without asking the one they might specifically want the answer to!

She said that parents should expect to hear questions such as “How do reindeer fly?” or “How does Santa make it all around the world in one night?”

Best to be upfront

If your kids are asking questions, they want to know the truth, Morin noted.

Many parents don’t like the idea of lying to their kids but the ‘Santa scenario’ tends to mean that parents make an exception.

But Morin pointed out, telling them the truth “won’t harm them”.

“This doesn’t mean you have to jump in and tell them the whole story,” she wrote in her article for Business Insider, adding: “Instead, you might ask a few questions back.”

Morin said that asking questions such as “What makes you ask that?” or “What do you think about that?” will allow your kids to make their own conclusions, which is “okay” she noted.

However, if pressed for a straight answer, “be honest, and explain that you’re behind the presents from Santa.”

Talk to them

Depending on your family’s spiritual beliefs, you might want to open up to your kids and talk about the true meaning of Christmas.

“Just know that you don’t have to crush your child’s spirit and make all the magic disappear,” Morin pointed out.

She said a good practice for parents is to make “Christmas more about kindness and giving rather than reindeer and red suits.”

Another tool for parents, Morin added, is emphasising “not everyone knows ‘the secret’ yet, which will “discourage your child from making the announcement at school.”

Spread the Christmas cheer

“If you believe Christmas won’t be fun now that your child knows the truth, your Grinch-like spirit could drag your mood (and perhaps everyone else’s) down,” Morin said.

The psychotherapist said that whether your kid knows that Santa isn’t real or still believes, it is the job of the parent to keep alive the Christmas spirit and spread the Christmas cheer.

“Whether you start a new tradition that involves giving gifts to those in need or you allow your child to buy secret gifts for another family member, a different kind of holiday might be even more fun than you imagine,” she concluded.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]