Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

When to tell your kids the truth about Santa, according to a psychotherapist

When to tell your kids the truth about Santa, according to a psychotherapist

It's inevitable that your kids will ask questions or be curious. You can be honest while still preserving the Christmas magic, expert Amy Morin said.

Whether you're writing letters to Santa or reading books about reindeer, your child's excitement can make the holiday season feel magical when they still believe in Santa.

Of course, the magic doesn't last forever. At some point — and, for many parents, this point comes too soon — your child will begin to question Santa's existence.

You might find yourself at a loss for words about how to respond or you might find yourself in a rare situation: Your child never asks about Santa. Even after they've passed the age when most kids figure it out, they still seem to buy into the guy in the red suit.

You might start to worry if it's time to spill the beans. After all, you don't want your child to get made fun of for believing that Santa will come down the chimney when they're a teenager. So how soon should you tell your kids the truth about Santa? It's a question parents often ask me in my therapy office.

Whenever I've been asked that question, I always reassure parents that I've yet to have an adult enter my therapy office claiming that believing in Santa — or being told the truth — scarred them for life. Don'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. Choose to address the Santa issue based on your values, beliefs, and the child's needs.


There isn't a right or wrong age to tell kids the truth


Take cues from them and their understanding of the world. Usually, somewhere between the ages of five and seven kids begin to think a little more critically. And it occurs to them that flying reindeer and a guy coming down the chimney might be a little far fetched.

So don't be surprised if your child starts asking questions. You might not get a direct question like, "Is Santa real?" But you may get questions like, "How do reindeer fly?" or "How does Santa make it all around the world in one night?"


If your child insists on getting an answer, it's best to be up front


When your child first starts asking questions, your instinct might be to reassure them that Santa is real and his magic powers help him defy logic. Even though you probably don't lie to your kids often, you might be tempted to stretch the truth in an effort to spare them pain. After all, you don't want to "ruin" Christmas for them. But, if they're asking questions, they want to know the truth. And you won't harm them by being honest.

This doesn't mean you have to jump in and tell them the whole story. Instead, you might ask a few questions back. Ask, "What makes you ask that?" or "What do you think about that?" It's okay to let kids form their own conclusions.

When confronted with, "Just tell me. Is there really a Santa?" be honest, and explain that you're behind the presents from Santa.


Your answers about Santa should depend on your values, your spiritual beliefs, and what you hope your child will learn from the experience


Some families talk about the spirit of Christmas still being alive or dive into the true meaning of Christmas. Other parents tell kids that Christmas is all about giving, and now that they know the truth about Santa, their job is to become Santa to someone else (this makes giving a part of their future tradition).

Just know that you don't have to crush your child's spirit and make all the magic disappear. Instead, you can make Christmas more about kindness and giving rather than reindeer and red suits. You may also want to emphasize that not everyone knows "the secret" yet. So discourage your child from making the announcement at school.


If you believe you can still make it a great holiday, there's a good chance your Christmas spirit will help your child enjoy the holiday season


Regardless of who believes in Santa, the true magic of Christmas has to do with your beliefs, and that includes your belief about your child's knowledge of Santa. 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.

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.

Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Assaulted in Central Copenhagen
Germany and France Oppose EU Luxury Car Restrictions to Russia
French Citizen Arrested in Russia for Alleged Military Intelligence Gathering
Germany's Defense Minister Calls for War Preparedness by 2029
Deutsche Bank Revises Eurozone GDP Outlook for 2023
Widening Wealth Gap in Europe
FTI Group Files for Insolvency, Affecting Thousands of Travelers
Germany Announces €23 Billion Tax Cuts to Support Inflation-Hit Households
West Nears Plan to Tap $300bn in Frozen Russian Assets
The European Central Bank (ECB) has cut interest rates for the first time in nearly five years
Putin Warns Against Western Arms Deliveries to Ukraine
Slovak PM Blames Opposition for Assassination Attempt
Study Finds Covid Vaccines May Have Contributed to Excess Deaths
EU Commission Considers Broader Digital Surveillance Measures
Macron to Host Zelensky in Paris for Crucial Talks
Italy's Prime Minister Meloni to Visit Migrant Centers in Albania
Conservatives Plan to Define Sex as Biological in Equality Act
China Accuses MI6 of Recruiting Chinese Government Staff as Spies
Nigel Farage Makes Eighth Attempt to Become UK MP
UK Poll Predicts Historic Victory for Labour Party
Orban Amplifies Anti-NATO Rhetoric Ahead of Elections
Meloni Urges EU Parliament to Adopt Right-Wing Coalition Model
Venice Implements New Tourist Restrictions
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Urges US to Stop 'Smearing' China
Hungary Commits to Enhancing Investment and Trade with Cambodia
The Reality of Social Europe: Homes, Training, and Jobs
China Warns EU Against Tariffs on Electric Vehicles
Chinese EV Makers Target European Market with Competitive Prices
×