​The Santa Dilemma: Is it OK to lie to your kids?

Author: one tough job

A recent article in the PhillyVoice revisits this often talked about dilemma with a fresh perspective and new research from the field of child psychology. Many parenting experts and parenting websites have weighed in on this including WebMD and PBS Parents. The PhillyVoice recently interviewed, Deena Weisberg, senior fellow in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Psychology and principal investigator of the Cognition and Development Lab.

Here are some takeaways to consider:

  • Like most parenting questions, how to deal with the Santa issue will vary from family to family and even child to child.
  • If you are going to tell your child the truth, be straightforward while acknowledging that other children and families may handle this information differently.
  • Even at a young age, your children are probably already weighing what is true and what is false from different sources of information on the topic.
  • As your child begins to doubt they may start to think of and ask more perspective questions. How exactly does Santa visit every single house in one short night?
  • There is a wide range of ages when your child may stop believing and some kids may become very upset to learn that something meaningful was just a story their parents made up.
  • Believing in Santa does not appear to have lasting damage to kids.

Biggest takeaway:

“You know your child. Is the truth going to make them upset, or make them feel good? You have to play that one as you see it, and the only person who knows that is you.”

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