Psychologist reveals why lying to your kids about Santa could be damaging

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A child psychologist has revealed why lying to your children about Santa could actually cause them damage.

While providing your kids with the made up magic of Santa (opens in new tab) Claus can be a nostalgic (opens in new tab) childhood memory they treasure for the rest of their lives, it turns out it's important to be tactful when it comes to lying about Father Christmas (opens in new tab) being real.

According to child psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer, there are key steps to take when you tell a child that Santa isn't real, so that you avoid continuous lies that could make them feel like they can't trust you anymore.

Dr Gummer also highlights the importance of finding the right age to drop the festive bombshell and confirm that Santa, his North Pole elves and Rudolph (opens in new tab) are just magical myths.

"Many parents feel that sending children to secondary school still believing may lead to bullying, so the Christmas of year six is a good time if they still believe then," Dr Gummer said.

Writing letter to Santa

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"Other than that, it’s about when the children start asking about it and you’d have to lie outright to them to keep them believing."

Speaking to the Daily Star, she added, "It is important that your children trust you and believe what you tell them so if you keep the myth going for too long there’s a danger that you’ll damage your credibility with them which can be damaging for your relationship as they get older.

"It’s easier to confirm suspicions they already have than break the news to them out of the blue."

In order to take the sting away from finding out the reality of Father Christmas, she recommends hammering home the important and lovely sides of Christmas that are real.

"You can soften it by telling them that you still believe it’s a magical time of year.

"Try explaining that young children need to learn lessons about being good and kind and Santa is a way of helping them learn those lessons in a fun way."