REAL LIFE

Can what you say about Santa hurt your kids

How telling stories about Santa might be doing more harm than good.

Telling kids about Santa could be damaging them. At least, that’s the view of two Australian academics.

In an article entitled A Wonderful Lie, psychologist Christopher Boyle and mental health researcher Kathy McKay say it can undermine children’s trust in their parents.

‘If they are capable of lying about something so special and magical, can they be relied upon to continue as the guardians of wisdom and truth?’ they say in the article, published in Lancet Psychiatry.

Ultimately, these two academics are concerned that growing up with Santa could teach kids that lying isn’t so bad after all, and that the grown-ups in their lives aren’t to be trusted.

But child psychologist Michael Carr Gree argues back saying Santa is an important part of our culture and families enjoyed embracing the traditions. 

Suggesting any negatives are outweighed by the positive aspects of Santa Claus.

Related stories