A new study conducted by a team of British scientists from the University of Exeter points out that making children believe in Santa Claus is a questionable practice and that it might lead to the long-term trust issue.
Professor Christopher Boyle, the project’s author, declared that the morality behind making children believe in Santa Claus and then revealing the lie could have an adverse effect on young children. The professor argued that children whose parents encourage them to believe in the fictional Yuletide gift-bringer can be irreversibly damaged by this fabrication.
Furthermore, the professor points out that these children will start questioning whether the parents were speaking the truth in other matters as well. In his long digression, Boyle said that upon discovering the truth about the fictional character, the child would start challenging the validity of other concepts passed down from their parents such as magic, fairies, and even God.
The British Professor explained that lying about Santa Claus could lead to more unforeseen consequences. However, there are voices from the scientific community who dispute Boyle’s finding, arguing that his theory might be hyperbolic.
Deborah Best, a psychology professor at the Wake Forrest University, declared that lying, in this case, is a bit harsh. Instead, the US professor argued that the whole situation might be viewed as a little family secret.
In consequence, after discovering that Santa Claus is not real, the child is not actually experiencing distrust towards his or her parents, but rather being mad about losing that touch of magic. As to parents using Santa Claus, the professor said that the fictional character promotes positive behavior such as joy and generosity.
The professor from the United States said that children often feel similar sentiments when they find out that other beloved characters such as fairies or trolls are not real. They might appear, at first, to direct their anger towards the person who told them the truth, but, in reality, they feel a deep sadness towards losing something magical, otherworldly – that one object or character which sparked their imagination.
Mona Delahooke, a pediatric psychologist from the United States, studied Boyle’s thesis. Although she agrees with Best’s views, she argues that Santa Claus should not be presented to children as someone who sees all and knows all.
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