Special Reports

Belief in Santa Claus Can Affect Parent-Child Relationships, Psychologists Warn


Christmas is just a few days away and experts have warned parents about the make-believe Santa Claus which can have an adverse effect on the relationship between parents and their children.

According to a report published in the Lancet Journal of Psychiatry, psychologists pointed out the negative effects of finding out that Santa Claus isn't real. This is said to ruin children's trust in their parents and can even affect the child in their decision-making.

Kathy McKay, a clinical psychologist at the University of New England, Australia and co-author of the article said that the lie about Santa can compromise the trust that kids have for their parents.

"If parents can lie so convincingly and over such a long time, what else can they lie about?" she asked. "There is potential for children to be harmed in these lies," she said.

Chris Boyle, the first author of the article also pointed out that parents using the perception about Santa's naughty list to their children being the reason that they don't receive presents in Christmas may cause a negative effect on children if they are used as a threat.

Boyle said that some parents take advantage of this to discipline or control their kids but points out that it is not the best way of parenting, because a mythical being is used to determine whether or not kids will be receiving gifts or not.

Psychologists presented some possible reasons behind this practice. They said that for one, it has been a tradition and most people have the tendency to conform to what the world has gotten used to. They also added that this could be a way for parents to escape reality by perpetuating the myth about Santa Claus regardless of its long term effect on their children and their relationship with

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