“Am I The Jerk For Insisting My Children Know The Bulk Of Their Gifts Are From Me And The Rest Of The Family And Not Santa?”

The Christmas season is in full swing and most kids have launched into their annual interrogation by now. “What’s a sugarplum?” “Do the elves make PC games?” “Why does Eric get more toys?” And don’t forget the inevitable classic: “Is Santa Claus real?”

Deciding how to answer it can actually be a surprisingly tough decision. On the one hand, you want your kids to trust you. But on the other, you don’t want to take away the magic from one of the most wonderful days of the year.

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Redditor snowballthrowaway01 wanted to discuss this further and get some feedback from other users on her own situation. So she came to the “Am I The A**hole” subreddit for help.

Image credits: Thandy Yung (not the actual photo)

So what should snowballthrowaway01 do? Psychologist and parenting expert Dr. Justin Coulson thinks that parents are overcomplicating this whole thing.

“Tell your kid the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” Coulson told Fatherly.

“The argument I use is this: Christmas is going to be exciting and fun and enjoyable whether kids know the truth about Santa or not. In the same way that I can watch a movie that I know is complete fiction and still find the movie tremendously enthralling, our children can know the truth about Santa and still find Christmas every bit as exciting.”

When it comes to ‘taking away the fun from Christmas,’ Coulson argues the magic of this special occasion can be even stronger if children know the truth about Santa from the beginning.

“Kids play make-believe all the time and they find joy in that. They can pretend to be superheroes, cowboys, doctors, or whatever they want. They know none of it is real but that doesn’t make playing less fun. In fact, the fantasy can genuinely add to the enjoyment. There is some great research that shows that kids with greater senses of imagination actually have a better understanding of the lines between fantasy and reality,” the psychologist said.

People thought the mom was being totally reasonable

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Coulson believes there might even be a downside to keeping the whole Santa Claus tale alive.

“The other major reason I have for telling the truth is that when we use a coercive, manipulative strategy to get our kids to behave, we are relying on extrinsic contingencies by telling them to be good in order to get what they want. And once that motivation is gone, how do we know they’ll still feel compelled to behave? It’s morally, ethically, and scientifically dubious at best.”

The psychologist highlighted that according to research, kids who are lied to by their parents are more likely to lie themselves so it is always a good idea to make telling the truth a habit.

“Don’t use Santa as a tool for motivating your kid. Letting them grow through fantasy and imagination is positive. Manipulation and lying to them are almost always negative.”

Sooner or later, children will figure it all out. There’s no need to risk the trust they have in you over this bearded dude!

And some shared their own experiences

The post “Am I The Jerk For Insisting My Children Know The Bulk Of Their Gifts Are From Me And The Rest Of The Family And Not Santa?” first appeared on Bored Panda.

Source: boredpanda.com

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