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Age of Children Believing in Santa Claus, Psychologists Reveal When Most Children Stop Believing in Santa Claus

 

Age of Children Believing in Santa Claus

 

Age of Children Believing in Santa Claus: As Christmas approaches, psychologists have revealed the results of an interesting study: Most children begin to doubt the authenticity of Santa Claus around the age of 8. According to research by Candice Mills, a psychologist at the University of Texas, children are usually able to distinguish between fantasy and reality in preschool, but their belief in Santa Claus continues into middle childhood.

The research team interviewed 48 children aged 6 to 15, their 44 parents, and 383 additional adults about their experiences with Santa Claus. The results show that most children begin to doubt around the age of 8, while some children may already realize that Santa Claus does not exist as early as 3 or 4 years old. Regarding this change from belief to doubt, some children may continue to believe until they are 15 or 16 years old before gradually accepting reality.

Mills points out that children’s suspicions are often based on logical reasoning, such as how could someone travel around the world at night delivering gifts. However, the reasons why they ultimately abandon their faith are often related to the testimonies of classmates or other unbelievers, which leaves some children feeling disappointed and confused.

The study also found that about a third of children and half of adults experienced some negative emotions after becoming suspicious of Santa Claus. While these feelings are usually mild and short-lived, about 10 percent of adults say their feelings of sadness last longer or have less trust in their parents as a result.

Parents should give vague answers to allow their children to make a smooth transition
Mills suggests that when children ask Santa-related questions, parents should listen carefully and understand their children’s questions. If your child isn’t ready to give up on Santa Claus, you can smooth the transition by using a vaguer answer, such as talking about what “some people” think, or ending with “That’s an interesting question.”

When it comes to directly asking if Santa Claus is real, Mills recommends changing the subject and letting the child share their opinion, putting the question back to the child to prompt them to think more deeply about the issue.

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