Around age of 6-9 years, children begin to question the idea of Santa Claus. Suddenly, rather than asking questions to learn more about “Santa’s magic,” they begin asking questions regarding the plausibility of Santa. It is around this age that children become skeptical of the stories they have been told. How is it possible for him to visit every house in the world in just one night? How can he fit down the chimney?
As children develop conceptual abilities, the stories of Santa Claus no longer seem plausible. For some children, this can be validating in that they have confirmed their perception of reality. For others, it can lead to anger about being “lied to” by adults. The acceptance of this new reality doesn’t have to be a negative experience. Explaining your idea about the spirit of Santa Claus and allowing your child to participate in creating the “magic” for others can help create a smooth transition to this new line of thinking.
Shtulman, A., & Yoo, R. I. (2015). Childrens understanding of physical possibility constrains their belief in Santa Claus. Cognitive Development, 34, 51-62. doi:10.1016/j.cogdev.2014.12.006
When Your Child Asks, Is Santa Real? (2016, July 17). Retrieved November 27, 2017, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/when-your-child-asks-is-santa-real/
Crystal Henson, MA