The Conversation

Editor's note

Many adults recall being devastated when they learnt Santa wasn’t real, but then told their kids the same white lie. We asked five experts if this was OK and four of them came back with a no.

As psychologist Ameneh Shahaeian explains: "When a child asks the question as to whether Santa is real or not, they’re already at a developmental stage to distinguish between reality and fictional characters. When children reach this developmental stage, it’s not helpful if we lie to them about a fictional character such as Santa."

We’ll be back with more from Thrive from late January. If you have any feedback or topics you’d like to see more of in 2019, email me at Thanks for your support in 2018, and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Fron Jackson-Webb

Deputy Editor/Senior Health + Medicine Editor

If they ask, tell them the truth.

We asked five experts: should I lie to my children about Santa?

Sophie Heizer, The Conversation

Four out of five experts said no.

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