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As your child ages, especially if there are younger siblings in the house, there are creative ways to keep the Santa experience positive, even after their belief in the physical reality of Santa has been abandoned.Finally, always remember, as children are figuring out how the world really works, that they are going to look to the people and things around them for evidence.' Older children are more likely to hone in on Santa's extraordinary abilities: 'How does Santa get around the whole world in a single night?' Recognizing these challenging questions for what they are — cognitive development in action — may free some parents from the burden of belief.But, unlike many parents, I see the development of a belief in the physical reality of Santa, and the eventual myth-busting, as impressive achievements to be celebrated, not feared!Research in the field of developmental psychology suggests that such fantastical beliefs are not actually harmful, but are associated with a number of positive developmental outcomes— from exercising the 'counterfactual reasoning skills' needed for human innovation to boosting emotional development.Yet, despite Santa's impressive marketing strategy, most children will abandon their belief by the age of eight.Though many parents fear this transition, it's an inevitable part of growing up. He is a jolly man dressed in red with a snowy beard.
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Specifically, many parents worry about whether they should encourage their children's belief in the physical reality of Santa, about the potential impact of lying to them and what to do when their children realize they've been duped. In fact, the best approach involves supporting your kids while they figure it out on their own. As a developmental scientist, I spend most of my time researching children's trust.
I'm interested in how trust develops and what happens when it's broken.
Research suggests that fantastical beliefs are associated with a number of positive developmental outcomes.
So, if your child is still a believer, feel free to protect that belief.
If your goal is to extend your child's belief in the physical reality of Santa, you can respond to the questions with plausible explanations or evidence.