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Why do parents lie about Santa?

There are a variety of thoughts about what one says to children about Santa. Some people believe some don’t. For me, it was more than just Santa. There is a lot that comes along with believing. I think it is more about the magic of the season. Kind of like having faith and there is a lot of joy watching your child believe. Parents lie to kids because that’s what we know. We were most likely lied to as kids ourselves and continue to cycle. We also see it everywhere, on television, in stores and our kids may even hear it from school.

For younger children this have something magical to believe in. Allows for exploration, imagination and creative images of Santa, reindeer, and magical presents appearing on Christmas. We allow our children to enjoy magical thinking and Santa is part of that.

Yes, it is sad when they stop because it is almost like the magic is gone. There is nothing like watching the excitement in your children and the smiles on their faces. When the children let us know that they know that there is no Santa; we still make it about believing. It doesn’t have to be Santa, it is just a magical time of year and watching their excitement on Christmas morning. So I think parents get sad because it is almost like all the fun and magic is gone. It is hard to explain in words; it is something that you feel.

Why do parents lie about Santa?

There is a magic in the way young children think about the world, and Santa makes sense to them. Once they are past this stage, it is essential to tell them the truth to reinforce that they can trust parents to be truthful when they need them to be. There can be a disappointment and tears when a child gives up the “belief” in Santa.

We reached out to some of the experts in this field to help us on this topic; we are thankful to each of them for their well-esteemed support.

Larissa Manning
Kryss Shane, BS, MS, MSW, LSW, LMSW
Jenmarie Eadie



Larissa Manning. Parent and Owner of Literatee ( – Blog Link:

As a mom to a 12-year-old who finally admitted she hasn’t believed in Santa since she was 11, and to an eight-year who still believes in Santa. I think the Santa believe convenient for parents because even though it might not be the best parenting tool, most of us use the old believe that Santa knows if you’ve been bad or good as a bargaining tool. Trust me; it has worked with my sometimes challenging eight years old.

The cons of children being lied about Santa is that they expect presents from Santa and parents. My almost teen daughter now knows it all comes out of the same pocket and she is more considerate of her requests. My eight-year-old, on the other hand, wants a Nintendo Switch, and he’s so sweet to tell me “don’t worry mom, I asked Santa for that so that you can get me other cheaper things”… yeah!

I think it can be painful to some parents when children outgrow that because it’s a form of acceptance that your children are growing up. I am ready for my eight-year-old to stop believing, will I miss this phase? Probably yes!

Kids pretend to believe in Santa longer not necessarily to please their parents but to get presents from Santa and parents.



Jenmarie Eadie, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Inc. You can connect with her by visiting

I do not recommend parents tell their children Santa is real. It models that lying is acceptable to the children. It can also be a significant let down when children finally hear from their parents Santa does not exist. Also, many children find out from peers, which can be traumatic. Many parents use Santa as a means to control behavior. For example “If you don’t listen, Santa won’t give you presents this year.” This dis-empowers parent because it puts a mythical figure in control of the child’s behavior.
Ultimately, there are many different ways to bring in the magic of the Christmas season without lying to your child.



Kryss Shane, BS, MS, MSW, LSW, LMSW a social media consultant, copywriter, author, social worker, and a public speaker. Her website is

Parents don’t see Santa as a lie that they tell their children. Memories of the parent’s childhood (as either worth creating or as wanting to provide something better for their child) encourages the parent to work to make the season feel whimsical and magical. Watching the children enjoy gives parents a sense of doing parenting right, a feeling that many may question throughout their parenting time.

The secret and magic of Santa typically have its shelf-life as kids interact with each other and share what they’ve learned or deemed to be significant News. Most probably your child finds out the secret from a friend on a playground, or they may not find out until you decide to share the Information about them. If you choose to share the secret, it is important not to let your child see this as a lie or even a hox.

We need to explain that the magic of the season is bringing joy to others and recognizing the beauty of the decorations all around. The idea is to bring the child into this mystery rather than to make them feel silly for trusting you and what you said was real.

The only time to be concerned is if the child is letting their belief in magic interfere with their daily life. For example, if your child behaves better because they want Santa to bring them toys (which you already know they’ll receive), there is nothing wrong with this. If your child sobs when making a mistake because they fear disappointing Santa, it is time to help them understand that Santa is an idea and a feeling, not someone judging them. It is essential that for children do not misunderstand a lack of an unattainable gift as Santa not loving them or something they did wrong.

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Why do parents lie about Santa?
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Why do parents lie about Santa?
Parents don't see Santa as a lie that they tell their children. There is a magic in the way young children think about the world, and Santa makes sense to them.
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