A top psychologist has been getting a lot of attention this Christmas after suggesting that Santa Claus is NOT real.
Dr Christopher Boyle said parents could be doing their children long-term damage by telling them about Father Christmas, and he described the concept of an all-seeing North Pole intelligence agency that judges whether children have been good or bad as “terrifying”.
“The morality of making children believe in such myths has to be questioned. If parents are capable of lying about something so special and magical, can they be relied upon to continue as the guardians of wisdom and truth?”
His study accepts it may sometimes be right to lie to protect kids from uncomfortable truths, but not for Christmas.
“All children will eventually find out they’ve been consistently lied to for years, and this might make them wonder what other lies they’ve been told.”
The study’s co-author Dr Kathy McKay, said there is evidence in TV and film that adults create make-believe worlds because they want to be kids again.
She said “The persistence of fandom in stories like Harry Potter, Star Wars and Doctor Who in adulthood demonstrates a desire to briefly re-enter childhood. Many people may yearn for a time when imagination was accepted and encouraged, which may not be the case in adult life.”
Santa Claus was approached for an interview but said he was too busy making gifts to comment.