Reutlingen psychologist: children should believe in santa claus

Children should believe in Santa Claus, says Reutlingen psychologist Bernhard Eckert-Grob. The myth figure fit into the fantasy world of the little ones. But there are important things to consider.


Seeks the chimney? Santa Claus climbs a skyscraper at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Carstensen/dpa

REUTLINGEN. "Dad, does Santa Claus really exist??"or "Mom, my friends say that Santa Claus doesn’t really exist." Such or similar questions are likely to play a role in many families right now during the Advent season. Parents are thus often in a dilemma: "If I tell my child the truth, I’m admitting a kind of white lie?" The GEA has spoken with a psychologist from Reutlingen, who also has years of experience as Santa Claus to show.

Berhard Eckert-Grob from the Diakonie’s psychological counseling center in Reutlingen says quite clearly: "For small children, Santa Claus is a matter of course. "He fits wonderfully into the magical fantasy world of the little ones, and that’s a good thing," says the man who has often been Santa himself in the past.

Young people also love Santa Claus

In an interview with GEA, Eckert-Grob emphasized the psychological significance of Santa Claus for children and adults and said: "Anyone who wants to believe in Santa Claus should do so, regardless of whether they are a child, an adult or a young person." He has an anecdote for this: "I was once in my disguise as Santa Claus on the road and met young people at a bus stop. They knew, of course, that it was Santa Claus

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does not exist. Nevertheless, they called out to me: "Dear Santa Claus, why don’t you come to our house later and bring some presents?."

This showed him that the fantasy figure of Santa Claus also works when people know that he does not actually exist. Santa Claus belongs to the magic and myth world of the people and they need this especially in Corona times and before Christmas.

Parents should not deprive children of this illusion. That’s why he advises them, "Don’t actively tell them that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. The children will find that out for themselves at some point."They would then not hold the white lie against their parents. "Children experience disillusionment with reality again and again. They can handle it better than we think."

No punitive Santa Claus

The important thing is that Santa Claus remains a positive and good-natured figure. A punishing Santa Claus makes the children only fear and does not belong into the education, so Bernhard Eckert large, which has also children. "The Christmas fantasy world with Santa Claus, the angels, the Christ Child can be a positive educational element," says the expert. Santa Claus should therefore approach the children with the following basic attitude: "It’s nice that you children exist. What have you done well lately?"The rod is simply not part of it.

Keeping a myth and fantasy world for the children is also justifiable from the point of view of the adults: "Because the adults also have their fantasy worlds that they love. Let’s just think about Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or other fantasy stories." In the magic pages finally also the adults wanted to believe, even if the mind says that in reality does not exist. (GEA]

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