Sun, Mar 26, 2017 | updated 04:36 PM IST

'Santa's here': Should parents indulge in Christmas lie?

Updated: Nov 24, 2016 11:07 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov.24 (ANI): The last month of the year is ringing in and so is the time for much festivity and celebrations.

Shops are bursting with toys, mince pies are on the menu and radios are blasting out Christmas tunes, so it's time for another festive favourite: lying to children- 'Santa's here!.'

Millions of parents convince their kids Father Christmas is real, but this lie may be damaging, according to psychologist Christopher Boyle and mental health researcher Kathy McKay.

They also suggest parents may not be motivated by purely creating magic for their children, but by a desire to return to the joy of childhood themselves.

Writing in the Lancet Psychiatry, they say children's trust in their parents may be undermined by the Santa lie.

"If they are capable of lying about something so special and magical, can they be relied upon to continue as the guardians of wisdom and truth?" they write.

They also say idea of an all-seeing North Pole intelligence agency which judges every child as naughty or nice is, when considered as an adult, terrifying.

Professor Boyle, of the University of Exeter, says, "The morality of making children believe in such myths has to be questioned."

"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," adding, "Whether it's right to make children believe in Father Christmas is an interesting question, and it's also interesting to ask whether lying in this way will affect children in ways that have not been considered."

The authors accept that lying to children may sometimes be right.

"An adult comforting a child and telling them that their recently deceased pet will go to a special place (animal heaven) is arguably nicer than telling graphic truths about its imminent re-entry into the carbon cycle," they wrote.

But the Father Christmas fantasy may not be purely for the children, according to the authors.

For adults, it's a chance to go back to a time when they believed in magic.

Dr McKay, of the University of New England, Australia, said, "The persistence of fandom in stories like Harry Potter, Star Wars and Doctor Who well into adulthood demonstrates this 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." The essay concludes: "Might it be the case that the harshness of real life requires the creation of something better, something to believe in, something to hope for in the future or to return to a long-lost childhood a long time ago in a galaxy far far away?" McKay further explained.

The study has been published in Lancet Psychiatry. (ANI)

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): You may want to encourage your children to get up and exercise as a recent study has suggested that inactive teens have weaker bones than those who are physically active.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): White families with children typically live in less diverse areas than other racial groups, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 26 (ANI): Disabilities in children are difficult to diagnose and are often seen in the form of subtle signs like social awkwardness, withdrawal, hyperactivity or inability to focus on a particular task at hand etc.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 25 (ANI): Are you amongst those who have infatuation with Turkey and the Mediterranean region? Are you someone who is in awe of blue, white and yellow hues that give a glimpse of unique culture and goodness of Turkish architecture?

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A new study has found that as little as 10 minutes a day of high-intensity physical activity could help some children reduce their risk of developing heart problems and metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

Full Story >>

Mumbai [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): The Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI) which is in association with Parsons, The New School of Design, New York, took fashion incubation to a whole new level with the launch of their student's label "Asvaga" on Pernia's Pop-Up Shop. Pernia's Pop-Up Shop is India's first luxury fashion store for men and women.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Various mobile applications are permitting us to track our sleeping patterns, food intake and exercise or workout patterns.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 24 (ANI): Supporting the core theme of the annual 'Earth Hour Day', Radisson Blu Paschim Vihar is all set to ring in the day by participating and turning off the lights for an hour to save energy between 8:30 and 9:30pm.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): In a successful FB Live discussion yesterday, author Amish Tripathi and Cabinet Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani discussed how today's women are warriors, fighting many emotional and intellectual battles to create their mark in every field and every sector, around the world.

Full Story >>

Rishikesh [India], March 24 (ANI): Jumpin Heights, India's Extreme Adventure Zone and India's Highest Bungy Jumping Platform successfully completed 50, 000 Bungy Jumps. To mark this success, a gala event was organised that witnessed participation from over hundred jumpers, locals, and the 'Dangal girls' -Fatima Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra, respectively.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], Mar. 24 (ANI): Drinking a pint of ordinary beer, lager or two small pub measure (25 ml) of spirits a day may lower the risk of several, but not all, cardiovascular diseases, suggests a study.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 24 (ANI): Weight training, walking, hiking, jogging for 12 months may increase the particular hormone associated with bone growth, promoting bone formation, increasing bone density.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Ranking above HIV and malaria, health experts on the occasion of World Tuberculosis day, called for an increase in public awareness on the rising cases of TB among children.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Looking for extravagance but don't want to spend a bomb? Does your hunt for hotels always look for a perfect blend of comfort, luxury and budget? With the influx of 'budget brands' in the hotel segment, there has been an ignition of growth in the Hospitality sector, striking an increase in the number of in-bound vacations by 12 per cent.

Full Story >>

Saluting the spirit of acid-attack survivors

Updated: Mar 24, 2017 06:37 IST

Bengaluru [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): To celebrate the true spirit of womanhood, Housejoy's 'Joy Squad', in association with Atijeevan Foundation in Bengaluru and Chennai; brought joy into the lives of a few acid-attack survivors.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): The Grand Venice, largest mall in Greater Noida and India's only mall built on the lines of Italian city of Venice, has recently launched its Ultimate Food Hub Terrazzo.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): Shailyy- a born poetess, whose first story was published in Nandan at a tender age of 13 years, has many accolades to her credit.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): India is in the midst of a digital transformation and fashion is at the forefront of this change.

Full Story >>

By Somdatta Saha

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar.22 (ANI): Universal Business School (UBS) has entered into a three year JV agreement with Tata Capital to train the Graduate Trainee participants, which Tata Capital recruits and cherry picks after a stringent selection process from the best campuses across the country. The program is fully residential and is held at the UBS campus in Karjat.

Full Story >>