October 23, 2019

Bearcats Strike for Climate -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Personal Account On Vaping -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Girls Water Polo Resumes Winning Ways -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Running into the 2019 season -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How Media Affects The Mind -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Matilda Provides Hope -

Monday, October 14, 2019

Mock Trial: Murder Trials, New Captains, and Autonomous Vehicle Accidents -

Monday, October 14, 2019

SMHS Starts the Year Cellphone Free -

Monday, October 14, 2019

SMHS’ Boomwhacker Club -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Questioning the Ethics of Unconventional Childbearing -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Don’t Blame Video Games -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Why Disney Won’t Stop Remaking Movies -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Versatility of Virtual Reality -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Pondering Yondr -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Mr. Shea: The Meme King -

Thursday, October 3, 2019

#AHistoryofBadBoycotts -

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Increased Regulation is Necessary for Homeschooling -

Thursday, August 29, 2019

An amazing year for the wrestling team -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Experience at the Women’s March -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

El Regreso Del Racismo -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

How Old is Too Old to Believe in Santa Claus?

As children, everyone is brought up differently. After all, we are all different people. Setting up cookies and milk on Christmas Eve or waking up in the morning for presents make up some of my happiest childhood memories. Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, believing in Santa Claus is a source of hope for children all over the world. According to a poll on CBS News, “A whopping 84 percent of grown-ups were once children trusted in Santa’s magic, and lots cling to it still.”  With the 2016 holidays coming up, children are already beginning to write their letters to Santa and compile their lists of possible presents. But really, at what age should kids start to let go of that hope?

There are many controversial ideas about whether children who still believe in Santa at their tween ages are healthy. An article from Psychology Today says that “it might foster the development of what later in life is called “magical thinking” which is a potentially serious cognitive distortion that many therapists struggle mightily to disabuse their clients of.” Opposers from a less extreme point of view argue that the idea of an overweight man travelling the world, breaking into houses with millions of presents overnight is absurd. If a child at age 10 cannot rationalize and interpret the fact that this isn’t real, then they’re going to have a lot of trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality in the “real world”. This also makes it hard for the adults, since their child is growing up and the reality just hasn’t hit yet. The most common childhood lesson that parents teach their kids is to not lie, so is it really okay that parents are lying to their kids about Santa? Not to mention, the feeling when kids finally discover the truth of who has actually been eating the cookies by the fireplace is not a desirable moment for both parties.

However, there are many good reasons why the belief in Santa is actually healthy for children. Surprisingly, the fantasy of Santa increases a child’s reasoning skills. A child’s imagination can run wild with this idea of Santa. This helps their hypothetical reasoning. They think, “What happens if Santa gets sick on Christmas Eve? What if the elves don’t finish all the presents in time?” Children use their imagination to try and think of a logical answer for these questions. This imagination can also help children develop a creative mind and reinforce writing and reading skills. Psychologist Marjorie Taylor conducted a study that showed preschoolers and kindergarteners who had imaginary friends or believed in myths have a better understanding of emotions and distinguishment of fantasy and reality. Most of the time, children usually discover the truth from their peers or siblings. Sometimes kids continue the ruse just for an opportunity to receive more presents during the holiday season.

Also, the myth of Santa Claus is technically based off truth. Saint Nick was a real person and he was known for helping the poor and giving back to the community. The idea of Santa really does give inspiration to children and teach them good values. The Santa myth has been embedded into American culture as a figure of hope for children during the holidays. Freshman Mia Mendoza was one of those children who continued to keep hope: “I didn’t stop believing in Santa until I was about 12, because I was one of those kids that continued keeping hope that Santa was real. Believing in Santa and discovering the truth is really just a part of growing up.”

Personally, I believe there should be no structured age for children to believe in Santa Claus. Can someone really set an age for when a person should stop believing in hope? Santa Claus is major tradition for the holidays and if children want to continue believing, it can’t do that much harm.  Stating that someone may still believe in Santa Claus after the age of 20 may be a little extreme, but if teenager still wants to believe in Santa, it really isn’t our place to judge them.  With so many psychological benefits for all ages, that judgement regarding their age and their belief shouldn’t be discouraged, but appreciated.  According to a Huffington Post article about the benefits of believing in Santa Claus, the belief in Santa Claus can help develop a child’s “counterfactual reasoning skills. The kind of thinking involved in imagining how nine reindeer could fly through the sky carrying a heavy sleigh may well be the same kind of thinking required for imagining a solution to global warming or a way to cure a disease.” If such a small lie can have such a great impact on not only a child’s life, but our society, why discourage them at all?

Regardless of your opinion about this topic, the ideals of the holidays are the same for everyone.  The true spirit of the holidays is sharing this joyful time with all your family and friends.  

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