“Santa Survey” Shows when Children Stop Believingadmin
An international survey to be published in 2019 has uncovered the average age at which children discover Santa is a myth. Dr. Christopher Boyle of the University of Exeter has, so far, collected responses for 1,200 individuals regarding their relationship with Santa Claus. And at what age did the majority claim they stopped believing in Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick: age 8.
“It was fascinating to hear why they started to believe he is fictional. The main cause is either the accidental or deliberate actions of parents, but some children started to piece together the truth themselves as they became older,” Boyle said.
According to EurekAlert, the study also found that “the treat of being on Santa’s naughty list doesn’t work for many children, and many youngsters continue to pretend they believe in Father Christmas even when they know he doesn’t exist.”
Some other interim findings show:
- 34% wished that they still believe in Santa, with 50% content to no longer believe
- 65% played along with the Santa myth as children, even though they knew it wasn’t true
- A third of respondents said they were upset when they discovered Santa wasn’t real; 15% felt betrayed and 10% were angry
Also – if you’ve lied to your children in order to keep the myth alive, you’re not alone; 31% of parents said they had denied that Santa is not true when directly asked by their child, however 40% hadn’t denied it when asked directly. Parents aren’t the only ones to blame, however, as the myth of Santa was ruined for many by school teachers and playmates.
Dr. Boyle is still collecting data. If interested, you can participate in the survey here.