Kids quit on Santa be­tween ages 6-14


Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - B

ed­u­ca­tion field and we will use this as an op­por­tu­nity to help her learn how to ad­dress such con­ver­sa­tions dif­fer­ently in the fu­ture.” Martinez did not name the child care provider, but she has been iden­ti­fied in other news ac­counts as So­nia Fuller. She is listed on the school’s web­site as an en­rich­ment pro­gram teacher for kinder­garten.

Stu­dents were dis­cussing Santa’s ex­is­tence and one asked Fuller, who re­sponded that par­ents, not Santa, put the gifts un­der the Christ­mas tree, Gam­mage said.

It’s a del­i­cate sub­ject: Amer­i­can cul­ture goes so far to up­hold the be­lief in Santa Claus that even NORAD has a web­site de­voted to show­ing where on Earth the hefty, red­suited man and his sleigh are on Christ­mas Eve.

Coming to the con­clu­sion about Santa on their own is im­por­tant for chil­dren as they de­velop the ca­pac­ity to trust oth­ers and have faith, said Cindy Dell Clark, an an­thro­pol­o­gist at Rut­gers Univer­si­tyCam­den who has stud­ied chil­dren’s be­lief in Santa Claus for about 30 years.

“It’s taboo to say there’s no Santa Claus. It’s an age- graded be­lief sys­tem that we ex­pect some chil­dren to be­lieve in,” Clark said, adding she has found chil­dren stop be­liev­ing in the myth­i­cal gift giver be­tween ages 6 and 14.

Aven, Gam­mage said, chose to con­tinue be­liev­ing in Santa Claus.

“This has brought up a beau­ti­ful dis­cus­sion with our daugh­ter about be­lief,” Gam­mage said. “I told her that we re­spect that Mrs. Fuller doesn’t be­lieve in Santa Claus, and you have to choose for your­self.”

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