Kids quit on Santa between ages 6-14
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.”