Age you should tell your kids the truth about Santa – and how to break it

Christmas with children is the most magical time of all, from visiting Santa’s grotto to putting out his mince pie on Christmas Eve and seeing their faces light up in anticipation.

But when should we, as parents, put an end to the magic for the sake of our kids?

When is the right time to stop perpetuating this lie? (We all know the one… about "Rudolph being his favourite reindeer", wink wink).

Children, stop reading now and hand this to your parents. You’re not allowed to know this secret or Santa won’t visit this year.

Psychologist and parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson spoke to Daily Mail Australia about the controversial subject – and revealed when we should be telling our children the truth.

He said: "In my experience, kids get curious between the ages of five and seven.

"It’s a constant topic of conversation and like anything that’s supposed to be a secret: Knowledge is power."

So if our little boys or girls come home from school, look up at us with those sad eyes and ask: "[Is Rudolph his favourite reindeer]? Ben in my class says he’s not," how should we respond?

Dr Coulson says: "The right time to tell your child is as soon as they ask.

"If they’re old enough and curious enough to question, then they’re old enough to know the truth."

What do you think? Let us know on our Mirror Mums Facebook page.

He also revealed that he had recently received a letter from a mum who felt like "the Grinch" for telling her five-year-old son that [Rudolph isn’t his favourite reindeer] when she was put on the spot.

The mum said her friends and family were "absolutely horrified" that she had "ruined the magic of Christmas".

But Coulson thinks it’s always worth telling the truth.

How do you break the news?

You can go about this in one of two ways: either be up front about it and just confess, or to ask them to think critically about the logistics of it.

If the conversation ends with them finding out the truth, Coulson recommends reminding your child that other parents might not have told their kids yet, so it’s a secret.

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