12/23/2014 03:46 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What To Tell Little Kids Who Ask If Santa Is Real (VIDEO)

For parents who celebrate Christmas, one of the joys is watching their young children marvel at the magic of Santa Claus. But every parent, at some point, will get the question: “Mom, Dad … is Santa Claus real?”

On the one hand, parents could tell their children that no, there is no Santa Claus. It’s all fake. Good luck living that one down later.

On the other hand, parents could stick to the story and reinforce the myth of the jolly old elf from the North Pole who comes down the chimney bringing presents in the dead of night. But if the kids ever find out that’s not true, will the parents have any credibility left?

Dr. Phil says that when kids are under 6, it’s more about the spirit of Christmas, and Santa Claus is an icon representing that spirit. “I think it is a harmless and productive fantasy that children can be allowed to live with for a period of time,” he tells parents in the video above.

Dr. Phil airs weekdays. Check here for local listings.

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