Is Your Child a Santa-Phobe?

Kids are supposed to love Santa, but this is a familiar story – waiting in a long line at a crowded mall for a chance to sit on the lap of a stranger. The child is by now cranky and tired, over stimulated and overheated and then is told to sit on the lap of this person wearing this strange get up, and who may himself be fairly tired and fed up. So there you have a bawling, unhappy Santa-phobe of a kid!

It may be inexplicable for the enthusiastic parent waiting for a Yule tide photo op featuring their kid and Santa, but consider the one or two year old, who finds it very strange – being handed over by a parent to an admittedly strangely dressed stranger. So experts advise:

  • Follow the lead of the child and respect him/her. If there is crying, then consider that the photo is not that important
  • Consider that a child may feel threatened or anxious at the thought of a person coming down the chimney and
  • When the child goes to Santa for a photo op, keep it short and don’t make it long winded
  • Perhaps mom can be in the Santa pic too; sitting on the Santa chair with Santa himself looking on over the top of the chair
  • A stool or chair next to Santa may be a better idea than the lap


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