Winter is quickly approaching and many of us have already begun thinking about the holidays. The holiday season brings so much joy. It’s hard not to get into the spirit. For parents, the holiday season creates the perfect opportunity to create traditions and teach children about the delight and wonder of this magical time of year.
While many parents are excited for that sweet picture of their child telling Santa what they want for Christmas, things don’t always go as planned. Many children become scared when meeting Santa. This can lead to tears and sometimes a complete refusal to go anywhere near jolly old Saint Nick. Fortunately, with a little preparation, parents can ensure a calm and happy experience when meeting Santa Claus.
A lot of times, kids know very little about Santa when meeting him for the first time. This can make it difficult to convince them to get close enough for a picture. In order to make your child’s first visit with Santa a success, you’ll need to take some time to properly introduce them to Santa Claus before the holiday season.
There are many ways to get your kids excited about meeting jolly old St. Nick. Consider reading books and telling stories about your own experiences with Santa Claus. Show your child age-appropriate movies that portray Santa in a positive way. Have your child create a wish list for you to send to Santa.
Many parents attempt to take their child to a crowded shopping mall to visit with Santa. Unfortunately, the long lines and large crowds can make the experience more stressful for both you and your child. For the best experience, consider having Santa visit your next event. You can even schedule a private Zoom call with Santa if you prefer.
If you decide to visit Santa at a mall or other busy location, make sure to go on a weekday early in the season. This helps ensure a shorter wait time and a better experience.
Choose a time for your visit when your child is well rested. Don’t plan to meet Santa at nap time or close to bedtime. If possible, plan to meet Santa in the morning or afternoon shortly after lunch.
Many parents underestimate the effect that sugar has on their child. While it might seem like a good idea to let them indulge in sweets like ice cream, cookies, or hot chocolate topped with mounds of whipped cream shortly before their visit, it can negatively impact their attitude. Instead of sweets, offer your child a healthy snack like an apple or string cheese before they meet with Santa Claus.
Allow your child to watch how you interact with Santa. Before their turn, greet Santa and give him a hug. You can even sit next to him for a few minutes and have a friendly chat. This will help your child understand that this is a safe situation. Have your child join you by sitting on your lap. If they still aren’t sure about Santa, have them sit on the knee furthest from him. Take things slow and allow your child to move at a pace that’s most comfortable to them. Even if you don’t get any further than your child accepting a candy cane from Santa, consider it a success! It will get easier and your child more comfortable with each visit.
Every child is different and some will likely warm up to Santa faster than others. Even if you don’t get the picture of your dreams this year, that doesn’t mean you won’t create memories you’ll look back on for years to come. Enjoy this special time with your child.
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