Santa Claus Offers Tips For Parents When Introducing Kids to Him
Posted December 5, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — If your children cannot stop talking about Santa Claus, you are not alone. And, if your youngster cries and runs at the sight of the merry old soul, you're still not alone.
All the jolly characteristics that make Santa so great can also make him a bit overwhelming for young kids.
"Only one in 10 two year olds will willingly visit with Santa Claus," said Santa.
Savannah, 2, is among those who are still a little apprehensive about meeting the man.
"She's curious, and it makes her happy to see Santa. But, she doesn't want him to touch her or anything like that," said parent Ginger Fox.
"He would get close to Santa Claus, but, he would most likely not actually sit on Santa's lap," said another parent.
Santa suggests for kids under one to forget the introduction and just place the child on his lap for a quick shot.
"The question of the introduction to Santa and taking a 12 month old and putting him right up into Santa's face is very frightening," said Santa.
For older children, he urges parents to respect their kids' need for space. Parents should talk about Santa before the meeting, show the child pictures and be patient.
"It takes some time to get to know Santa, so it is best to give them that time," said Santa.
Parents should also remember that kids can find comfort in numbers. Have a sibling or friend join the child on Santa's lap.
"Also, two year olds are struggling with the issue of controlling their own lives and being able to say 'no,' and being able to put some distance between them and Santa is, in fact, a healthy sign," said Santa.
In case you're wondering about Santa's insight on kids, his years of experience are complemented by a Ph.D. in Psychology.