We have all seen those classic Santa photos-the one where the child looks scared to death. Santa Claus is scary to children because his face is hidden by his beard. Since children rely on nonverbal behavior, they can get scared of Santa Claus because of his appearance. Here are some tips for making your child’s experience a pleasurable one.
- Show them pictures of Santa before and parents should get excited. If they know what Santa looks like, they will feel a little more prepared.
- For infants and toddlers, parents should hold them, or sit with them. This way they have the comfort of knowing someone who loves them is with them.
- If you have to get that picture with a toddler or infant, face the toddler away from Santa. If the toddler is watching you or the crowd, he or she might be distracted enough to get a good picture in.
- If your child is expressing fear, you may want to express empathy. You can do this by pointing out that all the other kids in line are nervous.
- In general, do not do it when your child is hungry or tired. That will simply add to the stress.
Above all, have fun with your kids. The holidays are all about making wonderful memories that last a lifetime!