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Kids Scared of Santa? What to Do if Your Child Has Santaphobia

Updated: Nov 21

Candy Cane’s 5 tips to help keep the Christmas magic alive.




With Father Christmas preparing for the festive season, we know all the boys and girls are getting very excited about meeting him. To help settle some nerves we spoke with Steelworks Santa's chief elf Candy Cane, who has been helping parents prepare their children to visit Santa during the build up to Christmas. Here is what Candy Cane had to tell us:


1. Get the children involved in planning Christmas events.

Talk to your children about what will happen when they visit Santa and assure them that you will be there to support them.

When children know what to expect when they meet Santa it is easier for them to cope with their anxiety, which helps with the enjoyment of the experience.


2. Show support:

Getting help from an older child or yourself will provide reassurance for the child who is finding things overwhelming or might be a little nervous, children learn from watching others, so encourage your frightened child to watch from a distance as an older sibling or even yourself sits with Santa. Once your littlie sees that visiting Santa is actually something fun, your child may be want to participate as well.


3. Get familiar with Santa beforehand: Before you take your child to visit Santa, tell him/her a story about Santa so he/she is familiar with this character and sees him as friendly and jolly instead of someone who is new and potentially scary. Story books, videos and even games of Santa may also help your child be better prepared for their own visit.


4. Don't rush your Santa visit at Christmas. When you take your child to visit Santa, start far away and gradually encourage your child to get closer as he or she becomes more comfortable. You may have to do two or three ‘fly bys’ past Santa before your child actually has the courage to approach. This is perfectly normal!


5. Reward:

Show them how proud you are of them, cheer and clap, children respond well to being supported. They will also look back at the event and remember how proud you were of them and the excitement of meeting Father Christmas.


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