How to help calm down a young child visiting Santa

Throughout my first year of donning the “Red Suit”, I have had many new and interesting situations arise. The old standby is a crying child, unfortunately, children will sometimes not want to cooperate with their parent’s wishes of getting a photo with Santa. For many parents and children, the wait in line is just too much for their patience. Maybe it is just not a good night or they are just plain afraid of a figure in a big red suit and hat!
Last night at the Columbus Zoo it seemed the first hour there was a wave of crying children. As a Santa I am not complaining in fact, it is part of the job we inherit when we decide to be Santa. The building seemed a little warmer and the had Christmas music on that had wild animal noises in the background. That may have had something to do with the circumstances. The line was also long all night so the wait time was very inconvenient.
As a Santa I try not to let the line intimidate me, I always want to make sure that child knows that Santa is listening and will not rush. The line eventually does go down at the end of the night and I pray that my performance is superior so people feel it is worth the wait. I pray that your Santa tries to engage children while in line, I always try to make eye contact and wave whenever I see a child looking at me while waiting.
Okay so now the meat of the article, parents please make sure your child has had a good nap or is well rested prior to the visit. If possible have two parents, one that can wait in line and one that can walk the child around when he/she needs it. Have a snack or drink so the child is not hungry or thirsty. if you are concerned with your child’s reaction to Santa you can always carry them towards him with their back to him and gently sit on Santa’s lap. If this still does not work maybe Mom or Dad can sit in Santa’s chair and then Santa can sneak up beside you to get the picture. Finally sometimes no matter what you do your child is going to scream, if this happens please do not get frustrated. It is part of life, enjoy it and hopefully, Santa will also.


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