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Why Does Your Kid Cry When They Sit On Santa’s Lap?

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The scene is se. Your kid is decked out in an adorable holiday outfit, and the mall Santa could not be more jolly. In fact, you suspect this may be the perfect photo op for your next holiday card. But the second your kid is settled on Santa, it's meltdown time. Your visions of a picture-perfect meeting evaporate in a fit of tears and red-faced wailing. Why does your kid cry when they sit on Santa's lap, and how can you try to make this meeting more happy for all involved?

For what it's worth, your kid is not just being difficult if he acts like Santa is more terrifying than Freddy Krueger. In fact, depending on your kid's age, fearing Santa may be a normal part of development. According to Advance Ohio, kids who are between 8 months to 2 years of age tend to fear strangers and parental separation, and this reaction could make a visit to Santa more or less terrifying. In fact, this fear of St. Nick may actually be a positive thing for your kid. As noted in the Daily Mail, kids who freak out when placed on Santa's lap are actually displaying a decent understanding of stranger danger. Sure, you know that the whole Santa's workshop visit is a charming act, but as far as your kid is concerned, you're handing him off to that stranger in a red suit forever.

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If you still want to take a shot at a Santa pic, there are a few tips you can use to help your little one calm down. As noted in Parents, you can share positive stories and movies about Santa with your kid ahead of time so the man in red is less of a stranger. Keeping the Santa story positive is one way to lessen the chance of your kid freaking. In addition, allowing your kid to enjoy some snacks or a favorite toy in line may help provide comfort, according to Parenting. After all, being hungry or anxious can make meltdowns more likely. Lastly, if you kid is just not having it, you can always bow out and try again next year. If nothing else, some creative Photoshopping is always an option: paste a smiling photo of your child onto a stock Santa image, and enjoy your perfect pic.