To all of the parents who insist that their child sit on Santa's lap to take pictures, you may want to think again because you can be causing serious trauma to your kid.
As I'm out shopping in malls, I'm noticing more and more children who are so fearful of Santa Claus that they are begging their parents to get them away from the bearded man. Although most children are familiar with Santa from seeing him on ads, in commercials, on pictures and just about everywhere else around the holiday season, it's very different when you're forced to sit on the big man's lap to take a picture.
I'm not a parent but I don't think you have to be a parent to understand when your child is uncomfortable and fearful of something. No one should be forced into doing anything against their will -- especially not a child who is scared of someone. And just plopping your kid on the lap of Santa Claus for the sake of a Christmas photo may actually cause a lot of stress on a child.
I was one of those kids who was somewhat reserved when it came to Santa. My parents never forced my siblings and me to sit on his lap or take those popular mall photos with him. As a matter of fact, I don't even believe we were brought up believing in Santa Claus, but now as an adult I am still not a fan of Santa, clowns, mascots or most life-like animated characters.
So before you plop your child on Santa's lap to take that holiday pic, pay close attention that he or she is not crying hysterically or begging you not to get too close to that big man in a bright red suit with a beard and a deep voice yelling "Ho! Ho! Ho!" Santaphobia is really a thing, most likely because Santa is a stranger and many children may not connect with the mystique of his character.