Monday, 21 December 2020

Kids Scared Of Santa? Here’s What To Do


It may come as a surprise, but Santaphobia is a real thing. Despite the magic and excitement of Christmas, some children are actually scared of Santa. Luckily, you don’t need to let this ruin your Christmas, and there are ways you can help your child to overcome their fear. Dreams Beds have put together some advice on what to do if your child is scared of Santa, here’s what they say:

What Makes Children Scared Of Santa?

It’s completely normal for a child to have a fear of Santa. There’s a lot going on at Christmas time, so it’s easy for a young child to feel overwhelmed. Old St Nick can get the focus of this because of several reasons:

1. Stranger Danger

As parents we spend the whole year telling our children to be wary of strangers for their own safety. Then Christmas comes around and we’re completely changing our tune! Not only is this complete stranger to be welcomed with open arms, but we’re ok with him breaking into our house via the chimney as we sleep. It’s no wonder these mixed messages can be a little confusing for your little one.

On the plus point, if your child shows a Santaphobia it means that they really have taken stock of the Stranger Danger warnings, which may be a sign of developed emotional intelligence.

2. He’s Not Always The Same

Throughout December, your child is likely to come into contact with a number of different Santa’s. Although he will always be dressed in red, with a big white beard, other aspects may change. Your little one is likely to meet tall and short Santa’s through the month. It’s likely that Santa will have a different voice, and maybe even accent, each time they visit. Although we do not know how children process these differences, it must be confusing for them.

3. His Opinion Counts

Santa is so important throughout Christmas, he’s taken an almost God-like presence. You tell your child how Santa has been watching them all year and if they’ve been good, they’ll get presents. Meeting someone who judges your behaviour, someone you have pinned so many hopes on, can cause a surge of emotions. It can be a completely overwhelming experience for some children.


How To Help A Child With Santaphobia

Usually, it is children under four that show a fear of Santa. During their toddler years they are starting to feel emotions in a completely different way to what they’re used to. This new wave of emotions, and the inability to deal with it, manifests itself in tantrums and tears during the “terrible twos”. By the age of four, most children start to learn how to cope with external stimuli, for example covering their ears if there’s a loud noise. But until this time, it’s important that you help them to learn to cope.

Firstly, it’s important that you acknowledge the fear, but don’t be tempted to tell them that Santa isn’t real. All this will do is ruin the magic in later years. Instead reassure your child. Let them know it’s ok to be nervous of Santa, but they’ll come to love him with time. Help them to learn how to cope with this fear. Not only will this help them with their Santaphobia, but it’ll also teach them important skills for the future.

If your child is showing signs of being anxious about Santa, let them have control of the situation. Don’t force them to sit on Santa’s knee if they don’t want to, this will just create more negative connotations. Instead, let them know it’s ok and give them other options to choose from. If they’d rather go and look at the pretty lights than meet Santa, let them do this. Giving them this control will also teach them that they can say no to things that they don’t want to do and that it’s ok to present their fears, things that many adults struggle with. In time, they will come round to Santa being an exciting person to meet every year.

Although your child might have Santaphobia this year, don’t discount next year. Bring Santa up earlier in the year to give your child time to get used to the idea. This will also give your child plenty of time to ask questions about the big guy. Time is a great healer, so simply giving your child more time can work wonders with their fears.


Overall, if your child is showing a fear of Santa, there’s no need to worry or spoil the magic. It’s a completely natural part of development, as they are feeling new emotions and learning to deal with the world around them. Christmas can be overwhelming, so give your child time and support to get over this fear. Most children have gotten over this fear by fives years old and Christmas is back to being a wonderful, magical time of year.

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