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Parent Tips for Keeping the Magic of Santa Alive

Images of this larger than life character fill our children’s heads throughout the holiday season. Most of us know Santa Claus as a portly, joyous, white-bearded man wearing a red suit and carrying a sack full of gifts.IMG_5122

However, it is an inevitable fact in any parent’s life: kids want to know if there really is a Santa Claus. They’ve heard kids talking at school or maybe they just have doubts. Here are some tips about how to keep the magic alive in a healthy way:

Have a Plan
Before those words even come out of your child’s mouth, have a plan already formulated in your mind. Three years ago, mother of three, Stacey Pollock, decided to tell her child the true meaning of Christmas by reading the story The Real Story of the Christmas Legend. “This was more about us trying to teach the reason for the season. We then started putting it into our tradition of giving to someone else each year.”

Remember, It’s a Family Decision
“I think revealing the existence of Santa Claus is a very personal decision that varies from family to family depending on their values and culture,” said Orange County Therapist Dr. Kathy Dumain, Psy.D., L.C.S.W.

Tell the Truth in Their Language
Dumain encourages parents to not lie if asked directly about the existence of Santa Claus. “It’s important to keep in mind the age of the child and to speak to them in age appropriate language when explaining topics.”

She also suggests that parents talk to their child about their thoughts and use open-ended questions. For example, parents can say: “What do you think? What have you heard from friends or others? How do you feel about what you’ve heard?”

According to Dumain, parents should allow children to reach their own conclusion in their own time and in their own way. Parents can prompt the child by saying: “What does your ‘gut’ tell you?”

“This should help the child come to conclusions independently and at the right time. Because oftentimes, they will have a decision in their mind already and they are looking for confirmation,” concludes Dumain.

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.
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