Stress free visits with Santa Claus
by Susen Mesco, Master Santa Claus Trainer,
Professional Santa Claus School Conference, Denver, CO
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 12:37pm
This is a topic that we cover for at least 4 hours at Professional Santa Claus School, going over 4 dozen or more ways to make sure the child has a calm & positive experience, that the line does not get the domino effect of fear and panic and so Santa can truly enjoy his visits without feeling helpless due to any “freak outs” by the little ones.
Perhaps the first and most important aspect of making sure everyone has a good time with Santa Claus, is UNDERSTANDING the children at their unique level of development. A Child Psychologist presents the 5 levels of growth and thought patterns/needs of the children. Knowing what is important to a child at their particular age, is key to Santa Claus knowing how to best respond.
For instance, babies have the need to keep mommy’s face in view for safety. If the baby can see mommy, things will remain calm. Alternatively, telling a 3 year old they are a “big boy or girl” is NOT a good thing. The child will panic.
Certain age levels like to DO and SHOW, which can engage them in interaction with you. Another age level likes to be in charge or take charge and allowing them to make decisions is the answer. Older children, at the brink of non-believer can be treated with dignity & respect, rather than trying to convince them they still believe, to get a quality visit, despite their reluctance.
Having an elf helper or Mrs. Claus that understands the growth pattern needs of the various stages of development is invaluable to successful orchestration of the Santa Claus visit line, whether in mall, day care or corporate setting.
Santa should attend training with the person who will assisting him most often, so they know the routine and the reasoning behind it.
Later this week we will talk about other ways to help children have a quality visit… “CREATE the EXPERIENCE!” This has been our (American Events' and Pro Santa Claus School) motto since 1983!
Feel free to leave your comments and join our discussions!
Be sure to invite your Santa friends to subscribe to this blog for tips, ideas and ways to improve your Santa Claus portrayal. See you in Denver this August for the 31st Annual Santa School Conference! For more details:
Master Santa Claus Trainer since 1983!