Photo: @officialcoopy via Instagram
1. Introduce the Big Guy Before you head to the mall, read some stories about Santa. Kids are told not to talk to strangers, so you need to explain who he is, and that he is a safe person and just wants to talk for a few minutes. Re-assure them you will be there.
2. Scope out the site
Have them watch other kids get their pictures taken. (It can also help to have a sibling or friend go up with them.) Offer choices: Do you want a picture with Santa? Would you like to shake his hand? This gives them a sense of control.
3. Get in the picture For infants and toddlers who have separation anxiety, you may need to get in the shot (or accept photographic proof of their meltdown). But ask yourself if it’s worth the drama. There’ll be other holiday photo ops.