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Big Kids

23rd Nov 2023

Parenting expert says forcing kids to sit on Santa’s lap is ‘bullying’

santa's lap

“This is a stressful situation for some children”

The Christmas season will be here before we know it and one parenting expert has warned that forcing children sit on Santa’s lap is “bullying”.

Dr. Justin Coulson has said that he doesn’t think that forcing a kid to sit on a stranger’s lap for a photo is a decent thing to do, seeing as it can cause stress and upset.

“Seriously, just no,” the dad-of-six told MamaMia.

“I don’t know where we get the idea from that seeing our kids suffer and experience fear and anxiety is funny.

“Any thinking, the empathic parent is going to recognise that this is a stressful situation for some children and there is absolutely no benefit to it.”

Dr. Coulson said that if the child is excited to sit on Santa’s lap then the child should be allowed sit on Santa’s lap, no problem.

But if the child seems distressed, it should be obvious that the little one shouldn’t be forced to sit there.

“But if the child is non-consenting, then the parent’s just being a bully,” he went on to say.

“Parents have got to stop bullying their children. It’s using their power to force their child into an uncomfortable situation that just makes them feel awful.

“We make a really big deal about teaching our children about body boundaries, about body safety, and about consent. And all of a sudden we make this bizarre exception for a stranger in a red suit in a shopping centre.”

So, what do you think? Should more attention be paid to children’s feelings when it comes to Santa?