Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Moments of Innovation

Overcoming the fear of Santa

Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 02:47

A visit to Santa can be a terrifying experience for some kids, according to a leading expert in anxiety and stress disorders. But facing the fear in stages or chatting with Saint Nick over the Internet are two ways to make a meeting with Father Christmas a jolly one. (Videography by Jillian Kitchener) Natalie Armstrong reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

STORY: Meeting Santa can be stressful for children as well as their parents eager for a photo op. But seeing jolly old Saint Nick in person can be fun for everyone, according to Martin Antony, a leading expert in anxiety and psychology professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) MARTIN ANTONY, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, RYERSON UNIVERSITY, SAYING: "Children when they're visiting Santa experience a wide range of feelings. So, some kids are very excited, very happy to see Santa, but a small number of kids are quite terrified when they see Santa." (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) MARTIN ANTONY, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, RYERSON UNIVERSITY, SAYING: "Kids with a fear of Santa may be ambivalent. So on the one hand they may want to see Santa, they may want to ask for certain presents, they may want to get that picture, that candy cane. On the other hand, they may be terrified of seeing Santa." (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) PAUL, DEWLING, MAN DRESSED AS SANTA, SAYING: "A lot of kids, they're not scared of Santa in general, they're scared of the facial hair. Whether it's a real beard, or a pretend beard." (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) MARTIN ANTONY, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, RYERSON UNIVERSITY, SAYING: "On the one hand, Santa is a stranger. On the other hand, Santa is a familiar character so children are certainly familiar with Santa before they meet Santa for the first time and parents are there. Parents are defining that as a safe situation. But for some children, that unfamiliarity has a very strong effect on fear." If a face-to-face close-up with Santa is too much for tots, speaking to Santa using virtual technology such as Skype or websites like Magic Santa dot C-A, can help. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) MARTIN ANTONY, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, RYERSON UNIVERSITY, SAYING: Nowadays there are opportunities to visit with Santa in new ways - virtual Santas for example. And in some ways, having some distant between Santa and the child will help reduce fear in the short-term, so in that way it's helpful. On the other hand, if the child is afraid of the situation, NOT encountering the situation may not help the child in terms of getting over the fear. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) MARTIN ANTONY, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, RYERSON UNIVERSITY, SAYING: For a child who's mildly afraid and sort of wants to see Santa but is apprehensive about doing that, then just taking it slowly is the best thing to do. And taking it as far as the child is willing to take it. So a child may not be willing to sit on Santa's lap, but a child might be willing to stand beside Santa. For parents worried about the long-term effect of their child being afraid of Santa, Antony says have no fear. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) MARTIN ANTONY, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, RYERSON UNIVERSITY, SAYING: "The best way to overcome fear if it's important to overcome fear, is through exposure. Through confronting feared situations and young children may need incentives to carry out exposure because they may not be invested in getting over the fear as much as their parents are invested. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) MARTIN ANTONY, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, RYERSON UNIVERSITY, SAYING: "And the other important thing for parents to remember is that it's not essential to get over every fear. There are a lot of fears (and the fear of Santa may be one of them) that children will outgrow on their own, or the fear doesn't really interfere that much with the child's life and parents need to not push in those cases."

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Overcoming the fear of Santa

Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 02:47

Top News »

Most Popular »

Retirement »

Investing 201 »

Bond investors brace for the end of Fed stimulus Bond investors brace for the end of Fed...

Fri, Oct 10, 2014 - (4:03)

Arian Foster = BlackBerry? Arian Foster = BlackBerry?

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 - (3:16)

Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs

Thu, Oct 10, 2013 - (2:34)

Copycat currency trading Copycat currency trading

Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - (2:28)

When to dump a winner When to dump a winner

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - (1:55)

Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers

Thu, Sep 19, 2013 - (2:05)

Why savings interest rates won't budge Why savings interest rates won't budge

Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - (2:09)

Buy local? ETFs try the trend Buy local? ETFs try the trend

Thu, Sep 05, 2013 - (2:42)

The better bond funds The better bond funds

Wed, Aug 07, 2013 - (2:40)

Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks

Thu, Aug 01, 2013 - (2:24)

Invest like an activist Invest like an activist

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 - (2:49)

Why bruised Brazil is a buy Why bruised Brazil is a buy

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 - (2:48)

3 ways to fix your bond portfolio 3 ways to fix your bond portfolio

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 - (3:10)

The next gold? Diamonds lure investors The next gold? Diamonds lure investors

Wed, Jul 03, 2013 - (2:38)

How to play the Fed’s tapering timeline How to play the Fed’s tapering timeline

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 - (2:34)

How to play banker on the web How to play banker on the web

Tue, Jun 11, 2013 - (2:57)

3 surprises about the 2013 stock rally 3 surprises about the 2013 stock rally

Fri, May 24, 2013 - (2:11)

How to cash in on lawsuits - Investing 201 How to cash in on lawsuits - Investing 201

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 - (2:30)

Rising dollar will drive stocks higher Rising dollar will drive stocks higher

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 - (2:32)

A little-known path to big dividends - Investing 201 A little-known path to big dividends -...

Thu, Apr 04, 2013 - (3:16)

What exactly does Warren Buffett own? - Investing 201 What exactly does Warren Buffett own? -...

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 - (0:51)

Big short bets: Where are they now? - Investing 201 Big short bets: Where are they now? -...

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 - (2:33)

Money Clip »

How to get out of debt How to get out of debt

Thu, Oct 30, 2014 - (3:37)

Will Apple Pay transform mobile payments? Will Apple Pay transform mobile payments?

Thu, Oct 16, 2014 - (2:45)

3 things to do before disaster strikes 3 things to do before disaster strikes

Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - (1:39)

Your must-do money list Your must-do money list

Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - (1:24)

The worst "best" financial advice The worst "best" financial advice

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - (1:42)

Forget gold: The case for REITs Forget gold: The case for REITs

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 - (1:19)

3 rules for buying a house now 3 rules for buying a house now

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - (1:39)

“Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip “Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 - (2:50)

3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip 3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 - (1:33)

How to break your prenup - Money Clip How to break your prenup - Money Clip

Thu, Mar 07, 2013 - (1:18)

Watch your wallet on Pinterest - Money Clip Watch your wallet on Pinterest - Money Clip

Thu, Feb 21, 2013 - (1:33)

Get set for the big bull run - Money Clip Get set for the big bull run - Money Clip

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 - (3:41)

Moving Pictures »

The world in a city The world in a city

9:56am EDT - (1:30)

Real-life superheroes Real-life superheroes

Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - (1:44)

Dance of the northern lights Dance of the northern lights

Mon, Oct 20, 2014 - (1:08)

Images of September Images of September

Wed, Oct 01, 2014 - (1:00)

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, Sep 05, 2014 - (2:05)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, Sep 01, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (1:00)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Thu, Jul 03, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)

World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals

Fri, Jun 06, 2014 - (1:08)

VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light

Fri, May 30, 2014 - (1:37)

The week that changed Boston The week that changed Boston

Mon, Apr 14, 2014 - (3:28)

360° snapshot of life in Kabul 360° snapshot of life in Kabul

Fri, Apr 04, 2014 - (1:26)

A blind teenager, living with vision A blind teenager, living with vision

Thu, Mar 27, 2014 - (3:51)

TIMELAPSE: Backstage at the Oscars TIMELAPSE: Backstage at the Oscars

Wed, Mar 05, 2014 - (2:49)

TIMELAPSE: Lunch with Oscar nominees TIMELAPSE: Lunch with Oscar nominees

Wed, Feb 12, 2014 - (2:55)

Sochi Highlights: Let the games begin Sochi Highlights: Let the games begin

Fri, Feb 07, 2014 - (0:40)

TIMELAPSE: On the Golden Globes red carpet TIMELAPSE: On the Golden Globes red carpet

Tue, Jan 14, 2014 - (3:28)

Pictures of the Year 2013 Pictures of the Year 2013

Fri, Dec 20, 2013 - (3:03)

Marching to the beat of Sousa's drum Marching to the beat of Sousa's drum

Thu, Dec 05, 2013 - (6:11)

The Gettysburg Address The Gettysburg Address

Thu, Nov 28, 2013 - (2:31)

Making Gruyere: A family affair Making Gruyere: A family affair

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 - (5:06)

Abortion: After the decision Abortion: After the decision

Tue, Sep 17, 2013 - (5:46)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Lessons of the Jihad Jane case - Reuters Investigates Lessons of the Jihad Jane case - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (3:43)

Exclusive: Jihad Jane in her own words Exclusive: Jihad Jane in her own words

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (4:11)

Attorney: How a Maryland teenager became radicalized - Reuters Investigates Attorney: How a Maryland teenager became...

Fri, Dec 07, 2012 - (4:21)

Counselor: Jihad Jane at 17 - Reuters Investigates Counselor: Jihad Jane at 17 - Reuters...

Thu, Dec 06, 2012 - (4:17)

Dateline Asia »

Breakingviews: Fleeting QE gains bring emerging market pains Breakingviews: Fleeting QE gains bring...

Wed, Oct 29, 2014 - (2:05)

Regulatory clarity needed on China stock connect -StanChart Regulatory clarity needed on China stock...

Mon, Oct 27, 2014 - (2:56)

Breakingviews: HK-Shanghai disconnect disappoints on reform Breakingviews: HK-Shanghai disconnect...

Sun, Oct 26, 2014 - (2:46)

Asia Week Ahead: Honda air bag crisis to deflate earnings? Asia Week Ahead: Honda air bag crisis to...

Fri, Oct 24, 2014 - (1:52)

FACTBOX: Japan's Abe loses two female ministers in one day FACTBOX: Japan's Abe loses two female...

Mon, Oct 20, 2014 - (1:20)

Breakingviews: Indonesia's Jokowi has a parliament problem Breakingviews: Indonesia's Jokowi has a...

Sun, Oct 19, 2014 - (2:19)

Investment Strategies: Don't worry, buy emerging markets Investment Strategies: Don't worry, buy...

Thu, Oct 16, 2014 - (3:58)

Breakingviews: Worse troubles than Agile brewing in China Breakingviews: Worse troubles than Agile...

Sun, Oct 12, 2014 - (2:35)

NBA's Brooklyn Nets hope to boost global profile in China NBA's Brooklyn Nets hope to boost global...

Fri, Oct 10, 2014 - (4:09)