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Honey, Go Sit on That Stranger's Lap: Should Parents Be Skeptical of Mall Santas?

Long lines at malls prove that many parents are comfortable letting their kids sit on Kris Kringle's lap! While most of us wouldn't hand our children over to a stranger, there's something about a bearded man decked out in a red suit posing for pictures that suddenly makes it OK. Like other moms and dads, I assume that the "powers that be" running the temporary Winter Wonderlands are doing background checks on these supposed St. Nick's, but I can't be positive that the occasional creeps don't slip through the cracks. Are parents too lax about tot safety when it comes to festive fun?

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laurabeth57 laurabeth57 6 years
Statistically, your kids are in more danger from people you know/trust. AND YET, I find the whole thing creepy. Do I think it's dangerous? You're probably in more danger of getting a bug from all the kids in one place than from something sinister. Will I ever force my kids to sit on some random old guys lap? NEVER. if they really want to when they are older, I probably won't stop them (maybe subtly discourage them). I just find old men who want to spend a ton of time with kids automatically suspect. I know most of them are probably really good guys and I hear they make a good paycheck. But still. Gross.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
Yes! What Anonymous ladies #3 and #5 said! Just because there is a miniscule chance that some stranger (not even a position in a person of trust! someone who may come into contact with my child once or twice if that!) may have an extremely disturbing but uncommon attraction to children, is not going to make me deny my child her childhood. If she wants to sit on Santa's lap, that's fine with me. If she doesn't, even better, because then I don't have to wait in line! :D But seriously, I'm not going to skip Santa or the waterpark or the fountain in the park because there may be a pedophile in the vicinity. Now, people in a position of trust are a different matter entirely. Those people, who will be with my child when I'm not there, must earn that trust and it's not easy.
amber512 amber512 6 years
Then again, do I really want them seeing my child's face to think about later? At least I wouldn't know? I don't know. I'm telling my kid's the true story of Santa Claus anyway and am not planning on taking them to actually sit on some guy's lap.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 6 years
omg thank you! i thought no one else understood the creepy factor. maybe its because i didn't do this as a child? but i am not enthusiastic at all about this tradition for my kids
amber512 amber512 6 years
I mean there are a TON of witnesses so I doubt they could really do anything. Funny though, I never really thought about how creepy it sounds.
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