An important message to parents about Christmas from the Morcombe family.

A recent post on the Daniel Morcombe Foundation FB page is encouraging parents not to force their children to sit on Santa’s knee.

The post reads: “If your child refuses to sit on Santa’s lap at the shopping centre, don’t make them just so you can get the obligatory photo. Modelling that children have the right to say no to touch is a vital part of safety skill building.”

The post has been shared numerous times and attracted over 1.8K reactions.

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Parents are thanking them for sharing their message and agreeing that it totally goes against the stranger danger info we try and instill in our children.

Comments include:

-“Exactly, these Santa’s are strangers to our kids and to force our kids to ignore their intuition, fear and hesitation and just give in goes against everything I have taught my daughter.”

– “It’s funny how we teach our children not to talk to strangers or engage in conversation but when it comes to Santa, we willingly let them engage in conversation and sit on his lap. No wonder children are so trusting, maybe we have been teaching them all wrong.”

“Could not agree more, an archaic practice just to please parents / grand parents, We have never forced our kids and we fine with that, they have a choice.”

– ” I agree – it’s the parents who want the obligatory photo with Santa so if the child refuses to sit on Santa’s lap, who really cares – no need to traumatise a child for the sake of sitting on a strangers lap!!”

– “I agree! I can’t stand seeing screaming/scared kids/babies forced to sit on his lap. I don’t find those photos funny at all.”

A couple of years ago a child protection activist raised concerns saying it was best not to sit children on Santa’s lap for Christmas photos. Read more HERE.

This goes hand in hand with our previous post - 7 reasons why your child should never be forced to hug anyone (Yes, including relatives)

Are your children happy to have a photo with Santa? How do you prefer to do it?

Share your comments below.

  • Totally agree. And it’s the same in our house for Halloween – at what other time in the year would you ever let your child walk up to a complete stranger’s door and ask for lollies?!


  • my kids never sit on him, just on the chair or stand


  • My son has really gotten into it this year for the first time. The last few santa photos have just been him pretending santa wasn’t there. Last year’s photo nobody even noticed santa. Mrs Claus was about 20 and had her boobs out everywhere and she was definitely the centre of attention.


  • We just get our kids to stand next to Santa. Everyone’s happy.


  • I agree, never force your child into this !


  • I agree, but it is good if they will Santa what they would live for Christmas because they may tell him but not their parents if they ask them. One Dad eavesdropped and found out his daughter wanted a science microscope etc.
    They knew she enjoyed Science at school but it was something they would not have thought of. She really hadn’t given any hints of anything “big” she wanted. The Grandparents couldn’t get ideas via conversations at all either.


  • Very good advice from the Morcombe family.


  • Totally makes sense to me and I have been saying it for years.


  • I agree. Never force them. The kids have the choice to sit on the lap or not.


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