Like many parents, Katie Love looks forward to celebrating the holidays with her kiddo. For the Love family, that includes a trip to see Santa. At first, 3-year-old Adley can’t wait! In the weeks leading up to her visit, Adley brings it up often. But when that day arrives, the little girl simply doesn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap.
This likely doesn’t come as a surprise to many folks, especially parents. I can’t count the times I’ve seen a kid crying while on Santa’s lap — and who can blame them? As much as they may love Santa, he’s still a stranger to them. Not every kid is going to feel comfortable getting that close.
Rather than being upset or frustrated with Adley, Katie reassures her that her feelings are valid.
“And as we got in line and she started to see a lot of the kids sitting on Santa’s lap, she tugged on my shirt and said, ‘Mom, I don’t know if I want to do that,'” Katie recalls. “And I said, ‘That is completely okay, Adley, you can say no. What ever makes you most comfortable.”
Little Adley takes her mom’s words to heart. As soon as Santa asks if she wants to sit on his lap, according to her mom, she firmly replies, “No!”
Little Girl Doesn’t Want to Sit on Santa’s Lap
“I was so proud of her in that moment,” Katie says. “It’s just incredibly challenging when you’re so small, you have very little control over what you do or wear in a day, and I want Adley, even as a toddler, to always feel in control of her body, of her actions — it’s so important.”
Unfortunately, not all adults respect children’s boundaries or their ability to create them. Thankfully this Santa, who goes by Steve Lantz in real life, understands this concept well.
“I said, ‘This is her body, and she’s in control of her body,” Steve repeats for Katie so she can capture the moment.
This video is now viral, prompting conversations on the importance of respecting everyone, including young kids.
“It just blows my mind that we live in a culture where this kind of thing goes viral because it’s rare,” Steve shares. “This should be the norm. Kids should be respected, people should be respected — it shouldn’t be a surprise that an adult affirms the dignity of a child. That should be the norm.”
Although there’s frustration in the fact that this isn’t considered the norm, Steve is grateful for the chance to contribute to this shift in mindset.
“I’m thrilled that I’m part of sending a message than can be helpful to children and could be generational,” he says. “You dream of things like that. It’s a dream come true.”
Watch Steve’s perfect response to this sweet girl sharing she doesn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap in the video below.
@katielovesocial This response was 🔥Thank you Santa for respecting my daughter's choice & even applauding her for it!🎄🎅 #toddlersoftiktok #santaclaus #christmastiktok #toddlersbelike #adviceforgirls #importantmessage #toddlermom #toddlertok #wholesomemoments #femaleempowerment #girlpower #bodyautonomy ♬ original sound – Katie Love
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