There are only a few different types of parents or grandparents. And, it’s mainly grandparents that are the awful pushy ones. Parents maybe less so.
But, the best ever parents are the ones that either wait slightly outside watching their child interact with Santa, without interfering, or keep quiet as they sit or stand with their child, letting them explore and acclimatise to the experience.
These are the parents that tend to have relatively stress-free children. The relationship between these kinds of parents and their child is probably exactly what a perfect relationship should be. The children will grow up to be fairly rounded and sensible, maybe even quite successful.
By staying in the background, the parent allows their child and Santa to run the interaction at their own pace. It allows a good Santa to draw the child out about what they want for Christmas and to even discuss the presents they want. It allows Santa to to make jokes and slightly silly statements in order to engage with the child at whatever their ‘level’ is, and to make the experience fun.
The worst ever parents, and these are predominantly grandparents, are the ones that hold their child by the arms and push or frog-march them forward at Santa. Rather than being allowed to go at their own pace, or to have time to take in and adjust to their surroundings, these children find themselves being all but thrown at Santa. It’s a bit like being thrown face first into a fire. It’s frightening.
Without a break for the poor thing to think, the terrified child is bombarded with, “Tell Father Christmas you’s want a bike. Go on, tell him you’ve been good and you’s going to get a bike.”
These are the children who are scared and scarred for life. They probably develop an extreme Santaphobia and spend the rest of their life feeling complete paranoia every Christmas.
These are the parents and grandparents who really shouldn’t be allowed within 10 metres of a developing child.
Inbetween these two extremes are variations on parents interfering or trying to control their children or the experience. All of these are bad parents. Not bad enough to be ‘deleted’ or banned from being near children, just bad enough to be in need of attending parenting skills courses.
Strangely, morally, it’s not only the parents that force the bullshit of Father Christmas into their kids’ developing brain that I hate (In other words any and all parents bringing their child to my grotto, including the nicer parents). It’s the parents that then ruin and spoil it by interfering so the child isn’t allowed to have its own experience at its own pace.
Parents, eh? You can’t legally kill them. Sigh.