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Santa has the best reaction to a little girl who doesn't want to sit in his lap

"We love an educated Santa."

santa, kids, sitting in santa's lap, mall santa
@katielovesocial/TikTok

May all Santas be like this one

Forcing a kid to sit on Santa’s lap, even when it makes them clearly uncomfortable, might have been a holiday tradition once upon a time. But today, in an age where many, if not most parents advocate for their child’s boundaries, it’s an automatic naughty-list move.

And that’s why people are applauding one Santa’s perfect display of respect for a little girl named Adley, who gave him a firm “no” after he asked her if she wanted to sit in his lap. Their viral exchange became a simple, but effective lesson in consent.

Katie Love, Adley’s mom, was so impressed with what Santa told her that she asked him to repeat the message so she could record it, according to Today.com.

“I said, 'This is her body, and she’s in control of her body,’” Santa explains. "I asked if she wanted to sit on my lap, and she said, ‘No,’ and I said, ‘Way to stand up for yourself. And way to say what you believe is true.’”

Watch:

@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

He reiterated that the rule goes even for Santa Claus. No means no.

The clip quickly amassed 2 million views on TikTok, with hundreds praising this Santa for his thoughtfulness.

“We love an educated Santa,” one of the top comment read.

Another person wrote, “he’s meant for this job. He’s a good one.”

Others chimed in with agreement of his sentiment.

“I love this. No reason to pressure her to feel uncomfortable for a picture,” one person said. So true. And odds are, you won’t even get a good picture as your kid is traumatized, anyway.

Speaking of uncomfortable, several folks wondered if poor Adley was still not very happy, judging by her awkward look in the video. Some thought she didn’t like Santa’s hand being on her shoulder.

As Love explained to Today.com, it actually had more to do with wondering if she’d still get the purple bike she asked for since she didn’t sit in Santa’s lap.

“But you can see her start to smile when he reaffirmed her reaction and told her that it was OK to say no,” she said.

Santa is, by all intents and purposes, a figure created for children’s enjoyment. A benevolent character who instills good values. This new-age version is doing just that—perhaps even more so than his predecessors—since he honors their agency, and therefore, their wellbeing. May he receive extra blessings this Christmas by instilling the power of consent into all the kids he’s interacting with.

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