True Life: Teaching Dance in December is Hell

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I’m 21 years old and have 16 kids. They’re all about the same age, 6 to 9 years old. No, I didn’t have twins or quadruplets or even octuplets.

But I do teach dance. I’m the person parents drop their kids with before their hour of “me” time. Some days it’s yoga, some days it’s the mall, and some days I imagine it’s probably a nap in the car.

But seeing as I watch nearly 20 of those kids multiple times a week, and I’ve learned to love them as if they were my own (like really, really love them), I have to get some things off my chest.

The mysterious Santa Claus debate ruins my life every December. Now, I love the holidays as much as the next person—buying gifts, arguing about when it’s appropriate to put up the tree, baking (or should I say burning) tree-shaped sugar cookies—but I’m not kidding people.

When it comes to Santa, kids get vicious! Especially when half the class knows the truth and the other half doesn’t.

Suddenly our 60 minutes of kick ball-changes and sassy jazz walks turns into prying snot– and tear–filled fingers out of cemented down, hairsprayed ballet buns and trying to silence the god awful, bloody murder screams of kids who just found out mom wasn’t kissing Santa after all.

The “Is Santa Claus real” debacle is children’s equivalent to a Trump vs. Clinton debate, okay? Complete and utter chaos.   

The anti-Santas are like a handful of Chucky dolls or Cujo’s running rampant, and the pro-Santas are crazed civilians running wild from Godzilla.

So to any fellow comrade who work with kids, let us stand together and stand strong. December is upon us, and we all know it won’t be easy. But perhaps we can share the following information with kids’ parents. I’m considering printing it out and secretly taping it to the walls of my studio:

Handling the Santa Topic with Kids: For Parents

If you don’t know what your child thinks about Santa…

Just ask! What if your child has known the truth for years, and you’ve punished yourself or your partner every time you almost, kind of spilled the beans? Talk about stress relief! If your child doesn’t know the truth, ask if other children think he’s fake, and see what your child says about that. If they say something like, “Johnny thinks he’s fake, so I told him to shut up and that I couldn’t wait for him to get coal in his stocking!” then I highly recommend you tell your kid the truth. It’s only a matter of time until fists are flying.

If your child already knows the truth about Santa…

Tell them to stay quiet! You can’t guarantee they’ll keep it a secret, but at least try and keep the holiday spirit alive for other children.  Tell your child how other kids will be sad if they realize mom and dad are Santa, and how it’s not nice to ruin it. (You can also add in that you’ll give them coal if they ruin the surprise. JUST an idea.)

If your child believes in Santa is willing to fight that “truth” to the death…

Save a teacher’s life and tell the freakin’ truth. Look, it’s tough to do, and they may call you Pinocchio for the next few weeks, but do I really need to repeat the scene of Chuckie dolls and Godzilla? If you aren’t a teacher, please just take our words for it. The debate is vicious and animalistic and downright scary. Spare your child the heartbreak and embarrassment that will inevitably come.

If your child believes in Santa and there seems to be no one disputing it…

People who work with children really do love children. The thought of crushing their hopes and dreams by telling them a fat, cookie-stealing man doesn’t in fact squeeze down the chimney on December 25, breaks our hearts. So if your child still believes in Santa, and he or she isn’t complaining of psychotic classmates who think Santa is fake — Psh! As if that could be possible? — then don’t tell them! Keep the holiday spirit alive and well as long as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Taylor Seely is a journalism and special events management student at Arizona State University. She is also a member of Barrett, The Honors College. Post graduation in 2017, she plans to move to California and pursue a career writing about women's rights, lifestyle and social justice issues.