Addressing Mental Health, Santa Questions the Outdated Choices of ‘Naughty or Nice’ for Kids

St. Nick seeks to build more empathy and understanding

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For as long as we can remember, conceptualizing holiday giving for children has rested mainly on the binary ideas of naughty vs. nice. At a cursory glance, it’s a winning model: a child wants a new bike, said child refrains from fighting with their siblings or flaking on their homework and, voila, the child gets a bike and forever aims for relative decency. For many households, it’s a system that works.

For a child navigating the world with mental illness or a developmental disorder, the society-friendly concept of “naughty or nice” presents obstacles that those without any experience can’t possibly imagine.



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