Is there an Elf on your Shelf?
What’s it all about?
Is there an Elf on your shelf?
If there is, why do you have it?
If your answer is – we love it, it’s fun – I like hiding it and the kids love to find it every morning, then great! ENJOY!
If your answer is – it’s a great way to make the kids behave, we encourage you to get clear on the messages you are sending.
Is the elf there to watch that the kids are being good? If they aren’t behaving properly, what actually happens? Will Santa really not bring any presents?
We often hear parents threatening to cancel Christmas or cancel Halloween. At Parenting Power, we define threats as saying you are going to do something when you know you are not. Threats teach our kids two main things:
1. That their parents say one thing and mean another:
in other words – lying is okay in our family
2. To ignore their parents
Neither of these goals are anywhere near the parents’ original intent.
The other clear message that a Santa Cam or an Elf on the Shelf sends is that external things monitor our kids behaviour. This means that as long as kids misbehave where no elf can see it, that’s just fine. Discipline is about teaching self-discipline. We want kids to learn that they are in control of their behaviour whether someone is watching or not.
So here are some Elf on the Shelf questions for you this week:
What is your intention with this holiday tradition?
Are you sending unclear messages to your children?
Do you say one thing and do another?
Do you follow through on your expectations and consequences?
Are you telling your child that she needs an external eye to control her behaviour?
Does your child know that he is responsible for his own behaviour and the consequences that follow?
Get clear on what it’s all about and if you don’t like what you find, you always have the power to change it. It’s up to you how you move forward.