So, with the arrival of Christmas decorating, along comes the Elf on the Shelf.
For those not “in the know” about this propaganda, click here to learn all about it. The Facebook posts for and against this little dude and his antics started today. So, I felt obliged to share my thoughts and personal experiences. First, I must say that his eyes are just creepy. Maybe that is on purpose since he watches you all the time. I keep waiting for them to move like those blinking baby doll eyes, again totally creepy.
The idea that an elf that magically moves (read: mom has to remember to move him nightly, because we have NOTHING else to do) to watch your child’s behavior and report whether you belong on the naughty or nice list is absurd…. for a few reasons.
- Shouldn’t children behave year round and not just before Christmas? The Santa (and God) that I believe in wants us to be nice all the time, not just when someone is watching.
- Why can’t children behave for parents instead of an elf?
- We are giving control for rewarding behavior to a stuffed animal.
- What does this teach our children? For more on that, click here for a Washington Post article.
Related to being watched during the holiday season, I remember when my oldest child was in 2nd grade and one of his teachers told the class in December that there was a video camera that went straight to Santa. When they misbehaved, he would call Santa from the classroom phone to report them. I am not lying folks. I immediately thought of what his classroom management strategy was the rest of the year, and then how awesome it would be to be Jewish that month of the school year…. you could get away with murder because Santa isn’t coming to your house regardless of your behavior.
We need to be more honest with our children. They deserve it. Don’t make them grow up being paranoid of Big Brother (AKA the Elf). They are smarter than that.