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  • Annett

Are you ready for Elf on the Shelf?

Taking an external motivator to getting children to co-operate is almost like handing over parenting.



Coming to parenting with an idea what to do, is everyone’s dream.


When I first became a parent, I didn’t have a clue how to make my children behave so my heart wouldn’t be broken.


What parents are taking on when having children is so much work.

If anybody could get a glimpse beforehand, my bet would be that not even half would commit to taking on this job.


Going to have an external object (such as an elf) to make your child obey is like working with bribing in an environment where the tolerance for having moral codes is dropped for the month of December.


The lead up to Christmas was terrifying for me as a young child.


I am from a different culture and for me receiving gifts was to be exposed to a man in a red rope and face mask on the 24th December.

Every year was a long ordeal of daily threats of being carried into the woods by him and left there if I didn’t behave.


For parents that may sound ridiculous and you would assume that your child knows that this wouldn’t happen.


And this is where I come in.

Seeing the perspective from your child’s point of view can be what we may be lacking sometimes.


Most of us forgot what it felt like when our brain was not yet fully developed and we could not yet understand cause and effect.

This part of the brain only forms properly in later years.


A 4-year-old cannot see that a parent wouldn’t allow a man in disguise to carry away his or her child.


As parents we easily say things we don’t mean.

Meanwhile our children have thoughts, feelings and make decisions based on what we let them believe is true.


Having a better understanding what your child perceives as safety is one of my main concerns and driver in why I do the work I do.


Often parents will disagree and say that we need to keep our children’s imagination alive.


To this I say: our children have the most magical fantasies and see things we don’t even see.

Why do we think we are the ones who need to stuff thoughts into them?


This is very controversial, I know.


You are free to not agree.

This is a place of free will.


What I mean is that we don’t need to use force so that our children have a lovely Christmas.


Giving up on external rewards and threats is the hardest thing you will be asked to do as a parent.

It works so well short term, doesn’t it?


What about the longterm damage we may be causing?


Every child asks for the time when Christmas will arrive.

Why not have a countdown elf instead?



You can simply have the number of days in the elf’s hand.


When you feel like saying: “The elf is watching you”, this time you could have the elf notice and show what your child can do instead.


What I mean by this is say something like:

“We speak with our indoor voice inside the house”, instead of screaming “stop shouting”.


What your child will hear is so much more effective than threatening that a soft doll will rat them out to Santa.


This type of parenting takes a lot of courage, I understand.

Taking the traditional style away, will leave you with almost nothing.


Are you interested in replacing it with a method that works longterm?


Come and join my next parenting course and learn what you can do instead of withholding privileges.


You will be amazed how an 8-week-long course can transform your parenting.


See "My Services" tab for more information on my next available course.

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