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Thread: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

  1. #1

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    Default Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    First off I am going to climb on to my pedestal for just a second to say that watching some other kids really makes me appreciate just how well behaved and polite and lovely my kids are and that my gentle parenting really is the main reason for that.

    I constantly hear parents threaten with 'Santa wont come if your naughty' but see it as a completely empty threat from just about every one I have heard say it.

    Have you or do you you know anyone that actually followed through with the threat?

    I try not to say anything like that unless I am prepared to follow through but have on occasion used empty threats. Just after DS was born and DH was away 3 nights in a row the girls threw water and their bath toys everywhere. I warned them after the second night that I would throw all their toys away (by throw away I mean, give the non damaged ones to our localo vinnies). Next night they did the same and now 5 months later they have only just got a few new bath toys. That is just an example of mine.

    Yesterday we went to see SIL new house. Her kids (4g & 6b) are a handful and BIL & SIL were saying how much trouble they were having with both. SIL told me she used the threat of Santa not coming and her DS said I was bad last year and Santa still came. If my child said that to me I actually would not have a second thought about it, Santa would not be coming. SIL said she considered it but because of the gift they got him they really want to give it to him which I can understand with the excitment of giving.



    What would you do if your child said that to you?

  2. #2

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    Default re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    I read an article about a mother who cancelled Christmas because her kids were naughty.

    Sydney mother cancelled Christmas to discipline her children
    Date
    December 15, 2013

    Julie Power



    Deck the halls again: Melissa Cooke celebrates Christmas this year with, from left, Hugh, Elisabeth and William. Photo: James Brickwood
    Meet the mother who cancelled Christmas.

    While parents around the world have always used Santa and Christmas as the ultimate bribe, Sydney mother of three, Melissa Cooke, finally acted on her threat two days before Christmas in 2011.

    Her husband initially disagreed, but he came around, taking down the tree and the decorations that he had put up.

    ''I am relatively strict, but never in my wildest dream did I think we'd follow through with cancelling Christmas,'' Mrs Cooke, an office administrator who lives in Sydney's north-west, says.

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    They were pushed to the edge by two weeks of ''unbelievably bad behaviour'' by the children: William, 11 at the time, Elisabeth, then 8, and Hugh, 6.

    Hyped up on sugar and parties, the children wanted the world and gave nothing. With two parents working full-time, the pre-Christmas period ''was all rush, rush, here, there, everywhere''.

    A series of near disasters that could have come straight out of an episode of Modern Family followed: ''She [daughter Elisabeth] stole $50 from my husband at 3am in the morning,'' Ms Cooke recalls. ''And then she left school grounds at 10am, [went to the shop] bought that amount of lollies, and then … gave peanut M&Ms to a child with allergies, who ended up in hospital.''

    The family went ''ballistic'' but Elisabeth did not stop. To raise money to buy more lollies, the girl - who the family admits is a real character - dragged her younger brother to the main road to ''beg'' for money.

    Her older son would not listen, the children would not go to bed and were fighting and squabbling.

    Both parents ended up in tears at separate times, so frustrated were they with their children's inability to listen or behave.

    Mrs Cooke and her husband began threatening to cancel Christmas. When she finally acted, the children did not believe her.

    Even when the tree came down, they were sceptical.

    Child psychologist Kimberley O'Brien says the family's experience rings true at this time of year for stressed out parents.

    Ms O'Brien admits to threatening to take a present away from under her own tree if her two children, aged seven and three, did not stop hitting each other.

    She says mothers were ''pulling out all the stops'' and parents were ''desperate for fresh strategies and ideas'', often turning to the threat of cancelling Christmas because it is something different that gives them leverage.

    Ms O'Brien, who works at the Quirky Kid Clinic in Sydney, says many families were complaining that their children were being ungrateful, demanding, spoilt and badly behaved.

    But the threat to cancel Christmas was not ideal because not many parents would act on it, and it was often too far away to mean much to smaller children.

    She recommends immediate small rewards for good behaviour. And if parents must make threats, make them small and realistic.

    Mrs Cooke remembers that cancelled Christmas morning as one of the most dismal ever.

    ''Usually you are dying to get up to see them rip their presents apart. But that morning - we have creaky floorboards - we could hear them wandering around the house looking, and they were whispering, 'Do you think they're hidden? Where are they? I can't see them.'''

    The parents considered buckling but remained steadfast.

    "It was quiet, there was no traffic noise, there was no nothing, no giggling kids running around with toys, there was just a deathly silence. I don't think we spoke that morning,'' Mrs Cooke says.

    Two days after Christmas, the Cooke family went on a 5000-kilometre outback camping trip, during which the parents complimented the children when they behaved well, and they talked about how much fun it was being together.

    ''We didn't discuss Christmas being cancelled,'' Mrs Cooke says.

    ''I wanted to turn around and say you've been champions, and you can open your presents now.''

    On January 15, the family did that.

    ''It was never an easy decision,'' Mrs Cooke says.

    ''It was awful. And I don't think I could ever do it again, but I am glad I did. It had the desired effect.''

    Now when she makes smaller threats, such as cancelling a play date, she reminds her children: "You know mummy keeps her promises."



    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-mot...#ixzz2oFExlDnE

  3. #3

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    Default re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    I don't really agree with the "Santa won't come if you're not good" thing. Firstly, because it's a pretty limited thing, what do you do for the rest of the year? And also because I don't really think Christmas is about "good" or "bad". It's about family and appreciation for us. There are gifts, but we focus on giving gifts to others to show our love and appreciation for them. We do the Santa thing because he's everywhere, but it's just an aside and we don't link it to behavior.

    I think if I were your SIL I'd stop using it as a threat. She can't use the threat of no Christmas all year, and he can see through it anyway. I'd find other ways to work with him on his behavior. My cousins were exactly the same. My brother and I were "good" kids and our cousins were "bad" kids (swearing at and hitting their mum etc) yet they got more from Santa than us. They knew they could do what they wanted and any threats made wouldn't actually happen.

    P.s. I'm the same with realising how wonderful DD is after the whirlwind from next door visited last week lol.

  4. #4

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    Default re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    If i say there is a consequence to an action, then i follow through. DD has, much like your kids, had stuff donated to charity because she has been warned that it is going to happen, and I follow through. We haven't used Santa in that manner though - I'd rather have an immediate action/consequence situation than a threat of something like that. She has things like "clean the floor or the toys go to charity", "pack your dress ups away or they go to charity". I don't deliver it that bluntly though lol

    ETA: I'm another that appreciates that DD is a pretty good kid - she has her moments (don't all kids?) but for the most part she's pretty good - so maybe i'm not at the end of my tether and grasping at straws like your SIL?

  5. #5

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    Default re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    I would think: My child is quite clever and knows what's going on. And then I would reconsider the what I'm doing, because it's obviously not too effective.

  6. #6

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    Default re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    I am another who is fortunate my kids are well behaved (generally, but all kids get into mischief) but then my DH and I have put in the hard yards to ensure that is the case. I am sure all of you do the same too.

    I have never told my boys that Santa won't come if they are naughty though random strangers in the shops have. Why, I have no idea.

    I am also fortunate that my kids are not ones who want everything. My eldest wanted a PS3. I offered to buy one for Christmas and he refused because it would be a family present. He decided to buy it with his pocket money. He only gets $5 a week but he managed it a few weeks ago and he is ecstatic. It is his PS3 and if anyone wants to use it, they must ask his permission. He keeps offering us a turn but we turn it down as we are not interested. His 5yo brother prefers to watch rather than play as well.

    Anyway, back to the point. My kids know that big presents are for birthdays as that is their special day. Christmas is about family, friends and for my DH and my kids, it is about Jesus (I am not religious). So present opening lasts maybe 30 mins with the majority coming from family and friends. When asked what they wanted for Christmas by strangers in shopping centres, they always said "whatever Santa wants to give me". They did ask for a helicopter they saw in Big W "if it was OK with Santa". They cost $8 each.

    If I threaten anything, I follow through. My DH prevaricates, I do not. My boys believe what I say and do as I ask. If they question why, I explain as I need them to understand why and I am happy to negotiate if it comes to that.

  7. #7

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    Default re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    I'm a Christmas cancelee. Meaning, my mother cancelled Christmas one year. To this day, I have *no idea* what the transgression involved was, as I was a quiet & unnaturally compliant child/teen. (I mean, i was freakishly well behaved). I guess it went more to my mother's state of mind than anything (long standing undiagnosed mental health issues there). At some point, she must have relented because I have a very clear physical memory of sitting silently at the table putting the festive food on my mouth, chewing & trying to swallow past the enormous lump in my throat. That is now the strongest memory I have of Christmas during that period of my life, it has swallowed up all of what might have been happier Christmas memories. Needless to say, I don't recommend it.

    There are better, kinder, and more enduring ways to address your children's behavioural issues. It sounds like the kids in that article just needed chill time with their parents. Full stop.
    Having said that, I have occasionally reminded my children (and my DH too LOL) that people who don't behave might find a lump of coal on Christmas morning but people who do behave might find something they would like. It's not really a threat, but it works as a short term distraction.

  8. #8

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    Default re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    I follow through with actions, only yesterday my kids were reminded that I mean business. (After explaining that playdoh is an outside craft, thanks to having carpet everywhere, they rubbed it into the carpet. The threat was do it and it goes in the bin, needless to say playdoh is now in the bin)
    We don't threat Santa not coming but we do talk about Santa only leaving coal if behaviour isn't up to scratch.

  9. #9

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    Default re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    Well my kids are the whirlwind types. No pedestal for me to climb on here. DD needs to go to school and is pushing every single boundary she can. But I've never said that Santa won't come. I tried once to say something about Santa and being good and it sounded hollow to my own ears so I didn't finish the sentence and moved on.

    If I don't buy it myself then my intelligent DD won't stand for it.

    Also - it's not what Christmas is about in this house. So therefore I won't use it as a threat or punishment.

    Eta- missed the question at the end sorry Kazzo. If my child said that to me there would be a discussion about speaking respectfully, speaking to others how we want to be spoken to and hopefully an apology from my child. And then, as MadB said, I'd probably reconsider my approach to consequences.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    My mum spent a lot of time on the phone to Santa discussing my woeful behaviour with him. He told her to tell me I had to behave, "or else". Not sure what that meant but it worked short term

    I was forced to ring Santa myself once, when DD was younger. I got the phone number from my mum. PM me if you want it It worked for me too

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    We are using the elf on a shelf this year and he doesn't get moved if there has been naughty behaviour.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    No, I wouldn't use Santa as a threat either. I never talk about the naughty/nice aspect of it. I'm never going to cancel Christmas so there's no point, they'll just learn that I don't mean what I say. Anyway, I try not to use bribery or punishment/rewards with them full stop so definitely wouldn't use Santa that way.

    And hooray for gentle parenting!! I think I am seeing the rewards of it too. I'm totally biased but I think my kids are pretty awesome, lol.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    Let me pre-empt this with I have one of those children that people generally give a wide berth to. He's full on. All. The. Time. He is hard work. But that's how he is. He does make life interesting though lol.

    A bit selfish here, but I love Christmas, and I love everything about it, so I would never use that as a threat as I would miss out on the magic. Santa will come. Always. Until they have children of their own. Just like he did for me.
    We use our elf like a "Where's Wally". It's a bit of fun.

    However, if my child had the presumption and bullish audacity to say something like that, then perhaps I would postpone Christmas or some parts of it. I don't want to raise my children to just expect things because everyone else does. I would think maybe that was a reflection of us and our parenting and perhaps something needed to change.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    Quote Originally Posted by OceanPrincess View Post
    Well my kids are the whirlwind types. No pedestal for me to climb on here.
    lol OP! I had a nice little comfy pedestal with DD1. I now have a tornado whirlwind cyclonic tidal wave (especially that part, don't leave her alone with water unless you want things wet) DD2.

    Though I wouldn't call her naughty, she isn't intentionally being a destructocon, she is just lively and busy and keen to explore and test and try and sometimes the results are not exactly what I'd like to deal with but I know she means well... most of the time. Plus I guess she isn't even 2.

    And I still stand by my parenting 100%. Because it isn't about results, it is about being the kind of person I feel good being. I try not to let how my children are be about me, it is about them and who they are and that is their journey to figure out. As long as I am the kind of person I'd want my children to see as an example then I can feel like I've done my part. They are pretty incredible people so far But getting off topic.

    As for the Santa thing, whilst I think it is important to follow through with what you say as being truthful, honest and trustworthy are attributes I wish to have and want to model for my children, I wouldn't do the Santa threat because firstly, I'm too excited about what my girls get so I couldn't follow through. Secondly, we try to stay away from labeling children naughty so that isn't something we even talk about in regards to Christmas. And lastly, I don't believe in the effectiveness of controlling children externally through arbitrary things generally which is what that would feel like to me (what happens when you lose the Santa card as children don't believe forever? Children need to learn to do what is 'right' because they feel it is right not for a secondary reason such as to avoid punishment or seek rewards). We once did tell DD1 that we were worried about her going to Grandma's house that afternoon as it could be dangerous for her not to listen (swimming) and what she was demonstrating was making it difficult to trust she would listen but I didn't see it as a threat, I was communicating a genuine concern as I really don't want a child around a pool if they are not prepared to listen. Still felt a little manipulative, I think I have some hangups about control as I hate feeling like I'm trying to control someone.

    If my child said that to me I would think eek, they're onto me haha. I try not to say/do things I don't believe myself or couldn't convince myself of so I question things I do before I do them because if I don't, I know my kids will and that's a fast track for looking like a fool lol.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    I'm another on her pedestal...DS is, for the most part, pretty gosh darn good. But his parents, in particular his Mummy , are pretty gosh darn wonderful too...

    DS figured out through listening to carols that Santa, 'sees you when you're sleeping etc and knows if you've been bad or good etc' and asked on his own what happens if you've been bad. We kind of had no choice but to say that Santa has been known not to come to chn who do a lot of naughty things, but we try to play it down. DS finds it fascinating though and has been asking for more details on what might constitute such an offence (today it was, 'Does Santa come to sick boys?').

    Here, Santa only brings one gift, as we are a very lucky family with lots of people who love us and want to give us presents. We don't 'need' presents from Santa the way some other children do. We talk about the original Santa buying clothes and other necessities for children a long time ago.

    I don't think I'd ever threaten that Santa won't come, but I know if I ever did, I'd follow through. It really irks me hearing parents threaten their kids and not follow through. The old, 'if you don't behave/stop doing such-and-such, we're going home!' is a whopper as a) it's negative b) non-specific about what behaviour is desired and c) the parent has no intention of actually doing it.

    Certainty, not severity.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    Lmao, no pedestal here. We're gentle, involved, pretty good parents, and DD1 is a handful and a half. Like others have said, intelligent and hilarious and beautiful, but a lot of hard, hard work. I'd never cancel Xmas, let alone threaten to. I don't like to parent with fear, anger and threats like that in my bag of tricks.

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    I have santa's phone number on speed dial and I'm not afraid to use it. My kids know that Santa is watching everything they do and that they better be on their best behavior in order to score the coolest prezzies on Xmas morning. All in fun, I say. Nothing to take too seriously.

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Saying 'Santa wont come if you're naughty'.

    I do use the elves are watching when they misbehave, or they may get potatos, gets them a little worried but honestly would never not give them gifts b/c overall they are pretty good kids even tho they do have there moments. But to your OP with the rude comment, I don't think I would cancel xmas I would hate them to miss the magic of santa. From what you've said with the kids being a handful I don't think santa not coming would really help the situation.

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