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

  1. #19

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PumpkinZulu View Post
    I don't like to parent with fear, anger and threats like that in my bag of tricks.
    that's it in a nutshell for me as well.

    In our house we have tangible discussions about not so awesome behaviour.



    I could never ever cancel christmas. it is, for us, a time of immense joy, that sometimes brief moment to forget the horrors of the world, the hardships of the year and just celebrate as a family. Reading that article that Tinks posted was really disturbing...i just want to run in and hug my girls after reading that! how can you strip the joy away from those children when it might be one of the most important moments for a child to actually feel loved and appreciated in a time when, as the parents mentioned: it was all rush rush rush. gosh, it just makes me feel quite sad.

    If my child turned around after I said that i was going to 'tell santa' not to come...well, TBH, i would probably burst out laughing and grab my kid in a big bear hug and tell them, that no, never would they miss out on christmas. I would see it as a pretty good opportunity to discuss that although santa will still come, and christmas will still arrive, that you (the mum) would reckon that it would be a MUCH better and heaps more fun christmas if they were not so mean to eachother/helped out more etc. i am quite open with DD1 (6yrs) in that I tell her if she is being a bit rotten that we really want to have a fabulous time, but that she might want to consider how her behaviour might make that hard...it then also leads into (i have found) positive discussions about how she is feeling and why and allows for her to sometimes focus on what is that is bugging her and making her cross/moody/mean.

  2. #20

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

    Personally Santa not coming does not equate with cancelling Christmas, Santa is only a small part of Christmas.

    So would I use it? well someone told DD you get a potato if you are naughty, and I have mentioned the potato since then. But to actually put a potato in there would have to be a lot of naughtiness all year. DD has asked about how naughty, so understands the concept someehat. The big red man is just a bit of fun really and I don't think the whole not if your naughty thing is that big a deal.

    I would never cancel Christmas though, that is a completely different thing.

    Oh if child said well I was naughty last year and Santa still came, well I would just think they are smart and realise that type of threat wasn?t going to work again.

  3. #21

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

    A friend in DD1's class did get a sack of potatoes for Christmas one year for some very poor behaviour!

    I tend to go the other way and praise the good behaviour saying that we think Santa / elves would have been happy watching the way they behaved today or that they did something kind etc. DD1 thinks every child has an elf watching them for Santa

  4. #22

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

    I have used that threat. Yesterday in fact. My normally well behaved child has not been so well behaved recently. And she got threatened, for the first time in nearly 7 years, that I will call Santa and tell him not to bring her gifts. That her presents will be given to children who get nothing. That I would cancel Christmas. Do I mean it? Absolutely. Would I follow through? In a heart beat.
    My normally delightful child has good values and constantly tells all who will listen that Christmas is about spending time with family. But her behavior was enough for me to tell her I would pull the tree down and cancel our planned festivities.
    Does it make me a bad parent? Well, I'm sure it does in many peoples eyes. But it's what I, as her parent, felt was the most appropriate thing at that point in time. But I don't believe it makes me a bad parent. I would have absolutely followed through. It's not the norm in our home. And if I am
    Judged on that one little thing as a parent, well, that is very pigeon holed.

    To answer your question about how I would have reacted if my child had said "I was naughty and got something anyway". Well, my child would get a sack of potatoes and nothing else along with a stern letter from Santa. But I give my children a potato in their stocking every year anyway. Santa knows they have misbehaved at times and it's his way of letting them know. He only ever brings one actual present anyway though.

  5. #23

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

    We do the potato in the stocking. This year DD1 was meant to get one and DD2 was meant to get two, but MIL was packing the stockings and forgot.

    Don't think I could cancel, but one year was so pushed that I "called" Santa to cancel, then when DD1 behaved better, I "called" him back. She is more clued in now, so it really was a once off, but the idea of having a present replaced by a potato does concern her.

  6. #24

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

    Astrid, what happens with the potato? Do they just get that in their stocking & nothing else? No other presents from Santa? Or do the get the potato as some kind of behavioural reminder on top of other stuff??

  7. #25

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

    what i really want to know is wether the potato comes roasted with sour cream and finely chopped chives..... om nom nom...hmmm i suspect i am hungry

  8. #26

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

    I wouldn't threaten my kids with Santa coming. To be honest, I think that's where people go wrong. Why on earth would your kids respect you if you threaten them with others punishing them/correcting their behaviour, and not their own parents??

    If I was your SIL I'd start putting some stricter day to day "rules" in place. Don't speak to your parents disrespectfully. Don't speak to your siblings disrespectfully. Don't treat your house/toys/whatever disrespectfully. If you threaten something, then follow through. Every single day. I endured my nephews on Christmas Day. Behaviour that went on a scale from poor to downright disgusting - one of my nephews in particular is without question one of the most revolting children I have ever had the misfortune to come across. His biggest problem is the adults in his life. They're supposed to be parents with all that entails. They're not. All kids are different and have different characters that results in some being "better behaved" naturally than others, ie they're quieter, more self contained kids as opposed to the cyclones and tornadoes. Parents are still responsible for teaching those cyclones self control and decent manners.

  9. #27

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

    I absolutely say Santa wants to hear she's been well-behaved (DD2 is still too little). Our love and gifts are unconditional, but Santa's one present and few stocking fillers are based on her being a cooperative and helpful child. Our elf on the shelf left her a couple of little notes this year commending her good behaviour to balance the occasional reminder to the tune of "do you really want to behave like that this close to Christmas?" We've also done the potato in the stocking threat, but she tells us the same thing if she thinks it's applicable.

  10. #28

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

    We dont do santa, but I dont believe in threats to encourage good behaviour. Like others have said, what do you do for the other 11 months of the year?

  11. #29

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

    For the other 11 months there are plenty of conditional-upon-good-behaviour outings and treats, to those who've questioned that. Why would I take you for a playdate if you can't play nicely at home? Why would we take a special outing if you're so cranky that it's unpleasant to be at home with you? If you want good things to happen, you need to show that you can be responsible and cooperative for every other month of the year too. (And the same thing applies to us as parents; if we're not happy, or under the weather/out of sorts, or lose our tempers, then we can't expect those around us to reward us, or enjoy ourselves.)

  12. #30

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Marydean View Post
    Astrid, what happens with the potato? Do they just get that in their stocking & nothing else? No other presents from Santa? Or do the get the potato as some kind of behavioural reminder on top of other stuff??
    Sorry missed this before. They get other Santa presents, the potato is technically to replace a present they would have otherwise gotten.

    Not sure if we will do it any more, as we had to rely on MIL to do the stockings, she forgot to put in potatoes, so now DD2 thinks her behavior was fine (when it was quite rotten in the lead up to Christmas). So there needs to be the follow through, you need to be the ones filling the stockings.

  13. #31

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

    It's not really my style personally, I do use things as a measure or consequence of good and bad choices but at the end of the day I wouldn't cancel or withold presents so I would not use that as the measure or consequence. I hadn't really thought about it that much until we met up with brother and SIL at Christmas and heard it a lot! I think the reason I don't personally see it as a great strategy is that over the course of using that threat (a period of 3-4 weeks I assume?) there is going to be lots of times when you get a 'yes santa is coming' and lots of times when you get to the 'no santa is not coming because of X behavior' and I think it is a bit......confusing and a bit too long term. So did santa come because of the 9 good things or did the 11 bad things just get forgotten? I tend to use much more short term and more tangible consequences and things that I can and will follow through with. As for brother and SIL I know they are kind of struggling with behavior stuff at the moment and their threats were just a symptom of that struggle.

    As for the story of cancelling christmas......I don't know, the kids behavior does sound pretty bloody rotten but I'm guessing (and the article hints) that this wasn't the first incident of it's kind. I suspect along the way there has been some ummm questionable work on the 'helping children to make good choices' front that landed the family in this place. To me the story has a touch of the parents taking a certain path with their parenting (or not taking a path, just letting things happen however) that has enabled the children to make some pretty crap decisions, then opening a can of whoopass on them when they do. Kind of setting them on a path that is going to have a bad outcome, then punishing them pretty harshly when that bad outcome inevitably arrives.
    I mean I think both parents and children need to take some responsibility for the mess, but the parents need to be making sure they are holding the reigns and steering in an OK direction. Am I being a bit simplistic about it?

  14. #32

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

    Thanks for all the opinions ladies.

    Nephew got his big gift and I think a very big talking to because I have actually seen a slight improvement from him, either that or his sister stole all his bad behaviour. I have never seen behaviour like hers from any kid like I did at our house on New years day. SIL is at a loss as what to do. DD1 was so scared and hid away crying which made me sad that it had that effect on her. SIL and I parent very differently so I don't think anything I would say would help though.

    Anyway that is off topic. Thanks again.

  15. #33

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

    I don't think you should make threats you can't or won't follow through with

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