No, the evil elf is not me, it’s that silly Elf on the Shelf.  As I said before, we caved into the popular bribing tool last year.  At first it seemed like a cute idea.  But that was last year.  This time around I feel differently.

It’s too much pressure for young kids. They are being told they have to be good because an elf is watching and reporting to Santa.  Think about it…it’s total crap!  First of all, the kids should be able to be kids all year-long.  I’m not saying they shouldn’t have boundaries, rules, and consequences.  You already know I “cancelled” Christmas because my son wasn’t behaving well.  It’s about parenting as well.  I will never suggest that I should (or even could) win an award for my parenting skills, but my kids are happy.  I don’t spoil them.  They understand that they don’t get a new toy every time we step in a store.  And they’re not the most well-behaved kids alive.  Trust me, they have plenty of moments that leave me wondering what I’ve done wrong!

Back to my point.  The elf is over-rated.  In our home, he is anything but helpful.  Ingrid is still too young to understand the purpose of Bert, our elf.  Brixton knows why he’s there and sways from caring way too much to completely unaffected.  I realized last week after cancelling Christmas that my son, who is 3, has had fewer tantrums since Bert’s disappearance than he did before.  That made me wonder..is this too much pressure for a little guy?  It may sound ridiculous to you, but I’m serious.  Bert reappeared several days after our blow out last week.  Braxton has noticed him on occasion, but not as he did before.  And his meltdowns have been fewer.  There has to be a trend here revolving around the elf!

We are continuing on with Christmas.  Our kids don’t know this yet because I want them to see that good choices bring great things.  All of our gifts are stored away until Christmas Eve.  Once the kids are asleep we’ll bring them back.  Until then, they are kids acting as they should..with no bribing or pressure.  It’s the holidays and I’m sorry I brought Bert out this year.  I have a feeling we won’t see much of him from now on.

For all of you Elf on the Shelf lovers, go for it!  It is a cute idea.  If your kids can appreciate its intended purpose then you’re steps ahead of us.  As for our family, we’re better without it.  At least for now.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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