Sara from Happiness is here explains why we really should be ditching the threat of being on Santa’s naughty or nice list.

The mum of four girls shares 20 reasons why we should scrap the list…

1. You can’t teach people to be nice by being mean to them.
2. Punishment isn’t effective, kind, or respectful.
3. Threatening people isn’t a nice thing to do.
4. It’s not in the spirit of Christmas.
5. It’s manipulative.
6. You don’t have to move an elf around every day.
7. You don’t have to think of more tricks to control children for the other 11 months of the year.
8. You’re not likely to follow through with it anyway, further damaging your credibility.
9. Obedience is not a great goal.
10. It kills intrinsic motivation.
11. It teaches children Christmas is all about presents.
12. Policing behaviour is exhausting.
13. If you don’t like being judged, you should stop judging children.
14. It’s not true.
15. Real gifts don’t come with expectations.
16. You can have an authentic relationship with your kids instead.
17. It damages connection.
18. Modeling is a more effective way to encourage appropriate behaviour.
19. Rewards are not a positive thing.
20. You want your children to know they are loved unconditionally.

Sara added, “The manipulation aspect of the Christmas season is something we can all do without. You don’t have to be mean at Christmas.”

She does make some good points.

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Sara blogs at Happiness is here…

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  • We never had a naughty or nice list growing up,l don’t agree with it!


  • I didn’t use it


  • I have never used the “naughty or nice” stunt with the kids or the elf on the shelf. I know a family who do use Elf on the shelf (they’ve even given it a name) and the kids love to see where it has moved to and what mischief it has been up to. It’s a fun thing for them leading up to Christmas, especially during the achool holidays.


  • Naughty/Nice list does not really work for most children. They need to be good for reasons they know to be true. We have never used the list for any of our children and would never use the elf with his video camera. Our children were brought up to believe that we paid a lesser price for Santa’s gifts, to explain why they did not get so many gifts or dear ones.


  • Never used the naughty/nice thing. Presents were one each child, no more, and we tried to reinforce that it was Christ’s birthday and to give to others who had less.


  • The naughty or nice list has always been taken with a pinch of salt in our household, just a Christmas saying taken at face value with no threat aimed at consequences of good or bad behavior.


  • I think she’s created a problem where there wasn’t one to begin with.


  • I’ve never done this with my kids anyway.


  • Definitely food for thought and lots of valid points made. I must say, I do enjoy moving our Elf around each night and seeing how excited our little one is in the morning when she finds him!


  • Never used a naughty or nice list – not our parenting style.


  • Yes I agree, trying to manipulate our kids into good behaviour won’t work. Loving them unconditionally and living a good example is more effective.

    • I Agree – manipulation only teaches manipulation and is is not a good quality.


  • We always use ‘Santa is watching’ in December. However, what can we use the other 11 months??..lol


  • I think if you’re threatening to take away Christmas presents then you’ve lost control over your kids. There is a better way of teaching right/wrong and shaping their behaviour. I don’t agree about taking away presents but each to their own. However, I don’t put our presents out until a few days before Xmas.


  • I kind of agree. I think that telling kids Santa won’t bring them anything if they’re bad/naughty isn’t fair on those kids whose parents don’t have the money for presents. So are they to think they’re then ‘bad’?


  • I dunno. Kids get a bit nutty nuts this time of year no matter what you do. Everyone they know is giving them sugar and pushing ‘santa, presents, rubbish food, GREED’ and I think there is definitely a time and place to grab a toy from under the tree and throw it in the bin to get their attention long enough to remind them how you expect them to behave. All it teaches thrm is that in the real world they wont get far by being mental.


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