Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why Elf on the Shelf is not for us

Many of my Instagram followers may know I have been running a series of satirical pictures at #acherontheabusedelf , but my satire is based on some real opinions

My dislike harkens back to the ago old, much repeated "naughty or nice list" concept. I do not care to continue the message that our behaviour should be moderated by our personal greed.  I see no merit in a tiny magical figure leaving notes explaining how children are now being punished for their misdeeds by this figurehead, is that going to promote a lasting behaviour change or just a temporary frustration?  I would rather teach my children about correct behaviour consistently all months of the year, regardless of whether "Santa" or his minion are watching and reprimanding them.

It also does not mesh with our families approach to gifting in general. Gifting is an action of love not a return for our behaviours. We get gifts not because we deserve them in any way, we get gifts because the giver chooses to give them to us because the love us and wish to give us a gift. We are not entitled to gifts, and no one is obligated to give one to us, no matter how "good" we have been. The threatened removal of the anticipated gift is not a useful tool for behaviour modification for us.

However, that being said, this poor little guy is just a blunt instrument to the included literature. I have seen some Moms follow the trend without any of the negative connotations and hats off them and their creativity. If the focus is set on the fun and anticipation of the coming holiday it could be a fun family activity, if you can avoid the included messages.

1 comment:

  1. Well I'm glad I finally found somebody else who shares my same doubts about TEOTS, I totally agree with everything you said and I find really sad that so many parents are blindly following the trend so uncritically without thinking that even the littlest games bear important life lessons.