Brainwashing & Bribery
Sometimes you do what you gotta do. Especially as a parent.
Now, I think all of you know that I am the HUGE Christmas fan and can’t get enough of Christmas fun. You also may know that we currently live with 2 monsters and will resort to most any measure to get them to listen, cooperate, behave and be nice to each other. So this fun Christmas story combines both!
We now have a new member of the family – an Elf! You may have heard of or have seen the Elf on the Shelf books. The story is that Santa sends elves to watch over kids from Thanksgiving to Christmas to see if they are naughty or nice. When the Elf arrives for the first time he must be named, and then he watches. And then each night he returns to the North Pole using magic to report to Santa & then is back again by morning. And each night when he gets back he finds a different place to sit for the day and part of the fun is the game of finding him each morning. Oh – and you can’t touch him or he’ll lose his magic, and he listens (especially to wish lists), but won’t talk back per Santa’s orders. And then on Christmas Eve you say goodbye to your Elf and he returns to the North Pole for the rest of the year until he arrives back again after the next Thanksgiving.
Got all that? Good!
So Santa sent US an Elf because he felt Tucker & Carter needed to be watched a little more closely. The boys named him Thomas and he spent the first day on the mantle in the family room.
The boys think he’s cool, and nice, and fun. But were a little wary the first few days and did say they hoped they didn’t wake in the morning to find him in their room. I guess the thought of an Elf coming in at night with magic freaked them out a little. So Thomas has remained on the first floor but is in a different spot each morning.
So, we have combined some Christmas “stuff” with brainwashing and bribery! Oh yes, we are those parents!
However, the impact has not been as great as we had hoped. They do seem to worry about what Thomas is reporting each night, and they have told him what they hope to get for Christmas. But his presence has not turned the monsters into complete angels. And when they are misbehaving the mention of Thomas and his nightly reports has some impact, but usually it’s short lived.
Oh well – we are having fun with it and the boys are rather into it even if they are still Monsters most of the time.
However, Thomas did leave a note yesterday morning that has them thinking twice about their actions. The boys have been told (over & over!) that they are going to get nothing but rocks (coal) and sticks for Christmas if they aren’t good. Over & over… So yesterday morning when they woke they found Thomas in the kitchen with a note and some coal! The note told them to be good or it would be REAL rocks for Christmas – and with the note was a pile of coal! OK – it was really candy, but it was a warning of what was to come if they didn’t get it together! And this has actually had some impact – bonus!
There are several blogs and websites where people show all of the different things they have come up with for their Elf to do at night – and they are VERY funny! Some have the Elf making messes and such – something I’m not quite ready to have our Elf do – I don’t want the Elf being “bad” if I’m trying to get the boys to behave. But some are funny and cute. Since Tucker was a little freaked by the idea of an Elf roaming around while he was sleeping our Elf hasn’t had any fun as of yet (don’t want to totally freak him out!) – but I hope to have him do a couple of fun things before Christmas Eve. We shall see.
For now we are simply proceeding with the brainwashing & bribery in hopes of eliminating some of the monster traits we are seeing too much of these days. If this doesn’t work I think it’s time to send them to the Island of Misfits for a while to see if that gets them in line! Or maybe I’ll just head to and island for a while…