We do what we have to do, right?

We do what we have to do, right?

We’ve all been there, right?  Well, unless you are a perfect mommy but that I am not.  At one time or another we have all begged, pleaded, negotiated or downright demanded that our kids behave.  And sometimes it falls on deaf ears and we have to do what we have to do to get our kids to behave.

By now almost all of us have heard about the Elf on the Shelf.  You know the little stuffed elf that is sent from Santa to watch over the kids during the holiday season and report back to the North Pole on their behavior?  Or is that just how we explain the elf?  Well, we don’t technically have the “Elf on the Shelf” visit our house but a close cousin called “Elf Magic”.  Same idea.

Our elf came to us last year and my kids were over the moon about their new elf “Sunny”.  After he went back to the North Pole for good after Christmas last year, not another word was spoken of Sunny.  Until Thanksgiving.  That’s when all talk turned to when was Sunny coming.

Sure, Sunny wreaks havoc when he comes back every morning from talking to Santa.  He spills things…messes with the toilet paper…ends up in the freezer. He has funny antics but my kids know his main objective is to tell Santa how they are behaving and if they should be on the “naughty” or “nice” list.  He’s a good threat.

As the holiday season was approaching, my kids were getting crazier by the day.  Let’s just say their behavior was less than perfect.  Or not even close to being acceptable!  I had to remind them more than once that Sunny hadn’t returned because they weren’t being good. Days went by and the elf never came back.  Sad, isn’t it?

Finally, they had a good day.  Listened…went to bed good…didn’t fight…as much. So, I grabbed the opportunity to have Sunny the elf return.  He couldn’t just return without a note, so I took the opportunity to remind them of what was at stake.

Will it work?  I don’t know.  Worth the try?  Hellz yeah!

Am I wrong for using the elf as a threat?  Let the judging begin! 🙂

We do what we have to do, right?



  1. What’s the difference between using an elf as a threat or flat out threatening with a toy or playtime? Or time out even. They’re all threats really. It’s behavior modification, something we have to deal with our whole lives. Don’t show up to work on time, lose your job. So I think it’s fine. While there could be an argument for toys/Christmas being a good reason for threats, who knows? But I think this is a cute and clever way of teaching kids there’s a reason to behave. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just say behave and they said okay!?!?

  2. We have Elf on the Shelf too….but we also did that portable north pole video and my almost 6 year old got her note today but since she has been a horrible listener this past year and likes to pick fights with her sisters (poor kid, she is the middle child though, lol), Santa said she hadn’t quite made it to the nice list yet and she was almost about to cry (yes, I felt bad) but my point was hoping it would teach her that listening and following directions is important and that santa is watching. In the video, he told her that she still had time to be on the nice list so guess what? She ate all of her dinner, cleaned up her mess of toys downstairs in the basement family room, even cleaned her room and has gotten along well with her siblings. I guess it worked…and our Elf on the Shelf “Hermione” (who is showcasing Elf on the Shelf Couture this year with a skirt), will be leaving a note tomorrow when my daughter finds her dangling from her legs on the chandelier, ha ha! I so love this time of year!

  3. I love Elf on a Shelf. I actually used him in my Special Ed classroom for several years before a new students parent threw a fit about my “foisting a mythological being upon her child”, meaning I told him there’s a nice big fat guy named Santa. I wish I could still use my elf, classroom behavior was almost perfect from Thanksgiving break to Winter Break. Elf is moving to my house next Christmas, when my son will be old enough to figure out the Naughty/Nice:Santa relationship. (He’ll be almost 2 next year…)

  4. HA! I wish I had thought of this!!! I had a video “sent” to my son (oldest, 4yrs old) from http://portablenorthpole.tv from santa reminding him that he always has to be nice to his sister and brother or santa won’t be able to bring his super awesome christmas gift that he’s been wanting… Today, it’s been working… Hopefully it keeps working… *sigh*
    sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do….


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