A repost from 2012:
Just last week I read about the buzz created by therapist Andrea Nair’s blog post where she writes that she is concerned the popular Elf on the Shelf toy is being marketed as a ‘spy to judge child behaviour’. I agree with her statement that children (and all of us, I believe) rely on our homes ‘as a safe place where they know that if they make mistakes, they will be okay afterward.’
After reading Bruce Demara’s article in the Toronto Star, I had written this response:
While I can understand her concern, I really believe that it is the choices we make as adults that will impact our kids, more than this little elf’s presence. If the elf is set up with understanding that he or she is a spy, the belief will probably follow. If the elf is used in the spirit of Christmas fun and magic, it has the potential for creating great times and memories.
I then went to Andrea Nair’s original post: Serious Concerns with “Elf on the Shelf” and realized we felt much the same way! I encourage you read it. I really like the point she made about getting ‘good girl and ‘bad girl’ out of parenting language, and her point about children relying on their parents to be truthful and now follow her blogs. She has even written a response to the media attention she has received recently at the bottom of her original post.
Back to “Elf on the Shelf”. My friend Collette’s family is doing it right. Her children, aged three and five, have named their elf Krispy, after Snap, Crackle and Pop from the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies commercials (can you see the resemblance now?) Everyone makes a real effort to leave him untouched to preserve his magic, but Krispy gets up to mischief in the night. Rumor has it that everyone in the house woke up this morning with Mommy’s lipstick on their face, and no one’s ‘fessin’ up. And look what the kids found in their washroom just days ago:
Collette’s family is lucky to have such a good tempered little elf. I suppose there would be reason for concern if Krispy lost his smile, scolded the kids regularly, or sounded an alarm to notify them of their placement on the naughty list. Elves like that would more likely be named Brutus or Voldemelf or Meduself and would do well in a teen line. Imagine it – maybe they would be equipped with a timed Internet Shut-down Switch, or Mature Video Game Alarm, or Data Use Exceeded Warning alert. Head’s up inventors. I just handed you your pot of gold, because here’s something everyone should get worked up about and give attention to: My current nightmare.
What do you think of the Elf on the Shelf? Personally, I wish I’d known about it about a decade earlier! I’m living vicariously through my friends with little ones!
Got any entertaining stories to share about your little elf? Let those of us without little ones live vicariously through you (and we’ll throw you a bone – brag about sleep and just hopping into the car while the kids do the same…)
I just heard from my blogging pal Stacey from More Than Words, and she’s written a great post about their elf, MunchMunch. They’re having some hearty laughs over at their place, too! Thanks Stacey!
Check out Shelfy’s adventure over at A+me. I don’t want to spoil the story, but let’s just say Cinderella’s wedding dress is at risk, and Gingy’s the groom…
Bring Magic Into Your House and Let the Kids Believe by Thinking Outside the Sandbox brings up the dilemma of having kids in two different frames of mind about Christmas magic, and has a neat video idea.