I love this time of year. I love the excitement and the good cheer and the decorating. But there is one thing I don’t love and that’s hearing parents use Santa as a threat. I heard it yesterday, ‘you better be good, or Santa won’t bring you anything.’
That’s one thing we have been very conscious to not do with Caidin and here’s why. Whether we are aware of it or not, kids put a lot of pressure on themselves to do the right thing. Sometimes it’s hard, but the pressure to do right or to be good is always there. Christmas is supposed to be a time of love, gratitude, generosity and giving. To use Santa as a behavioral modification makes Santa the ‘bad guy’ and he is anything but.
We have taught Caidin that Santa is the Spirit of giving. When Caidin would do something ‘bad’ around Christmas time he would always turn to me and say ‘is Santa still going to come?’ and I would say ‘of course.’ Caidin would question me about ‘Santa not coming’ and I would always tell him that parents use Santa as way to try to make their kids be good and he’d say ‘that’s not right.’ I don’t know about right or wrong, but I don’t think it’s healthy nor is it honest.
I believe in honesty with kids. I’ve talked about this before. Kids have an internal ‘truth-o-meter’ and when we tell a lie, somewhere they know that, but they want to trust us because we are their parents, so in turn they dismiss what they internally know to be true. In the end when we lie to our kids, out and out or even white lies, we teach them to not trust their own information. So if you are using Santa as a threat, you better be prepared to nix the gifts if your kids are bad. Not only does this ring as untrue, it becomes a hollow threat, which sends an equally dangerous message to your child – threats hold no consequences.
I think Santa and Christmas are a wonderful time of year. If you use Santa as a threat, or your family members like to, see if you can find a more effective way of encouraging good behavior. I find positive reinforcement is the best way to elicit good behavior.
Here’s to a happy and loving Christmas.
(C) 2012 Christine Agro
Christine Agro is the founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide, a free membership site designed to support conscious parenting. Christine is a world renowned speaker, clairvoyant and healer who has been helping people live life consciously since 1999. She applies her metaphysical insight to all stages and phases of life, including pre-conception, pregnancy and parenting, in an effort to help parents and to support children in remaining conscious.
Join Christine for her upcoming tele-class: The Spiritual Side of Parenting. This is a four week course begining January 8th in which Christine will share her insight into why our children are in our lives, how to interact with them consciously and how to support them in living conscious lives.