A recent article in USA Today entitled “Santa Doesn’t Care if You’re Naughty or Nice” claims that the old parental tactic of battling misbehaving kids at the holidays with threats of Christmas penalties is basically meaningless.
The article claims that a recent Walmart study found that ” nearly 80% of parents say their kids will get the same number of toys for Christmas, even if they get on Santa’s ‘naughty’ list.”
Which basically means that telling our kids, “Santa is watching, so you’d better behave,” is something we use as leverage, but rarely take much further.
This news catches me slightly off-guard since I am an avid practitioner of interrupting my 3-year-old daughter’s fights with her brother (See also: temper tantrums) with veiled threats and reminders of Santa’s All-Seeing Eyes.
And even though the article cites that “62% of kids still think they’ll get more toys if they stay on Kris Kringle’s ‘nice’ list,” the fact remains that kids who have lived through a few Christmases might just be sharper than we think.
I mean, if they have been told enough times times Santa is going to be pissed about all of this bad behavior, and yet Christmas morning still finds them up to their necks in much of their Wish List, well. They might just begin to think that Father Christmas doesn’t really follow through on the threats we exercise for him as parents, huh?
Still, there is a solace for me in all of this.
My kid still freezes in her tracks most of the time when I mention that Santa is “watching.” And, as far as I know, there aren’t too many words I can ever say that carry that much weight or elicit that sort of instant reaction.
So, I’ll take it, no matter what “the experts” say.
Info: USA TODAY
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