Now October is officially over, I have given myself permission to focus my attention on the next holiday. You got it – Christmas is coming and I am freefalling into the well known, over used, not even that effective, obsession which I have noticed to be common with parents!
After spending all year trying to remember Supernanny’s advice, and using tried and tested methods to get my children to behave in an appropriate manor, I am now replacing them all with the phrase ‘Santa is watching!’
Actually it is not just the phrase Santa is watching, I have a whole catalogue of phrases which replace my usual techniques. In no particular order they include:
– I hope Santa didn’t see that!
– I think that is one of Santa’s birds checking if you are behaving! (Whilst checking the sky overhead.)
– I think that might be one of Santa’s elves watching to see if you are being good! (Whilst nodding at some random passer by.)
– If Santa hears you being cheeky he won’t come!
Etc etc etc…. you get the idea!
I know I am not the only person who does this, there is even a song to the same effect – you know the one – ‘You better watch out, You better not shout, You better not cry, I’m telling you why… Santa Claus is coming to town!’ (You’re singing it in your head now aren’t you?)
My problem is, I don’t actually think children should be encouraged to believe that being well behaved will result in lavish Christmas presents. As parents, we should strive to teach our children manners, respect and socially acceptable behaviour all year round.
In addition, saying ‘Santa is Watching’, rarely works for more than a nanosecond. Kids are all about instant gratification, and Christmas is just too far away – until it is actually Christmas Eve of course. But by that time the poor kids are so excited they haven’t got a hope of being on their best behaviour! Adrenalin and excitement are not a good recipe for well behaved children!
So why do I do it?
Honestly, I have no idea!
Perhaps because my Mother did?
Perhaps because now the days are shorter it is actually harder to keep the kids entertained? They are not spending so much time outdoors burning off that excess energy and we are under each others feet a little more.
Perhaps because I love the festive season a little more than I should and any excuse to bring it up is a good one for me! And I love to see their little eyes light up and the mere thought of Santa!
Truth be told, I’m not sure! But, I am going to try not to say it quite so much this year.
I am also going to try to be on my best behaviour. Because you never know… maybe… just maybe… Santa is watching after all!