I’ll be the first to admit that I am guilty of judging things before I try them, especially in regard to parenting. The list of things I swore off before trying include: dressing my daughter in pink and purple outfits, watching and enjoying Disney movies, and the Elf on the Shelf. My opinion of the Elf was sullied by the overwhelming number of pictures that I saw starring this relatively creepy guy on Facebook. I’m not really sure what annoyed me so much about him or the people that were posting all of those pictures, but my feelings about this popular Christmas tradition changed when my husband decided to bring him home. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t even know what the point of Elf on the Shelf was. When I discovered that it could be linked to a shift in fresh behavior, my ears perked up. We’ve been struggling with some pretty heinous pre-K shenanigans at my house and I’m kind of willing to try anything.

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I’m not really sure when I’m going to actually learn my lesson and stop saying: “When my kid is such-and-such age I’m not going to do that.” It’s incredible the amount of times that I’ve had to eat my words.

With that said, I’m sort of enjoying the little guy. Not only is he making mornings run a little smoother and helping to curb some pretty hairy behavior, but I enjoy finding a new place for him to hang out each night. And I think it’s so much fun to hear about where she found him and how silly he is.

In the past I have picked up the phone to make imaginary phone calls to Santa and have used gentle reminders that the big guy is “making a list”. Obviously the Elf tactic isn’t all that different, but it certainly ups my game. I’m sure there are some of you that feel that the threat use of Santa and elves are deceptive. And maybe you’re right in having that opinion. But if there are any strategies that I can use to help me get through tough times, well, I’m going to implement them.

I’m not really sure what’s going to happen after December 25th, and I’m trying not to rely too heavily on our Elf for all behavioral training, but he’s a pretty sweet supplemental aid.

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