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Aibu to think if you need an Elf on the shelf to encourage your children to behave then you have lost all parental control

77 replies

ChoccieEClaire · 07/12/2019 10:18

I hate the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon which seems to get bigger every year.
December can be such a stressful time of the year already so why would you add additional pressure onto yourself?
If you need an Elf to 'watch' over your children to encourage them to behave then I think you have lost all control as a parent. What do you do to get them to behave the other 11 months of the year?!
My Facebook is full of this Elf doing stupid things, which let's face it, is for the parents to gloat on social media instead of actually being for the benefit of their children. I know people that have done this for their babies?! Why?!
I have deleted everyone that shares this on Facebook but it's everywhere.
My DD never had this and she still enjoys Christmas perfectly fine.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

162 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
BlackSwanGreen · 07/12/2019 10:19

My DC don't have it either. But it's just a bit of fun!

RedSheep73 · 07/12/2019 10:21

Grin I am not an elf person, sounds a bit faffy to me, but we all do whatever we need to to get our children to behave. It's only a more elaborate version of 'Father Christmas will only come if you are good', and who hasn't done that?

arethereanyusernamesleftatall · 07/12/2019 10:21


Personally I can't stand bloody elf on the shelf but I don't begrudge others their fun if that's what they enjoy.

Fun, yes that's right - ever heard of it?

Cohle · 07/12/2019 10:22

I never did it, but I think you're being a bit of a misery. It's meant to be a bit of fun isn't it, not a serious disciplinary tool.

MyGhastIsFlabbered · 07/12/2019 10:22

Well aren't you a delight OP? I do it as a bit of fun for my kids, I don't post it all over FB and I don't use it to control my kids behaviour.

But enjoy the view from your high horse.

Sammi38 · 07/12/2019 10:23

They were never a thing when my teenagers were little. I have a 2 year old as well now, and we are definitely not going to be going down the elf route.

On social media it just seems to be a competition as to who can create the most elaborate elf scene on a daily basis.

DCIRozHuntley · 07/12/2019 10:23

My DC are completely freaked out by it.

My 5 year old said someone at school told her Santa could see if she was thinking bad things. "And I think of some really, really bad stuff when I'm having a thinking dream (daydreaming)" Grin

I've told them that we've asked Santa not to look at their behaviour and to bring them their presents because it's nice to give and receive presents sometimes.

It's easy enough to opt out of and any tricky questions are probably just because of magic and "I don't know, I've never met him"

EntropyRising · 07/12/2019 10:23

I've never had an elf on the shelf, but I expect you're way overthinking it.

Newbie1999 · 07/12/2019 10:25

We don’t have it to watch over the kids or encourage them to be good - It’s just a bit of fun, and our 4yo loves looking for it in the morning to see what it’s got up to. Lighten up!

AngelicInnocent · 07/12/2019 10:25

Yeah, young children can be worse at this time of year as they get overwhelmed with the excitement. Normally well behaved children suddenly become tired, excited and stroppy.

Never did it myself but I can totally see why people would. Although, the fascination with updating social media is just self promotion in the main.

aSofaNearYou · 07/12/2019 10:26

Probably an unpopular opinion but it gets my eyes rolling too.

I also think all these recent trends are making the Father Christmas lie a bit elaborate and when it comes time for them to find out the truth, much more disappointing.

LaurieMarlow · 07/12/2019 10:26

How is it different to Santa’s ‘naughty or nice’ list?
It’s also perfectly possible to do the elf without the survellience element. That’s what we do.

Ditto SM. Not compulsory, I don’t put our Elf anywhere.

Some people just do it because it’s a bit of fun and their kids enjoy it.

Why do you give a shit what anyone else does? You don’t like the elf, fine, don’t do it. But don’t piss on other people’s choices.

Ellisandra · 07/12/2019 10:27

You’ve ACTUALLY deleted people on fb for choosing to have their own version of fun?

You either need to review who you are adding on fb, or review how you treat your friends.

Don’t have an elf, not my thing at all. Perfectly happy to let my friends do their own thing - including showing off a bit of fb.

Selfsettling3 · 07/12/2019 10:28

We have an elf this year. She sends letters praising DD and asking her to do special things eg get dressed by herself (as now the novelty factored as ended she takes for ever) or write Christmas cards. She gets very excited by it all. It’s only ever used as a carrot not a stick and it helps with positive reinforcement.

Elbeagle · 07/12/2019 10:28

We don’t have one but the people I know who do don’t have them ‘watching over’ the children, they just have it as a bit of fun/doing pranks etc. Also I don’t tend to see them shared on social media amongst my friends... one of my friends does it and I sometimes ask her DC what the elf has been up to, but she doesn’t post it on Facebook or anything.

christmassymcchristmas · 07/12/2019 10:28

I agree many go way overboard just for social media. We have an elf, MIL bought it on purpose. He doesn't watch the kids behaviour or anything like that and he's never been on Facebook.

He's just a little shit who moves around in the night and they have a laugh at him in the morning.

I don't find December in the least bit stressful though, it's the best month there is. Shifting an elf from one room to another is hardly pressure

Jodie77 · 07/12/2019 10:30

I had an appeal from my eldest yesterday

"Mummy do you think you could ask Santa not to put coal in my stocking because I know I'm not always good but I don't want to be sad when everybody else gets presents"

I said maybe if you start being good now then I could write to Santa and ask him to be lenient

LaurieMarlow · 07/12/2019 10:30

I don’t find the elf stressful at all, I love coming up with ideas (which, tbf are not elaborate at all).

If I found it stressful I wouldn’t do it. Simple.

EntropyRising · 07/12/2019 10:32

Why would it be stressful?

BalsamicVin · 07/12/2019 10:32

It's the first time this year I've been doing it for DS.

I never use it to control his behaviour, and it only does nice little things or things I know that will make him laugh.

It's a bit of fun 🙄🙄

I also haven't put a single picture on SM of our elf's shannigans.

It's also lovely to hear on the school run him and his friends excited, laughing and nattering telling their stories

Lighten up

BillHadersNewWife · 07/12/2019 10:35

I've got a friend whose elf brings a gift! Every single night that it's there!

She photographs it in it's stupid position and shares it to Facebook every night. Does my head in!

FoxFoxSierra · 07/12/2019 10:35

Yabu its just a bit of fun! I'm enjoying it while my dcs are still young enough to believe in santa, its nothing to do with controlling their behaviour but thanks for your judgement anyway

LaurieMarlow · 07/12/2019 10:38

She photographs it in it's stupid position and shares it to Facebook every night. Does my head in!

If it’s annoyingly you, just block her until Christmas is over. 🤷‍♀️

tillytrotter1 · 07/12/2019 10:45

It's only happened because people have allowed it to happen, buying in to all the newly minted Christmas 'traditions' . If people weren't so gullible as to fall for it these 'traditions' would die out. The same applies to 'Christmas Eve boxes', people will fall for any nonsense. Next year I'm going to make up a 'tradition' for Boxing Day, hopefully I'll make a fortune for fools with more money than sense.

Eggies · 07/12/2019 10:48

I didn't realise that is the point in elf on the shelf. Never had one. I just assumed they're another decoration.

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