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AIBU?

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.

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Waxonwaxoff0 · 07/12/2019 10:50

I do elf on the shelf. I don't tell DS it's there to make sure he behaves, that's not why I do it. It's a bit of fun. Takes 5 minutes and DS loves it.

I don't get why people are so judgey about it. If you don't want to do it that's fine, but don't slag off people who do. None of your business.

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Elbeagle · 07/12/2019 10:51

But surely even for those who do use it to encourage good behaviour (if anyone does), it doesn’t mean they’ve lost parenting control? It would just be another tool in their armour? Eg ‘ooh you’d better eat up those carrots as the elf is watching’?

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snowybaubles · 07/12/2019 10:52

YABU to assume everyone who has an elf has told the DC the elf is watching them.

Our elf is just a knob who messes about and makes the DC laugh every morning. It's just fun.

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Straycatstrut · 07/12/2019 10:55

They do it in DS7's classroom (very sure most of the class don't believe in Santa & Elves but still!).... he loves it!

I think it's dying out (not as many brags on FB about it apparently) I always found it weird (lets all laugh at naughtiness!).

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kalinkafoxtrot45 · 07/12/2019 10:56

I have a friend that does this, she’s pretty creative with it and her kids love it. It’s super twee but you are way overthinking this. Just scroll on past.

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Straycatstrut · 07/12/2019 10:57

I think most things are for the parents to gloat on social media these days. That's why I ditched it. Some people can't even get their kids a sodding advent calendar without a speech and picture about it.... and "OMGZ hun your SUCH a good mum!!!"...

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pooboobsleeprepeat · 07/12/2019 10:57

It’s hilarious that parents set the elf up doing something funny that if their kids did themselves then they would get scolded!
Surveillance elf ruins Christmas and is really shitty.
Imagine if your boss had an elf watching you at work and you would only get your bonus if you were ‘good’.

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LaurieMarlow · 07/12/2019 10:58

If people weren't so gullible as to fall for it these 'traditions' would die out.

I don’t think anyone gives a shit if it’s a ‘tradition’ or not. If they think they’ll enjoy it, they do it. If not, not.

It really is that simple.

It’s become a part of our Christmas, my children love it, what’s the issue? Apart from our 5 euro elf, it hasn’t cost anything.

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gamerwidow · 07/12/2019 10:58

I think it’s just a bit of fun and it makes the kids laugh if you’re just putting the elf in a silly place every day. I don’t do it because I tried it one year but kept forgetting about it and created too much stress.
What I hate is that you can buy elf on the shelf branded stationery and when the kids are ‘bad’ Instead of getting a laugh they get a letter from the elf saying that it’s gone away for the day because their behaviour the day before was unacceptable. I’ve seen these popping up in my timeline this year and this imo is shitty parenting.
If your kids are misbehaving use an appropriate punishment at the time of the event. Don’t let them get up all excited and then give them a shitty letter. Apart from anything else they won’t really understand what they did wrong and be able to attach it back to a particular behaviour.

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Notforanewsarticle · 07/12/2019 10:59

We've never done elf on the shelf because I am too lazy it seems to me like a longer, more stressful version of having the class bear for a week and feeling under pressure to do something exciting!! (Only hopefully not as germ ridden)

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katewhinesalot · 07/12/2019 11:00

It's only a more elaborate version of 'Father Christmas will only come if you are good', and who hasn't done that?

I never, ever did that.

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WhereverIMayRoam · 07/12/2019 11:04

I don’t do it either but I’m sick to death of MNers with a stick up their arse making such stupid and judgmental assertions as 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 Hmm.

I don’t believe for a moment that the vast majority of parents NEED the elf or Santa to do their parenting for them and unless you’re pretty dim, I don’t think you believe it either! In fact I bet you’re well aware that it’s something some people do as a bit of fun with the occasional gentle reminder to small dc about behaving nicely. Not hugely different to reminding dc about their star charts or such when their behaviour looks like it might need some improving.

It would be great if people would try to grasp that their way is not the ONLY way and that just because it’s their way, doesn’t mean it’s the RIGHT way and ffs stop using Christmas as an opportunity to sneer at and judge other people.

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Emmacb82 · 07/12/2019 11:05

It’s just a bit of fun. We don’t do it as a bargaining tool, we do it to make our 3 year old smile every morning. And to be fair it’s already backfiring because he asks why daddy keeps moving it every morning 🤦🏼‍♀️🤣 too clever for his own good!!

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katewhinesalot · 07/12/2019 11:06

There was a Facebook video of a small child's reaction when it found a Halloween skeleton because "mummy forgot to feed the elf".

I felt so sorry for him - although it would have been funny in a household where there were no believers and the elf is just a joke.

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kiki22 · 07/12/2019 11:07

We do it for fun to make them laugh not so they behave. I also don't post on social media but I have some friends who do it's always a laugh to see what they come up with.

Life can be pretty gloomy why not inject a bit of silly fun when you can.

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InACheeseAndPickle · 07/12/2019 11:07

Meh we don't do elf on the shelf but it's just a bit of fun, no different from saying "be good for santa" (I actually don't say this either but lots of parents do). The people who post extravagant designs on Facebook probably actually enjoy doing it most people just move it around the house each day.

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LaurieMarlow · 07/12/2019 11:08

It would be great if people would try to grasp that their way is not the ONLY way and that just because it’s their way, doesn’t mean it’s the RIGHT way and ffs stop using Christmas as an opportunity to sneer at and judge other people.

This.

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IceCreamAndCandyfloss · 07/12/2019 11:12

I agree OP, just like when Santa is used in the same way or good/naughty lists.

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PullingMySocksUp · 07/12/2019 11:13

We just do it as a bit of fun, not to watch over them. I don’t know anyone who uses it that way.

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EntropyRising · 07/12/2019 11:16

It would be great if people would try to grasp that their way is not the ONLY way and that just because it’s their way, doesn’t mean it’s the RIGHT way and ffs stop using Christmas as an opportunity to sneer at and judge other people.

Quite right.

Emma Thomson's 'sustainable' Christmas is a good example of how Christmas judgement can quickly disintegrate into something that feels a lot like class warfare.

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SandyClawsIsComingToTown · 07/12/2019 11:17

What do you do to get them to behave the other 11 months of the year?!

Well, from Boxing Day it shifts to the Easter Bunny for 3-4 months, then in September it’s back to using Father Christmas for behaviour modification. The summer though is a Lord of the Flies-style free for all Grin

You sound like Miss Trunchbull OP.

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WhereverIMayRoam · 07/12/2019 11:20

The summer though is a Lord of the Flies-style free for all

Yep, plus when they knock each others teeth out the tooth fairy can step in Wink.

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dreamerofdreams27 · 07/12/2019 11:23

What a sour thread. It's a bit of fun ffs. If you don't buy into it then fine but why try and ruin it for others?

We have an elf but I don't have the time to do elaborate stages set ups just so I can post them on social media.

But we just move our elf around and my ds absolutely loves it and finds it really magical.

Stop being such a misery.

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Ellisandra · 07/12/2019 11:30

I laugh at the idea that it’s too much effort. I’m not interested in doing it, but bloody hell - as with so many other things these days, you need no more effort or imagination than the ability to google.

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Inforthelonghaul · 07/12/2019 11:40

Is that what it’s for? I thought it was just a fun thing to do. Ours takes 5 mins (and a bit of googling) and just adds to the fun. It has nothing to do with discipline and I’m pretty sure DD knows damn well it’s us.

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