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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
RedWineIsFabulous · 07/12/2019 11:49

I think you are investing a bit too much into this.


We have two elves on the shelf this year. It absolutely is no big deal at all.


gamerchick · 07/12/2019 11:53

Meh it's just a bit of fun.

Personally I use him as a threat, my youngest thinks it's creepy so I ask him if we should invite him to stay when he's being a tinker.....

Instatwat · 07/12/2019 11:57

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 x10000000.

I don’t do elf on the shelf but I manage not to judge anyone who does. Miraculous.

Crazyoldmaurice · 07/12/2019 12:02

My 4 and 2.5 year old dont give a shit about their chocolate advent calendars and tear down the stairs in the morning to see where the elf has moved to in the night. Just a bit of harmless fun whilst they believe, any kind of bribe for good behaviour doesnt really wash with them anyway. Most nights we just move it some where new so it really isnt pressure or taxing.

I'm all for making christmas as magical and cheap as possible whilst they are little. OP sounds pissy a Christmas elf didnt visit her 😁

ny20005 · 07/12/2019 12:04

I did the elf with my kids when they were young. All a bit of fun & behaviour wise, it's the same as the naughty or nice list

My elf also reminded my kids that Christmas isn't a happy time for everyone & asked them to donate some old toys to a local toy bank & another day, left them money to buy food for the food bank.

I think some people go overboard & post it all over social media with boxes of presents that the elf brings on 1st Dec & ends with packed Christmas Eve boxes but the sam happens for Christmas, birthdays etc.

Scroll past if it bothers you ...

MeeceAndMice · 07/12/2019 12:14

I don't do it because I can't be arsed with the faff, but I have definitely have lost parental control of my 5 terrors!
they run rings round me, if using an elf would help (and I had the energy and sanity) I'd bloody use one haha

aintnutinchanged · 07/12/2019 12:16

I use the elf not for disciple but for a bit of fun

EggysMom · 07/12/2019 12:32

Our son is ASD/SLD, he doesn't understand Christmas let alone the idea of an Elf watching him ... But we still do Elf on the Shelf. It's a bit of fun between DH and myself, we take it in turns to set up Elfie late at night for the other one to find. It helps us to get into the mood for Christmas despite our son's lack of understanding.

And we share it on social media to give our friends and families a laugh. You don't like Elf photos? Scroll on!

Fredastaireatemyjamsandwich · 07/12/2019 12:39

You 'deleted people' because they posted a photo of an elf? They have had a lucky escape. Why is there not an emoticon for a funsponge?

Ekefox · 07/12/2019 12:45

Surely the elf is just an excuse to eat wildly unhealthy breakfasts and more sugar? Am I doing it wrong?

Dontsayyouloveme · 07/12/2019 12:45



RoryGillmoresEvilTwin · 07/12/2019 12:52

Yes I completely agree. We do have an elf unfortunately but it has never been used as a spy for father Christmas.
Ours just does some mildly funny stuff and brings the odd treat.
Theres been no talk of it keeping an eye on behaviour, mainly because he knows how to behave. If he didn't you can guarantee he wouldn't be getting any treats!

AlternativePerspective · 07/12/2019 12:54

But do the kids know it’s a toy and not a real elf?

I couldn’t be arsed with any of that and fortunately they weren’t around when mine was little, but I do take issue with the fact that in some instances people have associated the elf with the magic of Christmas, to the extent I saw someone say recently that their child’s Christmas had been ruined because another child told them the elf isn’t real and they don’t have one. It’s not the same as FC, if people want to mess about with a toy once a year and buy into the whole commercial trend (whoever invented the concept must be rubbing their hands together) then crack on, but to take it as seriously as some take the FC magic when the trend has only actually been around for five minutes is way OTT.

57mama · 07/12/2019 12:59

I always thought posting on social media was supposed to help other parents with ideas? I never did an elf, but my older DD's done it for her sister since they were 9 & 7 just because she wanted to.

christmassymcchristmas · 07/12/2019 13:00

Who is rubbing their hands together?! There's not a special elf shop you must buy from.

Mil got ours from the charity shop she works in, tiny little elf things.

Ringdonna · 07/12/2019 13:00

Yes, poor parenting.

PineappleDanish · 07/12/2019 13:06

Maybe not lost parental control.

But definitely lost your marbles, your sense of tradition and lost your ability to say "fuck that shit, I have enough crap to deal with".

LaurieMarlow · 07/12/2019 13:18

But definitely lost your marbles, your sense of tradition and lost your ability to say "fuck that shit, I have enough crap to deal with".


What even is a ‘sense of tradition’? Traditions all begin somewhere.

And if you enjoy it, it’s not work.

crikeycrumbsblimey · 07/12/2019 13:44

I don’t care if anyone has one but if you put it on social media it isn’t just a bit of fun for the family is it?

Chickychoccyegg · 07/12/2019 13:52

omg.... this again? why the hell are you bothered what other people do in their own homes with their own children? what the fuck has it got to do with you, i can tell you now , none of them will give a shit that you dont approve Smile
we do the elf, sometimes i can't be bothered, ive been doing it for years, it has nothing to do with controlling, its not a spy or a threat, it does get my dd hopping out of bed enthusiastically every morning in December because she cant wait to see what they've done, for us, its just a little bit extra Christmas magic, dont know why that would be a bad thing, kids are only young once and all that, just because you don't do it, and it wasn't a thing when you were young doesn't give you a right to judge others.

Chickychoccyegg · 07/12/2019 13:53

i have also never shared any of it on social media, it is for my dc only.

isitpossibleto · 07/12/2019 13:55

Do you always take life so seriously? And do you go looking for opportunities to hoik up those judge pants?


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Yellredder · 07/12/2019 13:57

We've got one this year but not as something to try and modify DD's behaviour and it doesn't do any of those creative things. It just hides. And the stuff that won't fit in her advent calendar, it gives to her. It's never been on social media. And we don't do the naughty and nice list here, so she never gets threatened with Santa not coming.

stayingaliveisawayoflife · 07/12/2019 14:21

We have the kindness elves in my classroom. They are looking for acts of kindness and when one happens the child gets their name on a star with what they have done and it's put on our tree.

ICanTuckMyBoobsInMyPockets · 07/12/2019 14:39

You sound like a fucking bore and the people you've deleted should be grateful.

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