Why I Don’t Let Our Elf on the Shelf Raise My Children

Elf on the shelf TP bathroom

Last year we received an Elf on the Shelf from the North Pole. Our elf, Sparkle, is supposed to watch my three kids all day and report to Santa if they are being naughty or nice. She likes to hide and do silly things. I could totally use this Elf to temporarily help me with discipline but I decided not to. Our elf is supposed to be fun and not parent my children.

I am not going to lie to you and the idea did cross my mind. After our oldest had a rough day of not wanting to do as he was asked and having to get sent to time out a couple of times, I REALLY wanted Sparkle to leave him a letter from Santa. I didn’t do it. I don’t want my son to behave because of this fictitious character.

Christmas season is a reminder to my family and we try to give to others and celebrate love as a family. Our elf is fun. I always discuss how silly I feel letting my children believe the stories of the Elf. BUT I truly believe that as they gets older and know that Sparkle isn’t real… they will still want to play the game and Sparkle might just start getting REALLY good at hiding! ;)

If I can’t get my children to behave easily without an elf or santa lingering over her head, than I don’t feel like I am doing my job as a parent. Maybe you are a GREAT parent and still let Santa linger over your child’s head. Why do you do that? Aren’t you making your job tougher in the long run?


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  1. says

    I’ve never known anyone to substitute the elf for parenting, actually. Maybe my friends that do just don’t say anything :P I do see a lot of folks use it to send notes of good behavior back to Santa, which we probably will do, also. I think positive reinforcement is a good thing :)

  2. says

    I wrote about this, too. I really hate the idea of my kids only behaving because they think the elf is watching them and because it will make a difference in their presents. They need to behave because… they need to behave. And the presents they get are out of love, not conditional on their behavior anyway.

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