If you have children, you will be all too familiar with the importance of Santa Clause in your child's life life at Christmas. Have you ever wondered why he is so important?
For many parents, it is to pull their children into line from the beginning of the Christmas school holidays. Many parents can be heard saying to their children that "Santa is watching" and "be careful or you will get coal for Christmas".
Here is why saying "Santa is watching you" never works longterm.
1. Many parents overuse the threat. If your child is misbehaving and every 20 minutes you are saying " Santa is watching " in the hope that the fear of coal in their Christmas stocking will make them stop, you are wrong. You have, in fact missed previous opportunities to discipline you child and this last minute, short term fix will never work long term.
2. Most parents do not follow through. They threaten their child however fail to actually withhold a gift from Santa in exchange for coal. This teachers their child that their parents are liars. It also teachers them they can misbehave without consequence, thus encouraging them to misbehave again in the future.
3. Kids talk. Your child will begin to discus this topic openly with their friends as they age. This means that there is a chance that you may be outed by other children before your child draws their own natural conclusion. My son pretended to believe in Santa until he was 11 and he was told that "if you don't believe, you don't receive". His younger sister, declared Santa is not real at age 9 and has a legal case even Erin Brockovich could not win.
Santa is a lovely story to share with your child, however to use Santa as a discipline tactic, simply will not work longterm.
Enjoy filling their Santa sack with gifts given with love.