Monday, November 29, 2010

Is it OK to Use Santa as a Bribe?

Using Santa's gifts as an incentive for good behavior is very tempting this time of year. The question is, can threatening Santa's visit be a bad thing? Well, first of all, don't make promises you can't keep (IE. "If you are bad, Santa will not come!") Making those kinds of threats are unrealistic and not a fair punishment for bad behavior. Instead, focus on the true spirit of the holiday. If we focus too much on Santa and presents than we might be sending our children the message that presents are what's most important about the holiday. Instead, donate your time to a nearby organization or visit a nearby nursing home with your children to spend time with the residents or even sing some Christmas Carols. In my opinion, using Santa as an incentive is not a bad thing, as long as you are clear and don't make promises you can't keep. Encourage good choices by saying something like,"Remember, Santa is watching you!" but don't loose focus that these choices are good because it's the right thing (not just because Santa is watching!) In addition, Christmas is a great opportunity to read bible stories and learn about the true spirit of giving! The bottom line...encouraging good behavior for Santa's arrival here and there is OK but make sure you all also teach your children all the other reasons to make good choices and enjoy the true spirit of the holiday.

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