If your kids believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, I’m sure you’ve tried to do something similar in the past. My mom used to do this, and I will admit that nothing gets kids to settle down for bedtime quicker than the promise of money from the Tooth Fairy, chocolates from the Easter Bunny, and presents from Santa. In this mom’s case, she just wanted her daughters to get along…and it almost worked!
Sarah and her thirteen-year-old sister had been fighting a lot this year. This happens when you combine a headstrong two-year-old, who is sure she is always right, with a young adolescent.
Sarah’s parents, trying to take advantage of her newfound interest in Santa Claus, reminded the two-year-old that Santa was watching and doesn’t like it when children fight. This had little impact.
“I’ll just have to tell Santa about your misbehavior,” the mother said as she picked up the phone and dialed. Sarah’s eyes grew big as her mother asked “Mrs. Claus” (really Sarah’s aunt; Santa’s real line was busy) if she could put Santa on the line. Sarah’s mouth dropped open as Mom described to Santa (Sarah’s uncle) how the two-year-old was acting. But, when Mom said that Santa wanted to talk to her, she reluctantly took the phone.
Santa, in a deepened voice, explained to her how there would be no presents Christmas morning to children who fought with their sisters. He would be watching, and he expected things to be better from now on.
Sarah, now even more wide eyed, solemnly nodded to each of Santa’s remarks and silently hung the phone up when he was done. After a long moment, Mom (holding in her chuckles at being so clever) asked, “What did Santa say to you, dear?”
In almost a whisper, Sarah sadly but matter-of-factly stated, “Santa said he won’t be bringing toys to my sister this year.”
Oh, no…mom tried her best but it still wasn’t good enough! It looks like it’s time to sit down with her daughter and explain the difference between “good” behavior and “bad” behavior – again! Hey, sometimes this method works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m just thankful that this trick still works in my house! At least once a year, I am guaranteed (sort of) to get bedtime over with…on time!
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