Look, I’ll admit that I’ve thrown around an idle threat or two in my time. The old, “Santa is always watching you” and “If you don’t behave, you’ll get a lump of coal in your stocking for Christmas” that kind of thing, but honestly, show me a parent who hasn’t used the omnipresence of Santa as currency and I’ll show you a stable economy.
I have always known however, that it was nothing more than an empty threat. Not one I’d seriously ever follow through with, especially when I love Christmas as much as they do.
I’ve even gone so far as to pretend I’m calling Santa’s secret phone number to have a chat when shit got particularly out of hand. So yes, even though I’ll freely admit I’ve used Santa to help me with a few empty threats to get the kids to sleep by 9pm, I’m not sure I’ve got what it takes to do what this mother of three in the UK did.
Fed up with them being ever mischievous, she typed a letter, signed by Santa, who told them he wasn’t coming if they didn’t stop misbehaving. She then left it in her son’s stocking for him to find in the morning and read. And look, in one way, this could be considered genius. The one thing that I do find quite unsettling however is how she filmed her children’s reaction and then shared that video with the world.
Clearly distressed, her young son, Tyler read the following out to his little sister Freya:
The letter read:
Dear Tyler and Freya,
I have been watching you for the last few weeks and I am certain that you will both be on my naughty list. You have not been good children.
I can see you have been fighting with each other and not treating each other well. This has made me feel extremely disappointed.
I am also not impressed with the lack of listening you do Freya and the attitude you have at the moment Tyler.
You have 13 sleeps to change this. I will be watching you both very very closely in a hope I can change you to the nice list.
If you do not start behaving you will not receive the lovely presents I have for you both.
Remember only good children are on the nice list. I hope to see you on Christmas Eve.
Now, look. I get what she was trying to do but holy hell, look at those distraught faces! His sister’s cherubic little face falling when she finally registers the weight of the suddenly very heavy situation. You can see them both thinking “Santa hates us? What? And with only 13 days to make things right? How do we do that?” As Tyler points out, it’s going to be kind of difficult when “she keeps annoying me!”
Laura and her kids. Image via Facebook.
Although apparently this is exactly what these children needed with mother Laura reported as saying:
“After reading the letter they were amazing, like angels, Tyler helped Freya get dressed and even held her hand on the way to school which was a big improvement. One day on and their behaviour has been amazing – completely different to before they received the letter,’ she said.”
‘We have left the letter from Santa on the side so they can see it’
‘If they start to argue, we point to it and say “remember, he’s always watching”.
So what do you think? Do you think this was okay or did she go a little too far? Have you ever moved to the next level to get the point across to your own child?