Nice Book for Santa

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by meowbunny, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    This was something I did for my daughter when she was younger. It was more for her self-esteem because she really was convinced she was a rotten kid but it also allieved some of the anxiety about Santa not giving her a gift.

    First, I explained that Santa really couldn't see everything a boy or girl did, even with the elves helping him. So, he recruited moms to help, too. I told her that Santa was pretty forgiving so he wasn't interested in the bad stuff she did, he just wanted know about all the good things. At Christmas time, Santa would check his list and my list and put them together. If the good stuff outweighed the bad either by length or by act, he would happily give presents to her and other kids.

    Every evening after she was in bed, I would write down every good thing that I could remember her doing during the day. Some days the list was very short, but I could usually find something even if it was brushed her teeth. Other days, it was very long and would start with brushed her teeth with no argument, made the neighbor smile, etc.

    I also enlisted her help. I told her she needed to tell me about some of the good things she'd done at school. I reminded her that she would never know when Santa or his elves were watching, so she couldn't make stuff up. She really had to have done the good thing she said she had. This also opened up discussions about what her day was like at at school.

    She would love to check the book at the end of the week to see how she was doing. It didn't stop a lot of the behaviors, but it did stop some of the more deliberate acts unless she was seriously angry and then nothing short of a nuclear bomb would stop her.

    It took away a lot of anxiety once she saw just how long the list could get for some days. Of course, at the beginning, she'd be anxious about what was written and come running to me every five minutes with something she had done. I finally had to make the rule that when we were home together, I had to see it -- that was Santa's rule. It really did help with her self-esteem, too. She began to see that while she did some pretty bad things, she did a lot of good stuff, too.

    by the way -- I didn't just magically spring the book on her. I let her catch me writing in it my day. Since I'm one of those who talks to myself all the time, I left her room one day and muttered something about now I got to write in her Good Girl Book, one of my favorite things to do. Of course, she immediately was out of bed and asking about it. So, I shared that I'd been doing this since I first got her. And since she knew about it, she could help with it when we were apart.

    Hope this idea can work for some of your kids.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What a beautiful idea. Thanks for sharing. I hope you have kept the books for when/if she has a child.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Oh for cool. That is a neat idea.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    What a great idea! Not just for the holidays either. Thanks for sharing this. ML
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That is an EXCELLENT idea!! I can see tweaking that a bit and using it for other situations as the child gets older, too!! Thank you MB!! Very valuable...especially for difficult child families!