As parents, we struggle every day to help our children thrive. To help them grow into independent, empathetic, courageous and thoughtful human beings. And sometimes, its so easy to get wrapped up in something that we lose sight of THAT bigger goal.
My friend Alexis, who happens to be an amazing preschool coordinator and teacher, shared something on Facebook today that touched me. And I think it will touch you too.
The message I took away, was that as parent's we need to do away with things like 'The Naughty List'.
I am so upset right now with the Kid Carson show on Radio Station 104.9. As I listened this morning to 5 year old Annabelle from Langley crying while talking to Santa Claus, my heart broke and my anger grew!
I am guessing that parents contact the radio station with information so Santa can call their child at 7:15 in the morning. Santa confirms the child is who he is supposed to be talking to.
Are you Annabelle from Langley, BC, Canada? Do you go to 'name of' school? Do you want a Furby for Christmas? Does Butterscotch ring a bell?The child on the other end of the phone is very hesitant (perhaps just waking up?) and her Dad is encouraging her to talk to Santa. As Santa goes along with the questions, I could hear Annabelle realizing that yes, this is Santa! She is getting very excited.
Santa then says, he has bad news for her. Her name is on the Naughty List.
Do you know what the naughty list is Annabelle? It's the list of children who won't be getting presents this year because they have been naughty. **Annabelle is now crying**But, Annabelle if you tell Santa 2 of the bad things you have done, I can take your name off the naughty list.Annabelle can't answer, she is crying. Dad with Mom's encouragement in the background are now encouraging her to talk to Santa. "Santa wants to help you...." Since she can't answer, Santa reads off the list...
"You haven't been listening to your Mommy and Daddy, have you? And I see that you use your outdoor voice inside."SERIOUSLY!!! THESE ARE NAUGHTY LIST ITEMS? This is 5 year old behaviour especially before Christmas!
Santa goes on about how he used to use his outdoor voice in the house when he was young. Also talks about how he knows her family just came back from Disneyworld and the Caribbean. By the end of the conversation, 5 year old Annabelle is happy because she might get the toys she asked for.
So, what are my issues with this? Why am I am so upset? Here goes!!
What kind of parent messes with a 5 year old like that? To publicly humiliate their child...and humiliate them for appropriate behaviour?
Speaking of the behavior of "not listening," I honestly don't know many children who don't listen. Every child listens. Even children with hearing loss will "listen" in their unique way. What a child may not do is to choose to follow what is being said to them. They may not follow as directed....they may ignore what is being said to them, because they are engaged in something way more important or exciting to them. But trust me, they listen to what is being said.
And, naughty children get no presents?
How about the families who don't have money to buy gifts for their children?
Their children may not get gifts....does that mean they are on the Naughty List?
By getting a 5 year old to "confess" her naughties to Santa in exchange for gifts is another wrong. Children who actually do things that are truly "naughty" should not be given presents just for telling what they have done. Children quickly learn how to get what they want...."Hmmm, so if I tell someone I did something wrong, I get something good for this...not a bad gig!" This is setting a child up with wrong expectations about life.
I thought by typing this out, I might be able to let this rest in my heart and in my brain, but I am still frustrated by it. I will NOT be tuning in tomorrow to see how another child can be messed up. (I listened yesterday and was upset with the concept, but today just pissed me off too much, I had to share!)
I am going to go and enjoy my preschool children who will listen to what I say and then do what their bodies tell them to do...not what I do. And, guess what, I wouldn't have it any other way!!
So, do or did or will you be using The Naughty List this year?