Santa’s gonna make you behave!
“You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why”
(Santa Claus is Coming to Town)
You may not know it, but today is actually Saint Nicholas Day. In honor of that saintly Turkish Bishop of the 4th century, let’s look at how terribly we use him to make up for our lazy parenting.
Have you ever really listened to the lyrics of “Santa Clause is Coming to Town”? Here’s another way to sing them:
I am so sick and tired of you kids yelling, bawling, and whining!!
If you don’t knock it out soon, I’m telling you…
I’m gonna make sure the fabled Saint Nicholas—who was orphaned, gave all his money to the poor, and went to prison for his faith—skips right past this house and gives you nothing at all this year!
If that’s what I have to threaten to get you to stop behaving like children,
then by golly, I’ll rip down all this holly and allow your immaturity to spoil the entire season for the rest of us!
Don’t get me wrong, folks; I love this song (bonus—look below for my ranking of the top three versions recorded, IMHO). But empty threats, like taking away holiday traditions like gift-giving, are really just broken promises. ScreamFree Parents strive to never promise a consequence they won’t actually introduce.
Also, you’ll be amazed how your whole house actually gets more peaceful when you decide your kids’ complaining (shouting, crying, and pouting) doesn’t bother you nearly as much. The less you need them to get quiet and accept life, the more they will.
Peace begins with pause,