Elf Resigns! Goes Off Shelf!

December 14, 2012

Elf resigns. Says controlling children with threats is just wrong.

Elf resigns. Says controlling children with threats is just wrong.

Dear Santa,

After working for you in the capacity as Elf on the Shelf for quite some time, it is not without some regret that I resign my position. I will miss my visits to the North Pole but I must say I will be relieved to not have to report misdeeds of children to you each night.
In addition to the wear and tear of such travel, I have discovered a new way of looking at and relating to children that no longer allows me to threaten them into goodness. I’ve discovered that coerced goodness is not goodness at all, but is in fact a dynamic that breeds mistrust, cynicism and deeply interferes with real learning.
Rather than helping the children that depend on me to learn to be good, they are simply learning to appear to be good. That is a huge difference and puts them at risk for doing bad or even dangerous things behind my back.
I really like the kids I live with! Why would I want to have a relationship with them based on fear and mistrust? We are now having great discussions about my thoughts on goodness and theirs. I’m learning so much from these talks too; about them and about myself. Plus I am modeling goodness rather than being a nasty tattletale.
Santa I know how much you love kids, now it’s time to learn to respect them as well. It’s a new era Santa, where adults need to be trusted advisors to children and not behavior police. It makes us all kinder, smarter and happier.
Sorry for the short notice, have a great holiday!
Yours Truly,
Elf off the Shelf

Christmas Day … a beginning

December 25, 2011

Every time I get to the end of “A Christmas Carol” when poor old Ebeneezer Scrooge realizes he’s been given a second chance and vows to “keep Christmas in his heart every day,” I feel so completely inspired. This idea of a fresh start, a new beginning, invites all of us to believe we can become better, become more of who we want to be, in this next moment.

Suddenly the old miser is filled with a radiant generosity, a newfound desire to live life to its fullest, now that he’s peered into the future’s dire possibilities.

I have wanted to blog for the longest time now, having more ideas to share than time to write them, and would hate to grow old and realize I’d missed my opportunity to do so. As many of you already know, I am nothing if not, er, of strong opinions. So a blog provides not only a space in which to share these ideas, but hopefully a place to get feedback on them, to be challenged, inspired and enlightened by all of you … and mostly, to continue learning and growing, something I hope to do til I’m old as Ebeneezer.

With warmest holiday wishes to all … here’s to a new beginning!