Hello, is that Father Christmas? (Getting my kid to behave)

Like most 3 year olds, Ruby is a bit of a little madam.  She is the first to admit she’s a diva.

I’m not even kidding.  She has, on more than one occasion, informed me of this.

(“I’m a diva, Mummy, and Elliot is a tiny genius”. Oy! That kid, she is nothing short of hilarious.)

Well, it’s not exactly out of the realms of possibility is it?

And despite her shyness (the child tries to crawl back into the womb if someone so much as glances her way at times) she knows her own mind and she isn’t adverse to the odd tantrum if she thinks it will get her her own way.

(Which, by the way, it generally does not. I am not one to reward crap behaviour.  Being three does not give her license to be an epic brat.)

And a little while ago I stumbled upon the best way ever to get her to do as she is told.  I just call my sister.

“Hello, is that the nurse?” When she threw a tantrum over getting her jabs, and also when she was adamant Elliot needed to see the nurse about a tiny bump on the head.

“Hello, is that the police woman?” When she kept trying to unfasten her seatbelt in the car.

And today:

“Hello, is that Father Christmas?” When she refused to go to bed, way way past her bedtime.  A tantrum was a-brewing.  Forget it, I’m calling in for reinforcements.

My sister played along fabulously.  She even threw in a “ho ho ho MERRY CHRISTMAS!” in a booming Santa voice.  Ross and I were desperately trying not to dissolve into hysterics for quite a lot of the conversation.

Soon after, she was tucked up in bed, asleep, with the promise of her advent calendar in the morning.  We had tried and failed to get her to stay upstairs before we called Santa.  The gentle reminder that Father Christmas only visits well behaved children who are asleep worked like a charm.  I think it’s a fairly gentle way to reinforce the concept of good behaviour and safety.  No one gets cross, it diffuses a situation where patience can easily be worn thin (because it’s so funny), and you get the outcome you want.  Win win!

I know it will only work for a short time, as fairly soon she is going to suss that I don’t, in actual fact, have a rolodex full of fictional characters, health professionals and law enforcers at my disposal.  And it’s really important that you only use it in certain situations, but right now, it’s useful to know Santa has my back.

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  1. I bloody love this. I mean, it’s clearly child abuse, but you are SO gonna get it when she catches on. In the meantime, enjoy it.

  2. Fabulous. I have done the Father Christmas’ secretary for my niece and apparently she shot off to bed afterwards like a rocket! Apparently the fact I knew her middle name and the colour of her freshly painted bedroom meant I knew exactly who she was!

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