Using Santa As Leverage

Is it wrong that I threaten my son to be good or Santa won’t come?
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By SAMANTHA DELLINGER
Smart Mama

Is it wrong that I threaten my son to be good or Santa won’t come?

The other day, Vincent was having an especially rough time at home, and I told him that I was going to call Santa.

I ran downstairs and whispered to my husband, William, that I would call his cell phone. I told him to pretend to be Santa. Then, I went upstairs to talk to Vincent some more and called “Santa.”

“Hello, Santa?” I asked.

The voice on the other end replied, “Hello.”

“Santa, my son, Vincent, would like to talk to you.”

“Uh, OK.” (My husband’s impersonation of Santa was not very good.)

“Hi, Santa!”

“Why, hello, Vincent. Are you being a good boy?”

Pause.

“No, Santa,” Vincent replied.

“Well, you need to be a good boy if you want Santa to bring you presents.”

“OK,” Vincent said.

After we hung up, Vincent turned to me and asked “Mommy, how do you know Santa’s phone number?”

“Well, Vincent, Santa gave me his phone number just in case I need to call him.”

“Ohh,” Vincent said. “Well, don’t call him anymore, because I am going to be a good boy.”

“Hmm, we’ll see.” I thought to myself.

And it didn’t take long. A couple hours later, Vincent threw another tantrum.

“Vincent, Santa said he was going to call me to check to see if you’re being good,” I reminded him.

This caused Vincent to scream. “No! I don’t want you to talk to him!”

By this point, I couldn’t help but giggle a little at Vincent’s stress over the situation. Well, Vincent, if you want me to tell him you are being good, then you need to be good.”

When the tears finally stopped and Vincent was back to himself, he again professed to be good. He promised this time.

Of course, a promise from a 5-year-old is about as reliable as predicting the weather. And I know I will have to remind Vincent that Santa is watching many more times.

I guess once Christmas is over, I’ll have to find a new secret weapon.

Though, I don’t think the Easter Bunny will have quite the same impact as Santa, and William will definitely need to work on his bunny impression.

Samantha Dellinger is the graphic designer for Smart. For more Smart Mama columns, click here.

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