Santa Behavioral Therapy
I’m a sucker for the holidays. I LOVE this time of year even though I live in Southern California and I ache for that winter crispness of the East Coast and the country Christmases I enjoyed so much as a kid…and despite the fact that I start to panic every time I look at an anemic bank account that has to endure another gutting for gifts… and except for the crowded stores and credit card debt and shopping for that PERFECT gift for my wife when I have NO IDEA WHAT THAT IS! Oh man, am I stressed. Anyway I really do love the holidays. And since I became a father, another element has been introduced which truly makes this the most wonderful time of the year. What’s that you say? Seeing my kids’ faces light up with the magic and joy of the season? Uh…okay, sure. Whatever. Two things then.
My wife is very big on behavioral therapy when it comes to our kids. In fact she devoted one of her This Little Parent Stayed Home radio shows to it (insert link here). I am teaching her a very special behavioral therapy that only comes around this time of year. It’s a method that’s been passed down from generation to generation. That of “Santa Behavioral Therapy” Allow me to demonstrate…”Clean up your toys! Santa’s watching!”, “Don’t talk back to me! Santa probably heard that, you know!”, “Go to bed now! You hear that sound? That’s the sound of Santa erasing your name off one list and writing it on the other!” Works like a charm. Yes, Virginia there IS a Santa Claus. And he’s a parent’s best friend. In fact I’ve begun using this form of discipline year round. Like in March. “Hey! Santa’s back from vacation and cranking up the workshop so you better check that attitude!” I go even farther. I turn on the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and point to the evil eye of Sauron and say,”Hey that’s kind of like Santa. He has a giant eye that can see EVERYTHING YOU DO.” And then I chuckle quietly. Oh, man. Sit back and watch them eat their vegetables. You’re welcome…and happy holidays!