You may roll your eyes when you see this elf come out every year. It may creep you out to see this skinny little red-suit wearing doll popping up. What do I see? I see a magic tool to get my child to actually listen to me. The more realistic, the better. 

In the past, I have gone to great lengths to get this elf to look like he's in real situations. This isn't so people will notice me on Pinterest or think I'm the best mom ever. In fact, I question whether or not this puts me in the "good mom" or "bad mom" role on a daily basis. What I've come to find is that if this elf helps my 8 year old boy who has almost no filter, finds it impossible to wait his turn to talk and has about 20 billion ideas a minute (may be exaggerated), slow down for a minute and pay attention to his actions then the Elf on the Shelf is for me.



As a parent, I wake up each morning with my guilt sweater on. I think about the things I want to accomplish throughout the day and vow to be better than I was the day before. When bedtime rolls around, I start think about all the ways I could have done better throughout the day and hope I can do it the next day. It's trial and error. It's learning from mistakes. It's parenting.

I say all this to fend off the ones who are ready to claw my eyes out because I use the Elf on the Shelf for discipline and behavior management. I'll admit it, I do.

Now that we've cleared the air and you know that I'll have a perfectly behaved child for the entire month of December (plus these final days of November), I'll gift you with my ideas so you can literally take them as your own and use them how you wish. I'm perfectly fine with you copying them exactly. It's why I'm here.

Cheers to you, fellow parent. There are happy days ahead.