Elf on the shelf has been around for decades, dare we say generations. Up until now, the mischevious little North Pole native, whose sole purpose was that of keeping youngsters in line in the days leading up to Santa’s visit, has been a Christmas tradition with almost every family. However, after a recent study by psychologists, elf on the shelf may very well be a tradition that is remembered and no longer practiced.
Now, you may feel that the sheer creepiness of the little doll is what may be harming your child’s psyche. In an ad put out by Amazon, even they took it too a creepy level:
“Every year at Christmas Santa sends his elves to watch you. And they go back and tell him who’s been bad and who’s been good. The Elf on the Shelf is watching you, what you say and what you do. The Elf on the Shelf is watching you, each and every Christmas.”
Although a little of the creepiness may be needed in order for the whole concept to work, what is actually happening is that parents are putting off confronting the child over their wrongdoings, by putting it off on the Elf. Simply put, the Elf on the Shelf is a temporary fix, when parents want children to do something.
The Elf on the Shelf is sending much the same message as the “naughty or nice” list that Santa uses. Basically, you will be rewarded with a gift or prize if you are nice.
As a result, this instills in children not to be nice just for the sake of being nice, but if you are nice you will be rewarded. Psychologists believe all this will lead to is children being taught materialism rather than manners.
In the long run, when they finally grow up and get out “into the world” they find this practice is not in place, and more often than not leads to a whole new host of problems in their adult years.