Being good for Santa
I was lucky in a sense. I can’t remember many Santa experiences. My earliest memory of Christmas and Santa was being rotten with the Asian flu, my Mum panicking and sleeping downstairs on Christmas eve. I remember the presents had been placed under the tree already and I was super excited, as much as I could be, given how rotten I felt. The next memory I have is sitting in a room with my Mums friend’s kids, obliterating the idea of Santa for me. Telling me that he wasn’t real, and that if I didn’t believe them I should search my house. I was a little over 6. It was a horrible day for me. Anyway, that being said I have little to no memories of the Santa excitement or the experiences that it brought with it.
For me, the idea of Christmas and Santa is a very positive experience for my Son, even though I have little to no memory of it. I want to keep the magic and the mystery alive for him as much as I can, the idea of it should be magical and awesome. But I have different ideas to Christmas than mainstream thought, and that’s through everyone that celebrates the season from Catholics to Atheists alike, our views differ slightly from popular opinions. It’s a core belief we run by as people that love themselves and others around them.
We will never tell Alex that Santa will only come if he’s good.
Santa will always come. No matter what.
From what I’ve experienced in life leading by fear is super effective, especially in the workplace, it is by far one of the most significant motivators in human psychology. But through working with people in general and studying them, I’ve found that leading by fear is only effective to a certain point. People motivate themselves out of an anxiety that something bad is going to happen, and through that premise things get skipped, people rush and many other negative things.
It’s far more effective to get people to do things because they want to. Sounds stupid right? How do you convince people that they want to do something without holding a razor sharp blade to their throats?? Well, you sit down with them. Discuss their hopes and fears, ask them about their day, help them, get down and do the work with them, let them spread their wings more and give them that bit more responsibility that they crave. Show them that they can do it. Lead by love.
And that’s super effective. Even more so than fear.
My last job I had almost no worker retention, because they literally loved working with me. I inspired them to do great things.
And this brings me back to the whole Santa Claus idea. Thinking about what I’ve just said, is it healthier that my boy thinks he’ll get presents no matter what? Because the idea that he can be loved unconditionally for just being himself can be fully impregnated into his mind? Or that he will only get presents if he’s good? In some strange conditional love that has stringent requirements?
Now, I’m definitely not judging parents, because I know all of you will be giving your loved ones their presents no matter what, because I know through experience watching their face light up on the early morning of Christmas day is pure parent-ecstasy. But if you’re going to be giving them presents no matter what, shouldn’t they know that? Think about it for a while, you, as the parent(s) are Santa Claus, and whatever happens, good or bad, you’ll be giving your kids presents because you love them unconditionally, shouldn’t they have that feeling too?
And I’m a great believer that being your natural self should be promoted at all costs, and when my Son is being bad, he isn’t in essence being a bad boy, he’s just making bad choices on what do to with himself. Let’s be real here, we’ve all made a ton of bad choices in our lives! Every single one of us. That doesn’t make us inherently ‘bad’ people.
Let’s help our kids realise that making bad choices is a natural state of being, and it shouldn’t be used as a punishment/reward system! Of course there should be definite punishments for naughty behaviour, but not the idea of witholding love. Alex can be a pest at times but we punish him normally, as we would do at every point of the year.
Something to think about over your porridge this morning!
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