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Children on the Naughty List?

Find ways to address misbehavior without ruining Christmas day.

It would be wonderful if we could blame Santa for putting our children on the naughty list. It would be even better if we could blame him for that lump of coal in their stockings. But since parents play Santa every year, we are the ones who have to address misbehavior. And a lump of coal just won't do. 

When I was about six-years-old, I had officially become a brat. I was spoiled beyond measure and very ungrateful. It wasn't until one Christmas that my whole attitude changed. My parents had recently separated when came around that year. We had less money than normal to spend on Christmas and my parents did the best they could. Being the brat I was, I did not care that they did not have enough money, I just knew Santa would come through for me.

Once Christmas Day came, I was irate that I didn't get everything on my list and let everyone know that what we had was insufficient. I threw a tantrum on Day and gave everybody attitude.

My mom was so upset with me, she told me that next year I wasn't going to get anything for Christmas. I did not believe her and was actually hoping that she would forget what she promised. The following Christmas she held to her word and I got nothing for Christmas. From that point on, I changed my attitude and started to appreciate the things I did have. I never had another tantrum around Christmas ever again. 

Now, I'm not encouraging parents to eliminate Christmas for that one ungrateful child, but there are a few things that can be done before Christmas gets here:

Shrink the Christmas List: Post a copy of their Christmas list on the refrigerator and every time they decide to misbehave scratch off one of their items. Even if you already bought it you can either take it back to the store or hold it until the day after Christmas. It depends on how their behavior is. 

Extra Chores: Since guests will be visiting your home this holiday season, assign those extra chores to the misbehaving children. They should already be helping, but save some tedious work for discipline purposes.

Homework for Christmas Break:  Have them write 100 sentences. For example: "I will not act up this Christmas" or " I will be grateful for my gifts." If not sentences, have them work on some old classwork from school.

Even if your family is lacking the as years before, do not allow children to misbehave. Children have to learn to be grateful for what they do have. These are just a few things that can be done in order to address misbehavior this Christmas. By no means does any parent want to use Christmas as a disciplinary action, but since some children become ungrateful this time of year use these suggestions as an example. 

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