December is my favorite month. I love everything about it.
While we teach our children that Jesus is the reason for the Season, we set out our nativity, we read the story of His birth from the Bible, we still love going to see Santa and the magic that comes along with that. We love the Santa at the Robinson Mall. He is so kind and patient and listens intently to all the children who come to see him. This year he said to the kids, “I didn’t see you all last year; I missed you!”
The past couple weeks we have had some significant behavior issues with our daughter, and they are some things that won’t magically fix themselves overnight. Two days before we went to see him she asked for some paper so she could write Santa a letter.
I don’t deserve any presents this year because of my behavior. Love, Olivia”
Guys, I wanted to cry. I truly believe that parents are a huge influence in a child’s self esteem, and all I could think of was, “What did I say that would make her think this?” Now, we had several really tough conversations about what behavior should look like, what it means to respect and obey your teachers, and that regardless of whether you like someone God has put them in your life.
When we went to see Santa she gave him the letter and he read it. He pulled her close to him and talked to her. It was precious. I didn’t hear all of what He said to her, but I did hear this: “Olivia, thank you for telling me the truth. But no one doesn’t deserve a present on Christmas day. You can be a good girl and listen to mom and dad and make good choices but you have to work very hard. Can you work on that and try your very best?”
It was such a tender moment. Sometimes I think Christmas brings out the worst in our children. All the ads on TV telling them what they “have to have”, all the excess sugar they have, all the parties and over stimulation-it is so much for kids to process! Now, I am not making excuses for her. She still needs to demonstrate self control and behave.
This quote has been so true in our family the past couple of weeks. Maybe you are going through this too. I don’t have all the answers and I am definitely not a expert but I have really tried to use positive techniques and words of affirmation with her, and remind myself that we all have bad days.
So Santa, if you are reading this, THANK YOU for loving our little girl and encouraging her to do the right thing while at the same time giving her 5 minutes of undivided attention which meant so much to her.