The other day I read a statement on a parenting FB page about how we can only parent our own children. Which is so true – every family has their own values, beliefs and boundaries. These shape our unique parenting style and form the basis for decisions around everything from what school our child attends down to what goes in their lunchbox.
Just because Timmy’s mum lets him play Fortnite around the clock doesn’t mean that’s what I will allow. We can only parent our own child based on our best judgement.
HOWEVER, there are times when I wish this wasn’t so. On more than one occasion I’ve wished all parents were on the same page, just to make life easier. It would be great if, just for some things, we could have a Standard Operating Procedure in place.
Times like Christmas, for example. Now, let’s for a moment put aside the fact that not all families celebrate Christmas or facilitate their children’s belief in Santa.
Wouldn’t it make life easier if there was an agreed upon “Santa Protocol”?
This would layout the agreed terms by which Santa brings the same types of things, in the same way, to everyone. Because, as it stands, in some houses Santa fills a stocking with nick-nacks and small gifts, while in others he goes all out.
Having an agreement in place would negate those awkward post-Christmas discussions that go along the lines of: “Santa gave Timmy the latest Xbox, a hover board and a trip to Disneyland. Why did he only bring me socks, jocks and a $2 bubble blower from Kmart?”
Of course, we could/should capitalise on this learning opportunity and turn this conversation into a lesson on being grateful for what we get. But deep down we are all cursing Timmy’s “Santa” for being so OTT.
These Protocol’s should also be extended to the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny. Does the Tooth Fairy leave a gold coin or a fiver? Does the tooth go under the pillow or in a glass of water? And the Easter Bunny – is he/she leaving chocolate, PJ’s or gifts these days?
And how are all these magical entities getting access to our homes? We’ve got people using fairy doors, chimneys and magic keys – c’mon people, let’s at least get our lies straight!
Yes, I know these things are first world problems and for some people they aren’t problems at all because they don’t condon lying to children.
But for those of us who are trying to uphold the last vestiges of magic in our little people’s childhood, it would really make life easier if we all did the same thing. Plus we’d probably have kids believing for longer as there would be less holes in the story!
After all, when faced with a beaming face on Christmas morning caught up in the mystery and magic of it all – we just want to make that magic last as long as possible.
Would a Standard Operating Procedure for special holidays make your life easier?