Creative Child

The Tattletale Elf

Plus 5 Ways to Inspire Good Behavior
by Rebecca Eanes


4. Use consequences that teach.

If a consequence is necessary, aim for consequences that teach rather than just punish. I’ve written a full article explaining this in detail which you can find here.

5. Build them up.

Children who feel good about themselves will behave well. We should always be looking for the light in our children and reflecting it back to them. We want to see the good in them and help them see it, too.

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Use encouraging phrases like these:

*That was so helpful. Thank you.

*You are so kind to do that.

*I’m proud of you for ___.

*I believe in you.

*I like spending time with you.

*You’re so much fun to be around!

Here are some alternative uses for your elves:

Kindness Elves by The Imagination Tree are a popular alternative.

Conscious Discipline suggests using heart-shaped glasses for your elf to see the good behaviors you want to inspire rather than the bad ones. Here’s a post on their Facebook page about it.

Happy Hooligans has 7 cute alternatives here.

Of course, you could always keep your current tradition, just ditching the tattletale part.

The 3 Toys featured in this article are:

Page 1: Elf on the Shelf

Page 2: Christopher Pop-in-Kins 

Page 3: Maccabee on the Mantel

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.


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