The recent discussion surrounding the popular toy “Elf on the Shelf” has been more heated than one might expect for a holiday tradition. For every family that finds him charming and motivating, there is another family that sees him as a creepy little elf, holding the threat of tattling to Santa over toddlers’ heads.
I suggest that if you think he is cute, and your children like the magical elements to the story, you could alter the “backstory’ as they say in Hollywood. What about giving the elf the responsibility of only sharing a child’s positive behavior with Santa? He might watch for sharing, cooperation, and patience. Just like the Gossiping technique in Happiest Toddler on the Block, you can tell the elf (well within your child’s hearing) what wonderful things he has done each day.
If a child has already heard the standard version, simply explain that the elf’s job description has been changed due to your child’s maturity. New holiday season, new plan.