Rebecca Gamble, 38, is a writer from Ampthill, Bedfordshire, and is mum to Fergus, five, and Rafferty, two.
‘Like many five-year-olds, my son, Fergus, is terrified of Santa finding out he’s been naughty so, last year, I came up with a sneaky trick to keep him on the straight and narrow.
I told him Santa could see everything that was going on in the house via the burglar alarm, and if he was playing up, I started pointing to the blinking red light and saying, “Santa saw that!”
It worked a treat. As soon as he thought Father Christmas might see him doing something he shouldn’t have been, he’d quickly change his behaviour. Half the time, I didn’t even need to issue a threat, I’d just point to the sensor, raise my eyebrows and ask, “Are you sure you want to do that?”
In fact, it worked so well, he now thinks I can see him through it, too. If I ever hear a whack or a crash, followed by his younger brother, Rafferty, crying in the next room, I’ll go in and say, “Father Christmas has just seen that, now are you going to tell me what you’ve done?” So I get a confession, too!
I’ve tried telling Rafferty that Santa can see him, but while he knows who Santa is, he doesn’t understand the importance of staying on his nice list – but I’ll try as soon as he does!
I’m sure a parenting expert would baulk at such underhand techniques, and warn me that I’m storing up problems for the future – or perhaps giving my son a lifelong paranoia that he’s being watched. But, for now, it works brilliantly!’
Naughty or nice, Father Christmas is always watching...