Sneaky Santa!

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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...

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