Here are a few things that can lend to a better “Elf on the Shelf” experience in your home…
1. Photograph or remember the Elf you adopt. When he “flies to the North Pole with Santa on Christmas Eve” not to be seen again until the following December, there is a chance you will get (have to purchase) a new Elf the following year.
It’s important that you do not aid to the inquiries of growing children by forgetting the physical make-up of the original Elf.
2. If the Elf “forgets to move”, it’s best to question all the children to find out who did not behave the day before.
Imply blame… question but don’t accuse outright. Leave that to the siblings.
3. Never rely on someone else to make sure the Elf “heads to the North Pole” each night. Own it. The stressful blame on one another when your child is disappointed, and the lies that ensue, can lead to more things/stories you have to remember.
Quite honestly kids are way better at remembering than we are so chances are they are right.
4. Make sure the Elf finds a good place to hide that is safe so he/she can not fall. If they fall remember the kids can NOT touch him. The dog doesn’t know the rule. Kids protect Elves, not dogs…fyi.
5. If you are not sure if the Elf went to see Santa the night before, be sure YOU check. Make your child sit in your bed and wait until you find him/her because you really want to “see them find the Elf” and enjoy the moment together.
I’m sure there are many other helpful hints we could give each other as we parents navigate the adoption of Elf on the Shelf. I am pretty sure Shad and I are the worst hosts in the world to Elf on the Shelf… but hey, at least the house is warm. 🙂