Elf on the Shelf – Conditioning Children?
The new must have fad item for Christmas and all year round, to keep your kids in line. A must have creepy little elf called “Elf on the Shelf”. A recent article coming out of the Telegraph UK indicates even the academic’s don’t agree with this technique of child surveillance and acclimation.
The item in question is used to spy or supposed tattle to Santa if your child is misbehaving before the holidays. As a matter of fact the item is encouraged to be used for all holiday events. You can place Elf on the Shelf to not only spy and servile your child this item has the extra bonus that it tattles on them as well. What type of messages are we sending to our children?
I can hardly believe the Telegraph does not agree with this surveillance item.
Popular Christmas toy is ‘training kids to live in a surveillance state’, academic warns
Elf on the Shelf – a Christmas-themed toy so popular in the US that it’s emergence each December is now described as ‘traditional’ – has been criticised in a new paper from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which warns that the toy teaches children that it’s normal to live under surveillance.
Elf on the Shelf is a small, faintly sinister-looking doll that parents are encouraged to hide around the house in the run-up to Christmas so children can search for its new location each day. Each night, the story goes, the Elf will travel back to the North Pole and tell Father Christmas whether the child they’re keeping an eye on has been naughty or nice.
Elf on the shelf just looks evil. He looks like he knows every dirty thing you’ve ever done. I would have been scurt pic.twitter.com/XSIsqvZ4JC
— katie reyno (@reynosk11) November 26, 2014
The paper, titled Who’s the Boss? and authored by acadmics Laura Pinto and Selena Nemorin, suggests that parents might consider whether it’s a good idea to invite this festive snitch into their lives.
“I don’t think the elf is a conspiracy and I realize we’re talking about a toy,” Pinto told The Washington Post. “It sounds humorous, but we argue that if a kid is okay with this bureaucratic elf spying on them in their home, it normalizes the idea of surveillance and in the future restrictions on our privacy might be more easily accepted.”
Pinto and Nemorin are not alone in their concerns. Journalist Brian Hickey of the Philly Voice writes: “EotS does normalize – in both conscious and subconscious ways – constant surveillance in developing minds that will inhabit a world where their every public step lands in a security camera’s line of vision and their every keystroke falls under the mercy of personal profile-building and ad-targeting cookies and, in some cases, hackers.”
“Elf on the Shelf presents a unique (and prescriptive) form of play that blurs the distinction between play time and real life,” the CCPA paper argues. “Children who participate in play with The Elf on the Shelf doll have to contend with rules at all times during the day: they may not touch the doll, and they must accept that the doll watches them at all times with the purpose of reporting to Santa Claus.”
Am I the only one who finds Elf on the shelf to be creepy as hell? pic.twitter.com/qTqylfDvoI
— patrick leslie (@PatLes1991) December 16, 2014
“What is troubling is what The Elf on the Shelf represents and normalizes: anecdotal evidence reveals that children perform an identity that is not only for caretakers, but for an external authority (The Elf on the Shelf), similar to the dynamic between citizen and authority in the context of the surveillance state. Further to this, The Elf on the Shelf website offers teacher resources, integrating into both home and school not only the brand but also tacit acceptance of being monitored and always being on one’s best behaviour–without question.”
“By inviting The Elf on the Shelf simultaneously into their play-world and real lives, children are taught to accept or even seek out external observation of their actions outside of their caregivers and familial structures. Broadly speaking, The Elf on the Shelf … contributes to the shaping of children as governable subjects.”
Visit this link to vote on their poll at the bottom of the page. Do you think its cute and keepable or should the trash and burn the idea of Elf on the Shelf?
My Opinion: Christmas, Santa, Lies…
First of all I am encouraged by the new this article exposes. Possibly there are a few MSM writer’s who don’t all agree with the current state of affairs. Lets hope this continues. The Mainstream has painted itself into a corner of non-credibility by ignoring the elephant in the room of “Big Government.”
How I look at Christmas:
Its bad enough so many of us parents have outright lied to our children about Santa and Christmas let alone now condition and indoctrinate them to accept being train for surveillance tactics.
As a mother I recall the devastating effect of my own deception towards my children upon the revelation that Santa did not actually exist. I recall them calling me a liar and a sneak for misleading them. I was heartbroken, but should I have expected anything less?
I recall how it was beyond the children’s comprehension the whole world was in on this lie of Santa. The imaginary Man with the best of intensions as well as a ton of presents, was actually your parents and ALL parents telling you a lie. I remember the guilt of seeing the faint hint of utter disappointment my children had for me and the feeling I could never again capture their absolute trust.
This is the true deception of Santa at Christmas time. The ideal of unintentionally showing your children even you are not above deceiving them.
As my children aged I noticed it was hard for them to grasp the concept that God existed. I recall my oldest asking me “Is this just another Santa lie?” I have since encouraged my children to embrace our some of my beliefs and to not repeat my own mistakes of youth and ignorance of “The Santa Lie.” I have since explained and asked them to recall how they felt at that moment when realizing I had deceived them and not to repeat my mistake onto their children.
It is hard to get past the actual mindset for children of what Santa and the whole lie entails. We create children who now have the seed of mistrust in their parents. This may well be the full intent to capture the youth through such ignorant misdirected lies as the Easter Bunny, Santa, Tooth Fairy and so on. The lies just keep on coming from us, so what should they expect? Once the full impact of that moment of explanation by trying to reconcile the reveal, that in the end it was you all along. I believed as a parent would hope our children would realize we had tried to give them imagination and joy to encourage good manners and proper treatment towards others. When in fact, although the intensions were good the truth of the matter is (I later realized) it was bribery of presents, Easter egg candy and so on. A bribe for something a good parent should take the time to teach and not bribe to obtain. It sets the ground work for a selfish person, the child now has been given the message. “I can lie and its ok, because my parents do.”
Once the full extent of what the undertone to these lies build, one starts to realize the value in turning your back on the commercialization of Christmas. Be honest and give a gift from the heart without strings attached. Give a locally made gift to encourage those in your community to stay in business. If it cost more then give less gifts. Christmas was never about gift giving in the first place. Recapture the true meaning of sharing the holidays with those you love. It should be because you want to be with them, without strings attached or lies to explain later. Recapture the true intent of the spirit of Christmas by doing good towards others, especially your children. Its honestly not a harmless lie in the grand scale of things we are facing today.
It is my own belief the lies of these holiday characters leads to mistrust of parents and opens the doors for others to build on the deceptions you have committed. Schools, governments, law enforcement, pedophiles they all build on discrediting you as a parent. Don’t give these scoundrels the seeds they seek to entrap and mislead your children further.
I would suggest as well to avoid this Elf on the Shelf item like the plague. Tell others to as well.
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