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Kids will get gifts whether they're naughty or nice

Parents say behavior isn't really a factor in gift getting.

by Kate at Parenting.com

Although the threat of Santa knowing if you've been bad or good might come in handy to keep kids in line during the holiday season, it turns out to be an empty one. A new study finds that Santa (read: Mom and Dad) will give children presents whether they've been naughty or nice.

Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty ImagesMore from Parenting: 9 unique holiday traditions

USA Today reported about a national survey Walmart conducted of parents and kids, asking various questions about holiday gift giving and getting. Eighty percent of parents said their kids will get the same number of gifts, regardless of their behavior. But Santa's hold still works over kids: 62 percent surveyed said they believed they'd get more presents if they were nice over naughty.

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Mom Amber Plante told USA Today that she'd rather her two sons have fond memories of Christmas morning, rather than using it to teach a lesson: "I'd rather my boys have fuzzy memories of happy times ripping open their presents, not of being harshly taught a lesson that, frankly, could be taught any other day of the year."

Does your kids' behavior influence how many presents they get? Do you tell your kids that Santa's watching?

Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty Images

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Dec 10, 2012 1:20PM
Christmas is about the spirit of giving and forgiveness.  It is an opportunity to teach children about the joy of giving and the humility of receiving.  That lesson should not be confused with discipline on other issues, which should be directly connected to the offense.  The Santa meting out "naughty or nice"  awards is NOT in the spirit of Christmas.  That does not mean children should get everything they ask for, that also would not be in the spirit of Christmas.  But let's not confuse an opportunity for teaching children valuable lessons about giving and receiving with trying to met out punishment for some other offense that may have occured months ago.
Dec 10, 2012 1:12PM
If your kid is a brat, it's more than likely its your fault. I see this all the time, parents upset because their little darling is a monster but they refuse to punish the child or set boundaries. Children need to know where lines are drawn, it gives them stability, and you need to spend time with your kids out and away from electrical devices. 
Dec 10, 2012 12:34PM
Kingstok  I don't know what part of left field you are playing . But yes I am an old  61 yrs in fact  I belong to the Baptist church have for yrs I have 8 wonderful children and 17 beautiful grand children . They were all brought up to believe in God And his ways  I love GOD and I know Jesus .The real meaning of Christmas the birth of Jesus Our Savior . No christian is with out sin . but we are forgiven .That's why this Holliday is so special
Dec 10, 2012 11:47AM

You give something that shows love, not acquiring. I've always liked coupons "Redeemable for one evening with Dad" "One evening with Mom" and (assuming, of course, that you are teaching your kids responsibilty) "One day of not doing the dishes." The days with parents, of course, are planned ahead and only cancelled if one (the parent or the child) is in the hospital.

Dec 10, 2012 11:33AM

If you buy presents that are what a person needs and not want a person wants it makes it a lot easier, It works with both children and adults, I guess that is one of the benefits of growing up poor, Our parents never really could afford to spend buckets of money on things that would wind up broken and tossed away before the next Christmas season. I am not saying we never got toys it is just that not every present was a toy and most were items we needed rather than wanted.


Dec 10, 2012 11:31AM

When my brother was about 8-9 years old, he was acting  very badly during the Christmas season. My dad kept threatening that he was going to get a brick from Santa that year. Well Christmas morning rolled around, and there it was, under the tree, a shiny brick. You can imagine how a boy that age would respond in that situation. There were real presents also for him tucked under the tree, but his reaction to this "gft" was priceless and we still talk about until this day.

Dec 10, 2012 5:53AM
Of course you give your children the same presents either way, do you believe they have been "Bad" for the Entire Year???  If you raise your kids to feel that they cannot be good enough, you are setting them up way worse than those who make sure their kids know they are loved no matter what, and steer them in the right direction with kindness every day.  Kids are kids, and they should be allowed to act as such.  To tell your kids even Santa doesn't think you're good enough is downright evil, and I don't even understand how this question was asked to start with.
Dec 10, 2012 5:31AM
The question is incomplete. How about no gift from Santa? Parents still provide gifts from Mom & Dad, but Santa knows ALL.
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