People Are Slamming This Mom's 'Horrible' Gift for Her Kids on the Naughty List


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Many parents use the Christmas season -- and the presents kids are bound to receive -- as a sort of bargaining chip when it comes to behavior. While a lot of us threaten our kids with lumps of coal for acting out, very few of us actually follow up on that threat. But one mother claims her kids are firmly on Santa's Naughty List this year, and as such, she wants to give them a seriously controversial gift.

  • The mom posted on the popular parenting forum Mumsnet that she was tired of her kids acting out just because they knew there'd be no consequences.

    The woman went on to say that she and most of the moms in her friend group use the holidays and Santa's gifts to help foster good behavior in their children during the season, but her kids had caught on to the fact that being put on Santa's "Naughty List" didn't keep them from getting presents on Christmas morning. 

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    "Is It unreasonable to add a beautifully gift-wrapped potato [to their Christmas gifts] with a label that says, 'This would have been another proper present from Santa had the behavior been better?'" she asked.

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  • Most of the replies came from fellow moms who were pretty disgusted at the idea.


  • One person called the punishment "unreasonably harsh."

    She said that while it may work to curb bad behavior in the short term, after a while the little girl would only remember it as her mother "being mean." 

  • Others told her to discipline the same way she would at any other time of year.

    "Don't use Father Christmas as a threat," a commenter wrote. "It's mean."

  • Another parent flat-out called the stunt "weak parenting."

    "Disciplining your children using Santa is weak parenting," this parent wrote. "Threatening to give potato instead of a present is lame and a bit desperate. Actually wrapping a potato and giving it to a child on Xmas day is simply horrible." 

  • The critiques were definitely harsh, but some people actually agreed with the method.


  • One mom said other the parents in the forum were just overreacting.

    "Anybody would think the OP [original poster] wanted to let her daughter open her real gifts and then set them on fire in front of her," she said of their reaction.

  • Others urged parents to be a bit more "realistic" when it came to disciplining their kids.

    "I think it's a great idea," someone said. "Not unreasonable at all." 

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    People on either side of the fence seemed to have very strong opinions on what is or is not appropriate when it comes to using Christmas as a disciplinary tactic. While the matter wasn't necessarily resolved, it has definitely sparked a major argument that's given plenty of parents some important things to think about.

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