Do you have the Elf on the Shelf for your kids this year? Are you an overachieving parent who is going all-out, posing the doll with the fixated grin so your kids have a watchdog leading up to the holidays? Maybe that Elf on a Shelf is causing you and your kids some underlying anxiety?

Kool-Aid was easy

It's not good enough to be a Kool-Aid mom today, there's much more to being a super mom than there was decades ago. Yesteryear all a super mom had to do was greet their kids and their friends with a sugary drink and maybe some homemade cookies when they came through the door.

Today a mom serving Kool-aid and cookies is a woman that other mom's will keep their kids away from, due to her tendency of overloading kids with sugar.

If you want to spot the overachieving moms of today, a good place to start is to check out their involvement with Elf on the Shelf, according to MRT News. Trolling through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram's showcases for the Elf on a Shelf this time of year, will do one of two things for a mom or dad.

You will either walk away feeling on top because you've created an Elf on the Shelf experience for your children that rivals the rest of them. Or, you may walk away feeling like you've failed your children because you hastily move the tiny watchdog to another perch each night, not paying any attention to the detail of a pose.

Maybe you forget some nights, or, heaven forbid -- you don't participate at all?

Elf overload

As Melanie Nicholas of MRT suggests, some of these parents go overboard with these elves. First of all an Elf on a Shelf is a glorified doll of an elf. You are supposed to put him or her in a different spot each night when your kids go to bed.

The story you spin for your kids is that the elf takes back off to the North Pole to report to Santa each night as your children are deep in slumber. You can never touch the Elf on the Shelf, which is a warning you pass along when the grinning scout first shows up.

It's a spy

The Elf on the Shelf is a watchdog of sorts. As the song goes "he knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake." That's the elf's job, he reports to Santa on your children's behavior each day.

This starts the day after Thanksgiving and continues until Christmas Eve, when the elf disappears until next year.

Now the stress is on for the parents to make the Elf on the Shelf a memorable Christmas tradition. The mundane moves just won't do, especially after you visit the social media sites and see what other parents are doing. As for your kids, do they love it or are they just a little bit in fear (or at least anxious) over the elf peering down at them from that shelf?

De-shelf the elf?

Back when the Elf on the Shelf was a fairly new phenomenon, The Humanist made the plea of: "take that Elf off the Shelf." The kids are made to believe the elf is alive and moves about silently when no one is awake.

The elf might help parents tone down their riled up kids around the holidays with the threat that the eerie wooden doll is watching them, but what is it doing to the kids?

As The Humanist suggests, the elf is not what you'd call adorable, it' actually rather "creepy" looking. The kids are taught it's a spy that not only silently watches, but reports all their behavior back to the big guy in the red suit. The guy in charge of leaving the gifts under the Christmas tree. That gives that elf a lot of power in your little ones' eyes.


The kids are either enamored with the thing or silently fearful of what it might tell Santa. Can you image a 4-year-old kid who did some minor thing, like break a toy, or feed the dog the rest of their dinner without mom and dad knowing?

Now that kid has to deal with the spy on the shelf with the fixated grin. If you think about it, a lot of stress comes with the doll for both the kids and the parents. The parents have to remember to move the Elf on the Shelf every night, because if they forget, there will be sadness festering in the house the next morning!