More than a few parents think this whole “Santa’s Watching” thing is creepy. I’ve probably said it before, but I come down firmly on the side of lying to your children about it. When they figure it out, children learn that adults are not to be trusted and that imaginary beings are not out to help them.
This Elf on the Shelf trend that’s been going on for the past few years is an especially good brand extension not despite but because it prepares young ones for a nightmarish surveillance state.
This is all standard good parenting, as far as I can tell. Even our most saccharine advice authors agree with me that pet ownership is an important childhood lesson in death and suffering, in the same way that you make them do busywork in school both to keep them out of your hair and so that they’ll learn early on that life is a series of tedious tasks performed in exchange for symbolic pieces of paper.