“Smiling’s my favourite!” “I like whispering too”, Buddy the Elf has said many gems. But as a play therapist this one is my favourite...
"There's room for everyone on the nice list."
I remember I chuckled when I first heard that line. There's something so funny yet so innocent about the sentiment. As adults we almost laugh in dismissal. But over the years as a therapist (& teacher) I've learnt that children & their innocent mindset can teach us adults an awful lot if we pause and reflect on it. Turns out Buddy can too!
Has your child been put on the naughty list?
It happens. Your child gets called “naughty”, “trouble”.
"He just can’t…."
I understand that often such words are spoken for convenience (or to avoid an uncomfortable reflection) but they really have an impact on children (who are still learning about themselves through the eyes and words of others after all).
Have you ever been put on someone’s list?
Do you remember being put on a list when you were younger? Do family members or friends ever say...
“You shouldn’t always ……"
Sound familiar? When that happens, how does it make you feel? Does it make you feel understood? Does it make you want to co-operate or listen?
As viewers we understand Buddy's innocence and why he behaves the way he does and wears an elf suit. If you met Buddy in real life you would likely think he was a bit of a "fruitcake", you would probably treat him with suspicion and maybe use harsh words (just like those New Yorkers in the film who meet him). But as viewers we have a different perspective. We understand his story and where he's come from. Remember every strange behaviour has a story. Teachers can commonly forget this when they label a child as lazy or naughty. Parents also forget this when their child isn't co-operating. Even as parents we don't know the full story or all the stories for children in their daily lives.
Give the gift of unconditional love! (even if you don’t understand what’s fully going on for them).
Despite all the mean things the father did and said, Buddy loved his father unconditionally. Eventually his father took himself off the naughty list (& helped save Santa from the Central Park Rangers. Word).
I know tensions can rise around Christmas time. There's a lot to do and there's a lot of intense time spent together. There's also comparison to previous years so there can be a sense of mourning that intensifies the atmosphere. Your family will inevitably get on your nerves at some point! Try to revisit & focus on the good within them. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Try to translate their behaviour into the needs that are unmet. Ask yourself, what are they feeling? What do they need? Acknowledge and accept their feelings (and your own too!) before reacting. Take the time to acknowledge feelings. It is so powerful.
Time for one of my favourite quotes...
"See the light in others like it's the only thing you see." Wayne Dyer
Buddy followed this principle and it transformed those around him. Dad, brother & future girlfriend. Try to be more like Buddy the Elf. Love unconditionally!
Who knew Elf could be so deep & meaningful ey!?
If you're finding it really difficult to accept your child at the moment, you're not alone. Everyone has their story. If you want help moving forward and creating some positive shifts in your relationship with your child, why not schedule a free call with me when you join the mailing list (plus you get free hints and tricks monthly-ish. Double win!).
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