The last few weeks of my pregnancy marked a noticeable change in my eldest’s behaviour. Although excited about the new baby’s imminent arrival, I had noticed that Stanley was becoming short tempered, easily frustrated (when playing with James) and very argumentative, especially with me.
There have been big changes in his life and routine recently, that he’s had to deal with and he knew in the run up to Eli arriving that sacrifices would have to be made again…he’s an old hand at being a big brother afterall and he knows how it works! He explained to me when I was having a chat with him ‘that we don’t do anything fun anymore, Mummy’ which of course made me feel terrible. Realistically, being heavily pregnant and then having a newborn impacts on the amount of activities we can do outside of the house for a while.
So, I wanted a way of improving both of my boys behavior towards each other, a gentle nudge in the right direction!
The Kindness Elves were created by Anna at The Imagination Tree. Anna is a mum of four (so I imagine she knows a fair bit about sibling squabbling) and a former primary school teacher, specialising in EYFS. She originally developed The Kindness Elves to encourage acts of kindness, sharing and to promote a sense of gratitude in her children. All good things, right?
Elf on the Shelf has become an increasingly popular tradition during the festive period. It’s one that has never really appealed to me if I’m honest. I find the actual Elf more than a bit creepy, and I don’t like the fact that these ‘naughty and mischievous elves’ then report back to Father Christmas on the child’s behaviour. It’s the reporting back bit that I’m not keen on, it just doesn’t sit well with me.
The Kindness Elves are a sweet-natured alternative, and because they aren’t linked to Christmas they can be used all year round too. They are also lovely to look at, have a range of accessories available and arrive in their own little elf house complete with a working mail box. You can even choose the clothing and skin tone of your elves too, to personalise the experience.
Our elves arrived quickly by post and beautifully packaged up in their elf house, and I was amazed by the level of detail to the design. I plan to use them to recognise good behaviour by leaving little notes of praise or clues to where a treat is hidden. They are also going to suggest acts of kindness either by setting the elves up as an example (i.e sharing a toy, or having a cuddle) or again by elf post using little notes left in the mailbox.
Each ‘family’ of elves has a specialism and the individual elves have names. The elves I have chosen are named Pop & Sparkle and are magical potion mixers. I like the idea of the nature loving elves (Flora & Sage) too, so I think our kindness clan will definitely expand in the Spring. The cogs are whirring already and I’m thinking a set for each season would be lovely and would also celebrate change if combined with special seasonal tasks.
I’ve yet to officially introduce our elves to Stanley (but, predictably I’m a bit too excited about their arrival, hence writing this post). I want to give him a few weeks to adjust to having a new baby in the house again. Pop & Sparkle might appear mid December to remind us what’s important during the festivities…I want to donate some old toys to charity this year, so that will be a good starting point. Unlike the Elf on the Shelf, I’ve already decided that our elves won’t be used daily. I think to retain the message they will appear when there is a good deed to be done or we need a little help to be kinder to each other.
Be sure to check back to see how we get on, I’ll do a round up post of their first few outings!!
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I’m taking part in the Mummy Monday linky with Becca from Becca Blogs It Out