Can your Elf on a Shelf do this?
A father has gone viral for his cruel and elaborate ploy to scare his children into behaving during the holidays.
TikTok user @BennyG7070 posted the video, now with more than 24 million views on the app.
“Christmas is coming, and here is a surefire way to ensure your little darlings are behaving proper,” reads the video caption, alongside an image of a room with a fireplace and a gift-wrapped box.
The brief clip then depicts what appears to be a neatly wrapped Christmas present being thrown straight into the lit wood stove.
“Wrap up some empty boxes and pretend they have presents. Then each time one of those little f—kers misbehaves, chuck one onto the fire,” it concluded.
The video has since sparked a heated debate, with some accusing the dad of traumatizing his kids on purpose.
“That’s abuse,” said one critic.
“If you need to do this to get your kids to behave, then the issue is NOT with the kids,” said another.
In a clear dismissal of these criticism, @BennyG7070 later commented on his own video. “Hi Karens!” he teased.
However, few came to the dad’s defense, including one detractor who declared that the tale of Santa Claus’ nice and naughty lists is a form of parental “manipulation” on its own, by “lying to kids about someone who doesn’t exist just to get them to behave.”
“My dad did this, we started to behave after this,” defended a former child. A third supporter insisted “he’s got a point.”