Dad Shares Holiday Parenting Fantasy vs. Reality in Hilarious Instagram Reel

'Tis the season to use Santa against your kids—hold the hot take and consider just laughing.

<p>skynesher / Getty Images</p>

skynesher / Getty Images

Fact checked by Sarah Scott

Everyone is an expert on parenting until they actually have kids. From ideas that your child is totally sleeping in the crib to the slow-cooked meals you swear you’ll make until you realize how fast little ones get hungry—the best-laid plans often go out the window once we meet our kids and realize how hard this parenting thing is.

One Dad recently posted a mea-culpa with a festive twist on Instagram, and it’s hilarious.

It all started about a week ago when @fitdadceo shared a now-viral take on Santa, bribery, and even dinnertime woes.

“’Tis the season to weaponize Santa,” the caption reads.

The video starts with a text overlay that reads “before kids.” And before kids, this Dad was going to avoid using Santa or bribes—all of which are considered out of vogue these days in some corners of parenting social media.

“Bro, you should never have to bribe or threaten your kids to do anything,” the pre-kid Dad says. “I don’t know. I’m just going to parent my kids way different.”

Then, we shift to life with actual kids, and Dad is in full-blown bribery mode.

“Oh, you don’t think I know him?” he asks, pretending to speak to a child.

Then, a phone call begins with the Jolly Old Elf himself.

“Santa? Hey, how are you?” Dad starts. “So, we got Preston here, who was refusing to eat his dinner. He actually knocked it on the floor, yeah…Do we have to send in a formal letter to move him from the nice list to the naughty list?”

Since dad and Santa are "boys," there’s no need for anything formal. He can just ask. The creator then goes back to addressing “Preston.”

“Santa says he’s making a list. He’s checking it twice. You better eat your chicken, green beans, and rice,” Dad tells his son.

The phenomenal rhyme and bribe worked. The video ends with Preston gobbling up his food.

Commenters Had Some Other Genius (and Hilarious) Advice

I cringed before I began to read the comments on this post. Fit Dad CEO hit on so many hot-button parenting topics—food, Santa, and bribery, to name a few. And while there are reasons to discuss every single one of them, the commenters (thankfully) got the point: This post was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, a way to laugh before the holiday whirl begins.

“Step it up—I have called God himself,” says one commenter.

One parent shared the way they keep a different make-believe character alive.

“Me: Forgets to exchange my son’s tooth for money under his pillow. Also, me: Calls her to demand to know why she left him hanging. Turns out she doesn’t work on Tuesdays.”


And another skips Santa and heads right to the Grinch.

“I literally have my own number saved on my phone as ‘The Grinch’ and a picture of the Grinch on there, so kids think I’m calling him and asking him to come over and steal Christmas,” reveals another. “I’m just leaving myself a mega voicemail every night.”

Speaking of saving phone numbers, others are providing a hack to parents with kiddos who question everything.

“Change your wife’s name to Santa on the phone so the calling history looks REAL,” writes one person.

“Side note tip: Because some of these kids need receipts, bring in a friend who is ‘Santa’ on your phone and can chat if need be.”

Finally, another person braced themselves like I did.

“Non-parents will say you shouldn’t force your kids to eat."

As I said, there are reasons why those conversations are meaningful. But occasionally, it’s fun to kick back and laugh at the parents we thought we’d be. 

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