File under: Teach your children WELL.
At the risk of getting flamed by both sides of this issue, I must say I strongly disagree with the notion of wrapping empty boxes for leverage with one's children at Christmas (or any other time) - the notion being that, when a child misbehaves, the adult tosses a wrapped "gift" (albeit an empty box) into the fire as punishment. Fire - to a child - represents irreparable LOSS, and the lesson is clear, from the child's perspective: my misbehavior may result in catastrophic loss - and I (the child) will never know what I have destroyed. WOWZA. That is a multi-dimensional HEAVY message, and I disagree 1,000%.
Oh, and add to that turmoil, THIS drama - what if the child is well-behaved and those shiny-wrapped EMPTY boxes remain under the tree until Christmas morning? Then what? Do you sneak them away and the child feels like they still didn't get the "presents" implicitly promised to them? Do you allow the child to unwrap EMPTY boxes as "reward" for being "good"? Do you replace the empty boxes with gift-filled ones, or unwrap the empties and fill them in the dark of night Christmas Eve?
The point is this: Children are our Future. What we do TO them, do FOR them, and expect FROM them is - quite literally - OUR future. What do we want that future to be, exactly? Do we want to raise up a bunch of manipulative tricksters who will use deceit to achieve their own ends?
I'm all for constructive discipline and raising well-behaved young gentlemen and ladies who have a good moral compass and practice honesty, kindness, and integrity. And I understand the concept of "reward-based incentivizing" and the concept of "punishment-avoidance incentivizing." I'm just appalled that some adults think offering children EMPTY wrapped boxes, or threatening the children with violent and effective destruction of what is thought to be (from the child's perspective) a wonderful gift, is effective parenting.
You want a better world, people? RAISE YOUR OWN STANDARDS.
"Nothing unworthy of perpetuity should be transmitted to children." - Mary Baker Eddy
That quote, in a nutshell, says all one needs to know regarding rearing children, in my admittedly childless opinion. But if you disagree, here's another notion to ponder.
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
- Christ Jesus (Matthew 7:12)
And, btw - newsflash - Christmas is HIS birthday, so ya might give a tad bit of credence to his advice. Just sayin' . . .