My daughter is 6 and 11/12. She’s going to be 7 in just a couple weeks and finishing 1st grade a few days before her birthday. And, yesterday, finally, she lost her first tooth. I don’t know the science behind why she would be so “late” but it has been a long time coming … so we were pretty excited when that first loose tooth finally made it’s way out … in dramatic fashion. It flew out of her mouth while sitting on the couch, and she literally lost it. Thankfully, we found it shortly thereafter and she put it in a ziploc for under her pillow. She wrote on it “Avery. I lost a tooth. I want two dollars.” She crossed off the last part when I made it clear she was getting one dollar only. LOL
Yeah, that’s right. We don’t do the tooth fairy at our house. At least not in the traditional way. Avery knows it’s her mom and dad but she likes to pretend. So, she told me, “Don’t give me the money now, wait until I am asleep. Pretend to be the tooth fairy!” She took great joy in telling me exactly what to do and how. And she added that she wouldn’t sleep on her pillow so I don’t wake her up. My husband folded an envelope of pink paper and I signed it by the tooth fairy. We put it under her pillow. It was all very fun and exciting, and Avery was all smiles–now with a big gap where the front left tooth used to be.
I don’t fault anyone for doing the tooth fairy, it *is* fun to pretend. We know that and we like to pretend, too. But only if our kids know the truth. I think it’s a lot to expect kids to draw a line between the fantasy of the tooth fairy, Easter bunny and Santa Claus, without also expecting them to be skeptical of the truth of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I don’t want anything to hinder their understanding of who God is. I also don’t think this in any way guarantees they will have a better understanding than anyone who does allow make believe. Everyone is different and it’s about what we think is right for our kids and with our parenting style.
I’ve struggled for years with how to deal with fictional characters. I don’t believe in magic but also like to see my children’s eyes dance with delight at something magical. So, the best solution, in my perspective (take it or leave it)? Let them know from the very beginning the tooth fairy or Santa or whatever is not real but that it’s so fun to pretend. Then make a big deal about it, let them play along and throw in a wink. Then you are never deceiving them in such a way that you are lying, but still get to have fun!
“Little children, let no one deceive you.” 1 John 3:7