My daughter's 7 and still believes in the tooth fairy. She is being teased by
her friends who seem to have figured it out. What should I tell my daughter?
Funny you should ask. In our extended family, I am known as the one who has the
phone number to the tooth fairy. The story starts with our son, who had trouble
going to sleep in anticipation of the fairy's arrival one night. I picked up the
phone and pretended to have a chat. Out loud, my son "overheard" my
end of the conversation. "Oh, you won't come by until my son has fallen
asleep? Thank you, I just wanted to understand. Goodbye."
In the morning my son questioned me vigorously about the overheard conversation.
I explained that I did have the phone number and even if he were to call, the
fairy would not speak with him, as he was still a child. He accepted my
explanation and the story spread to his cousins. Thereafter, whenever a niece of
nephew lost a tooth, Uncle Gary got the call to inform the tooth fairy.
We fill our children's heads with all sorts of stories in young childhood, be it
the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. Our stories are to evoke
wonder at the mysteries of life and positive anticipation of things to come and
things to behold. Through our stories our children come to enjoy their life,
family and view of the future.
In time, they do come to figure things out, but we can also shape this process
and how they ascribe meaning to their realizations.
In suitable words, tell your daughter that there are many wondrous and
unexplainable events in our world. As we get older, some children stop believing
in things they cannot explain while others just go on to enjoy the memories of
beliefs once held as new beliefs and understanding takes hold.
Tell your daughter it doesn't really matter if there is or isn't a tooth fairy.
What matters is what she believes and what she enjoys about her belief. This is
not something to argue about, just something to think about.
If you haven't figured it out, I enjoy sharing with children the magic of life
and the magic of pleasant thoughts and experiences. Think of this as developing
a positive approach to dealing with the negative events that life may bring. It
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Gary Direnfeld is a social worker in private practice. Courts in Ontario,
Canada, consider Gary an expert on child development, parent-child
relations, marital and family therapy, custody and access recommendations,
social work and an expert for the purpose of giving a critique on a
Section 112 (social work) report.
Gary for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters.
Services include counselling, mediation, assessment, assessment critiques
information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane,
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