'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

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'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#1  Postby Millefleur » Mar 02, 2010 4:59 pm

My 4 year old daughter, yet to lose her first tooth, has just asked me if the Tooth Fairy is real.

I lied. She asked if it was really real, I lied again.

Why do I feel so awful that I lied to her?! From posts on here and at that other place you may have read that my daughter is incredibly inquisitive and presses for answers constantly, dinosaurs and fossils fascinate her as does the natural world, animals, plants etc. I answer honestly as often as I can or we look things up together, sometimes she understands and sometimes she wanders off confused to think it over before reappearing with more questions. She's got a basic grasp on evolution, sexual reproduction, animal behaviour and the water cycle among other things but I just couldn't tell her the truth on this occasion, the words just stuck in my throat and I'm kind of relieved they did..! She has a fantastic imagination which is great and I'm happy for her to believe in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy til around age 7/8 like I did but I still feel absolutely awful lying to her, though I guess I should've realised she'd question the existence of fairies sooner or later :roll:

Someone tell me I did the right thing :shifty:
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Re: 'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#2  Postby cathyincali » Mar 02, 2010 10:13 pm

I am a mom of kids all grown up, but I recently looked at a journal from when my kids were 3 and 5, and it made me remember the questions I had of what to say about the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus (I'm in the U.S.) and so forth.

The tactic I took was to participate with make believe in a fun, light-hearted context, and to go along with the kids' pretending--and basically, pretending does involve something very much like lying--but if they ever asked me if So-and-So was real in a serious way or a serious context, I would always ask, "Do you want an honest answer?" or "Do you really want to know?" If they confirmed that they did, in fact, want an honest answer, I'd give it to them. (I know that my questions themselves kind of "give away" the answer.)

A short bit I wrote on this topic, and how it all turned out for my three kids, is here:
http://homeschoolscrapbook-cathy.blogspot.com/2010/01/when-does-pretending-become-lying.html

By the way, I have heard some atheists opine that teaching our kids about Santa Claus or Father Christmas is like training wheels for God -- There is a male who lives up high (high in sky, high in the north), watches our every move and rates it as "good" or "bad"/sinful, punishes us (coal) or rewards us (major emphasis on the rewards), loves each one of us... I can see the point, but my kids loved fantasy and pretend and make believe...including the make-believe about Santa and fairies, too, and they all managed to grow up skeptical of God and everything supernatural.
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Re: 'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#3  Postby GT2211 » Mar 04, 2010 5:32 am

I have been thinking about these issues lately as well. I don't really have anything to add right now, but will be following it.
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Re: 'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#4  Postby Tbickle » Mar 04, 2010 5:41 am

I have two kids, one just turned one and the other is now three. I lied about Santa and I don't know what I'll do about the tooth fairy. To me, they are harmless as nobody grows up and continues to think that these are real after a certain age. I don't threaten my kids that santa will punish them for being bad, and the santa fable doesn't include eternal punishment and dogma that needs to be followed. The moment that either one of them begins to question the existence of either, I will allow them to pursue the questions further on their own to help them develop some of the basic critical thinking skills. Until that time, I don't see any real issues with it.
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Re: 'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#5  Postby byofrcs » Mar 04, 2010 6:30 am

I have 3 kids (young from early teens to 6 yrs and so still at school) and the supernatural is presented like any fictional creature. It doesn't detract from the excitement of the game of life. They know that you don't rely on what someone says is true until you can verify it yourself. The how-was-that-made extras in DVDs help a lot here to show the green/bluescreening, rotoscoping and motion capture.

The supernatural is something that someone else or even yourself creates that is fun or exciting. It's magic. Obviously they have to be a bit older to watch the toothfairies in Hellboy the Golden Army. That is a little too comic book gross.
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Re: 'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#6  Postby Millefleur » Mar 04, 2010 1:41 pm

Thankyou everyone, and cathyincali for the blog link. I know I'm not alone :cheers:

I'm happy for her to believe in magic a a child and I'm glad I lied but at that moment it just felt so wrong! She has such a rational, critical mind but still takes everything I say as fact at the moment (although if I don't know the answer I will say so!) so I felt just awful telling a big fat lie when on every other occasion we make a point of looking at the facts. But here's to a couple more years of the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas :cheers:
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Re: 'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#7  Postby MCJ » Mar 04, 2010 4:30 pm

I go the whole hog with tooth fairies, santa, etc. The tooth fairies leave tiny letters with coins (the current fairies are called Glimmer and Pearl, although Pearl had some time off last week because she was training her sister, Opal :) ), santa leaves crumbs where his mince pie was, etc.

When my kids get bigger I will say "Yes, I lied and it made you really happy for a while". :grin: However, they know that I don't believe in gods and that it is up to them what they believe.

(On a different note, I have a friend who told her son that none of it was real when he was very young, not because she thought it was wrong to lie, but because he was terrified of anyone coming into the house during the night.)
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Re: 'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#8  Postby cathyincali » Mar 04, 2010 4:59 pm

I have a friend who told her son that none of it was real when he was very young, not because she thought it was wrong to lie, but because he was terrified of anyone coming into the house during the night.


Yeah, that makes sense. Make believe and fantasy are only fun when they're fun.
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Re: 'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#9  Postby Millefleur » Mar 04, 2010 5:10 pm

MCJ wrote:I go the whole hog with tooth fairies, santa, etc. The tooth fairies leave tiny letters with coins (the current fairies are called Glimmer and Pearl, although Pearl had some time off last week because she was training her sister, Opal :) ), santa leaves crumbs where his mince pie was, etc.

When my kids get bigger I will say "Yes, I lied and it made you really happy for a while". :grin: However, they know that I don't believe in gods and that it is up to them what they believe.

(On a different note, I have a friend who told her son that none of it was real when he was very young, not because she thought it was wrong to lie, but because he was terrified of anyone coming into the house during the night.)



My mum used to do the same thing, mine was Blossom Toothypeg and my sisters was Tulip Toothypeg :shifty: My sister still has one of the notes, written in a teensy version of our mums handwriting, which is very special to her now.
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Re: 'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#10  Postby Dante's Virgil » Mar 04, 2010 5:31 pm

I was always honest with my son about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and all that sort of stuff. But when it came to the tooth fairy, which was a fun little exercise he and I got to play at random times, I didn't lie to him -- but I didn't tell him, either. :D I said, "I can't tell you the answer to that one until you've lost your last tooth." It drove him crazy. He would bounce around and say "Tell me, tell me, tell me!" He'd ask my sister if it was real, and then report back, "Aunt Jenny says you put the money under my pillow!" And I would just reply, "Maybe I do and maybe I don't. I'm not allowed to tell you until you've lost your last tooth." When he finally did lose his last tooth, he actually brought it to me with a big grin on his face, shoved the tooth at me and said, "Here! Now, was it you, or wasn't it??" LOL.

Edited to add: I usually wrote notes, too. He really seemed to like those. In one, I told him the tooth fairies didn't have as much money for teeth because of the economy. :D He slapped that note down on the table the next morning and said, "I know that has to be you, Mommy." I neither confirmed nor denied.
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Re: 'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#11  Postby MCJ » Mar 04, 2010 5:57 pm

We tell our girls that the tooth fairies take the teeth back to a factory where the teeth are ground up, then they carry some of the tooth powder and sprinkle it into babies mouths to make them grow teeth. What wicked liars we are.
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Re: 'Is the Tooth Fairy real?'

#12  Postby Millefleur » Mar 04, 2010 7:38 pm

MCJ wrote:We tell our girls that the tooth fairies take the teeth back to a factory where the teeth are ground up, then they carry some of the tooth powder and sprinkle it into babies mouths to make them grow teeth. What wicked liars we are.


I think ours were made into shoes for the Queen Fairy :lol:
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