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Tooth fairy/Santa: when does belief end?


alisoncooks
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I have a hard-core believer (girl, 10 years old). I'm feeling conflicted about when to clue her in about the TF and Santa. On the one hand, I don't want to spoil the wonder and magic. But I also don't want her to find out from non-believing peers (in a hurtful way).

 

It's on my mind because I just waited up an extra 1.5 hours, plus spent 10 minutes creeping through her room, to deliver a quarter. (All this hassle for a quarter!!) And she'd written the sweetest note to the TF, so full of belief; I'm afraid she'll be so hurt when she finds out it's just...me.

 

But if she finds out about the TF, Santa will be right behind it...and I bet she won't be able to keep the secret from her sister (8).

 

I'm rambling. Please tell me how your kiddos found out and how they handled it. Do you think it's better to be told or to figure it out? Were your olders able to keep the secret safe from your youngers?

Edited by alisoncooks
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My kids are about the same age and they're always together, so the olders/youngers issue didn't exist for us.

 

When my kids were around 6 (?) they got suspicious and asked me some pointed questions.  I let their logic lead and I didn't lie.  I was ready to be done and didn't think it right to go to elaborate ends to fool the kids.  Part of it was that they go to school with older kids who would surely break the bad news sooner or later.  I did tell them not to spoil it for any kids who still believed.

 

I think 10 is high time and 8 is not too young to find out the truth either.  I would let them figure it out, by "letting your guard down" and answering questions honestly.  Then they will feel proud that they are smart and grown-up enough to figure it out.

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I think there is a difference between a child who believes because it's fun . . . and one who really believes and it is part of their world view.  when dudeling was three - I realized just how much this was entering into his worldview - and it wasn't healthy.  after all, if he *really* believed that, which I had  taught him, and then he found out it was fake - he was the kid who would take it further in that "mom lied to me about santa, so I can't trust mom to not lie about other stuff.   that's just how his mind works, and he did have a period of confusion - things mom said are true (which are), but he had to trust me vs things mom said are true (re: santa) - but really weren't and called that trust into question.

 

I had to start undermining his belief (not making things "secret", and being honest) but attempting to still be 'fun', and then tell him the truth. I also drilled into him that santa is meant to be *fun*, and he was NOT to tell other kids and ruin their fun.

 

eta: he was around six - seven when he really started asking.

Edited by gardenmom5
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We've never made believing in Santa or the tooth fairy or the easter bunny an issue. Ds sort of did, and I just let him be until last year (just before he turned 9) when I answered questions honestly rather than throwing them back with a "What do YOU think?". I refuse to lie to them about something that kids get so invested in, so it's either the truth or "What do YOU think?" which let him believe for a lot longer than dd did because he has a fertile imagination and wants to believe in dragons and all sorts of myths. Both kids got the same gifts and had the same fun with the fantasy, just in different ways. I never played it up, even with ds and was always very tongue-in-cheek about the whole thing. I believed until after 10yrs and felt really humiliated when I found out I'd been 'lied to' for years. Now, that's my personality, sure, not all kids will be like that, but I very much wanted to avoid that for my kids. At a certain point dd was initiated into 'the grown ups' on this one and helped play tooth fairy etc for ds.

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Our only child figured it out this year and he was 13! He was heartbroken, though he later said he had started suspecting it. I was sure he would be 35 years old and his wife would have to tell him. All that said, he reported he didn't want to know before and wouldn't have wanted us to tell him earlier.

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We never heavily encouraged belief. We did say Santa was coming when they were little, but we didn't make a big deal about hiding who Santa was.

 

I never liked that

1. Santa brings bigger and more presents to wealthy children. What message is that?

2. There is no real person to thank.

 

So My kids visited Santa or wrote to Santa, but often if they got what they asked for it came from Nana or grandma. Santa brought candy and a small toy like and action figure or a tiny set of legos.

 

My kids figured it out on their own. Oldest was 5. He figure it out because he saw a pile of toys I'd bought for the homeless shelter. He said to me "what about Santa?" And stopped and you could see his face work it all out. I think dd was about 6.

 

I noticed once you get rid of Santa the others like the tooth fairy fall away too. But the kids will also play along for fun.

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My kids also still want the tooth fairy to come even though they know it's me.  However, they don't care so much for the ritual as long as they get the money.   :P  I don't usually have the right cash etc. and I got tired of trying to keep track of the IOUs.  I finally told them I was giving them each $20 and I didn't want to ever hear about the tooth fairy again.

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We always did it as a game, so my kids didn't have a find out moment. However, as a kid, when I was 10, I totally presented myself as a true believer... but I was totally not. It just seemed like it would be more fun to believe. In other words... don't be totally sure she's not onto the truth. I think this is something some kids do, especially when they're the oldest.

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We always did it as a game, so my kids didn't have a find out moment. However, as a kid, when I was 10, I totally presented myself as a true believer... but I was totally not. It just seemed like it would be more fun to believe. In other words... don't be totally sure she's not onto the truth. I think this is something some kids do, especially when they're the oldest.

I had a friend who never told her kids. The kids grew up and are very mature and have great jobs now, but they never found out about Santa from their mom. LOL.

 

I do think sometimes kids hold onto the fantasy because it is fun, even if deep down they know the truth.

Edited by Serenade
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I pretended to believe until I was a parent myself! I didn't want the Santa train to quit coming! I was the youngest and we always thought it may stop if they knew none of us believed.

 

With my DC, I think they believed too much despite me never encouraging it too much. Around age 10 I started dropping a few hints here and there, letting them watch tv shows and read books where the characters treat it as not real, and answering questions with a little more edge to the answers. I think DS finally knew what was up at 12-13. DDs are 12 now and I think they know. DD 9, I don't know. She's the type to really like to pretend so I can see her being like me and never letting on that she knows. 

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Thanks for sharing your experiences.

 

DD has asked in the past if Santa is real.  I've always responded with "Well, what do you think?" and "If he was not, would you want to know?" and she's always maintained that she wouldn't want to know and that she believed he was real.  So that's where we've been for a year or two...

 

Last night, when she wrote the tooth fairy a note, asking questions and hoping for answers (ie. Dear TF, Do you have pets? Do your pets have wings?) and I just got panicked that she was in too deep for me to gracefully end it all, LOL.  

 

I think I may have a plan.  Youngest DD will be attending an extracurricular class this fall; I think I will take oldest out for a Big Girl milkshake and chat...and welcome her to the club of Knowing.  

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Thanks for sharing your experiences.

 

DD has asked in the past if Santa is real. I've always responded with "Well, what do you think?" and "If he was not, would you want to know?" and she's always maintained that she wouldn't want to know and that she believed he was real. So that's where we've been for a year or two...

 

Last night, when she wrote the tooth fairy a note, asking questions and hoping for answers (ie. Dear TF, Do you have pets? Do your pets have wings?) and I just got panicked that she was in too deep for me to gracefully end it all, LOL.

 

I think I may have a plan. Youngest DD will be attending an extracurricular class this fall; I think I will take oldest out for a Big Girl milkshake and chat...and welcome her to the club of Knowing.

I wrote a big long letter to Santa, asking a lot of questions. A whole page full if I remember correctly. My mom answered with don't ask so many questions. Then I realized Santa wasn't real. He would have answered my questions and not replied with a rude comment. I know my grandmother wanted my mom to tell me that Santa wasn't real because she thought I was getting to old. I was probably around 10.

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I read and paraphrased this for my kids:

 

http://beyondlittlehouse.com/2009/12/24/yes-mary-and-laura-there-is-a-santa-claus/

 

and Santa is still real for both the 8yo and the 24yo, he is just much, much bigger than a fat man in a red suit or presents.

 

The 24yo never felt that he had been lied to.

 

He still gets a stocking, but it's almost as old as he is so it's staying here and I'll be looking for a doppleganger to send to him in Iraq next year.

 

HTH

Edited by Guest
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Ds (8) really believes in Santa as well as the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Halloween Gnomes. At our house Santa brings stockings and a minor gift, usually something for the family to enjoy together like a card game or movie. It is not an over the top present extravaganza, we have never "visited" Santa, and Santa does not bring things that you request. We leave cookies and carrots for Santa and the reindeer and we watch them flying through the sky in an app on Christmas Eve before dashing to bed. It is fun and magical without being all about presents.

 

We watch the Polar Express every year and focus on the message that the magic is within you and is real as long as you believe. I played along for YEARS after I found out. It was clear that my parents enjoyed being Santa and it was more fun for everyone for it to continue. I had fun pretending and never felt betrayed or lied to. I hope my dc feel the same.

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A lot of parents lie to keep Santa magic alive. The fast majority of kids don't mistrust their parents for life because of it, so that wouldn't be a consideration for me. I did have one child who was a late believer. Partially because we went to great lengths to preserve the illusion and partly because he really WANTED it to be true. It was fun while it lasted, but he was getting too old. I finally intentionally outed Santa in the summer when the stakes were super low. It wasn't a big deal at all, and this kid thinks everything is a big deal. I wouldn't wait until winter when excitement is building.

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My DD never was a "true believer" (and asked hard questions about Santa at age 2!) but at 11, where she's still occasionally losing a baby tooth, she still goes through the ritual. I expect it will completely fade out in about 8 more teeth ;)

This was mine, too.

 

We "solved" the Santa issue (he didn't believe, DH kinda wanted the story) by just leaving the big, "special" present unwrapped in front of the stove. Special wrapping paper got tiresome quickly and I didn't like writing a fake tag, so we just left it out and let him decide who it was from. He's never asked. Win-win. :)

 

He just lost his last tooth at 13. He certainly doesn't believe in fairies, but he's always been glad for the cash. No questions asked, no explanations necessary. :)

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I think, as others have mentioned, that some kids really WANT to keep believing. We got into Santa when my kids were little--the oldest and youngest had fun and believed for a time, figuring out the game on their own and moving on easily. My middle child, however, got REALLY into Santa and seriously, wholeheartedly, believed for a long time. Like way longer than most kids. Christmas with him was full of wonder and joy when he was little because he was just so into it. But there came a point when we had to tell him, and he was devastated. Like go in your room and cry kind of devastated. The next day he told me I was wrong and he was going to believe anyway, and he did . . . for one more Christmas. And then he had a rough couple of months after when he decided to stop believing and was what I can only describe as depressed. He was 12 at the time.

 

I had no idea he would take it so hard. If I had, we would have scaled back on Santa long ago. He's still my dreamer, my kid who wants to write fantasy books and would live in them if he could. And he's none the worse for the wear, long-term, because we celebrated Santa.  But man, I sure didn't see that coming!

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I had no idea he would take it so hard. If I had, we would have scaled back on Santa long ago. He's still my dreamer, my kid who wants to write fantasy books and would live in them if he could. And he's none the worse for the wear, long-term, because we celebrated Santa.  But man, I sure didn't see that coming!

 

Your description of your son reminds me of my daughter.  She was deep into dragons and fantasy for several years, almost obsessive about it.  Santa and the TF fit right in with the things she loves and enjoys.

 

I'm hoping that if we tell her the truth sooner, she won't be devastated.  But then again, she may surprise me and not react the way I'm afraid she will.

 

Perhaps we'll wait and enjoy one last believing Christmas...

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I've never heard of Halloween Gnomes.

 

I felt that I had been "lied to" by my parents. Why would they do that to me? What else is a lie?

I did not want my children to feel that betrayal.

 

For dh, it was a religious issue. If we can't see Santa and it turns out that he is not real.... well, we can't see Jesus, is He real?

 

Santa and the TF are fun to pretend and play.

St. Nicholas was real. Jesus is real.

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I've never heard of Halloween Gnomes.

 

 

Our Ds has food allergies and can't eat any Halloween treats. The gnomes take his candy bag while he is sleeping and replace it with a small gift.

 

We also have leprechauns on St Patrick's Eve that we try to trap. No leprechauns are harmed though! They always get away. :)

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Some kids its younger, some, it's older, as in 12 yrs old or so. I would not tell her. She will figure it out. My mom decided to tell me, on Christmas Eve, because I guess she had an arbitrary age in mind. It devastated me. I still remember it vividly. I went upstairs and stared out the window looking for some sign of Santa, and I cried. If I were ready to lose that magic in my life, I would have figured it out myself.

 

I say give her more time. Once you tell her, you can't untell her.

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I have a hard-core believer (girl, 10 years old). I'm feeling conflicted about when to clue her in about the TF and Santa. On the one hand, I don't want to spoil the wonder and magic. But I also don't want her to find out from non-believing peers (in a hurtful way).

 

It's on my mind because I just waited up an extra 1.5 hours, plus spent 10 minutes creeping through her room, to deliver a quarter. (All this hassle for a quarter!!) And she'd written the sweetest note to the TF, so full of belief; I'm afraid she'll be so hurt when she finds out it's just...me.

 

But if she finds out about the TF, Santa will be right behind it...and I bet she won't be able to keep the secret from her sister (8).

 

I'm rambling. Please tell me how your kiddos found out and how they handled it. Do you think it's better to be told or to figure it out? Were your olders able to keep the secret safe from your youngers?

Aww, what a sweet girl to write a note like that!  I'd keep that forever.  

 

I can't help you.  We told our kids all along that it was just a fun story that some parents told their kids.  We even signed some gifts from "Santa".  It was like a fairy tale so it was never an issue.  They never told anyone else. 

 

I found out my parents had lied to me when I caught them red-handed in the middle of the night pulling out gifts from a closet (so no one else spilled the beans, not even my older siblings), so I am interested to hear what others say here.  I did not take that breach of trust well. I guess every kid is different. 

 

 

Edited by TranquilMind
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This was mine, too.

 

We "solved" the Santa issue (he didn't believe, DH kinda wanted the story) by just leaving the big, "special" present unwrapped in front of the stove. Special wrapping paper got tiresome quickly and I didn't like writing a fake tag, so we just left it out and let him decide who it was from. He's never asked. Win-win. :)

 

He just lost his last tooth at 13. He certainly doesn't believe in fairies, but he's always been glad for the cash. No questions asked, no explanations necessary. :)

 

Ha ha.  I don't know anyone who would turn down cash from the "tooth fairy".  Heck, the tooth fairy can leave ME cash anytime! 

 

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A few other things I thought of in the YMMV category. I once heard a woman bemoan the loss of Santa. Her parents told her at 5 and she felt that was too young. She said they always tried to keep her grounded in life, for her own good of course, but she wanted the magic to be real. Childhood is so fleeting and can be a bit sad for kids whose parents always think they should be older. I was that oldest child who was so mature and helpful and I remember constantly scrambling to act older than I felt in order to please my parents.

 

I got one of each kid. The one who didn't believe very long and figured it out on her own with no drama or discussion and the one who believed so long that I finally caved and told him before middle school. I swear his non-Christian friends must be master spies or something because I really expected them to out Santa before I did. I will say that the kid who believed forever was also the kid with tons of imaginary friends for a loooong time. Santa was as much an extension of his very vivid imagination as it was our participation.

 

As in all things parenting, it's a crap shoot. Your kid could be bitter if you tell him or bitter if you don't. He can add it to the list to discuss with his therapist later.

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I found out when I was about 11.  My grandmother told me what she had gotten my grandfather for Christmas.  Later, my grandfather showed me the presents that "Santa" had brought him.

 

I was absolutely mad at my parents, especially my mom, for lying to me.  My mother has often said that she never lies and would never lie.  Yet she told me that Santa was real.  The kids in school made fun of me when I didn't believe them that Santa was not real.  I was very adamant that Santa had to be real because "my mother never lies".  It was so embarrassing.  And yes, I still hold it against her.  (I know.  I need to let it go.)

 

We do not do Santa or the Tooth Fairy with my kids.

 

OP, I don't know how to help you with your situation.  I guess talking to her and describing it not as a lie but perhaps as a traditional fairy tale that people like to share with their kids.  My parents never discussed it with me.  I think they thought I knew a lot earlier than I did.  I don't think that they know that I felt/feel betrayed by their "story".

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My son found out about Santa about 9 and told his younger sister a few days later, We were glad when it was over. My son didn't understand that the shoeboxes that are sent out by Operation Christmas Child was the ONLY present the kids in poorer countries receive. He heartbrokenly asked why wouldn't they receive the same type gifts Santa sent him. My son not understanding why all kids weren't spoiled by Santa like him was a good chance to bring it out. He was slightly disappointed, but got over it quickly. My younger one didn't care either way. One thing we did was tell them the story of St. Nicolas shortly after, that he was a giving man helping people.

 

I did like being the Tooth Fairy. They both quickly realized the tooth fairy was made up after my daughter lost her next tooth. Then she demanded her teeth back (which I didn't save)! We still play Santa and the Tooth Fairy for fun even though they know it is pretend. My daughter still hasn't figured out how I *know* which day her tooth will come out since she gets a packet of Orbit gum for each lost tooth and I don't leave the house to buy a pack on the day the tooth falls out. She STILL doesn't realize I have a stash of different flavored packages of Orbit gum hidden away in my husband's underwear drawer (somewhere I know the kids will ever look for hidden treasures.). One time she lost a tooth when we were away at camp and I had to bum a pack of Trident from someone. Last tooth she lost, she left her dad and I the sweetest note under her pillow with the tooth thanking us for the tooth fairy gift.

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I still tell my children they're real. My 13yo has covered for "The Tooth Fairy" more than once, and I've thanked her, but that's the closest I've come to acknowledging it. I even ask my 18yo what he wants from Santa. At some point, one of the girls gave dh an eye roll and a "Daaaaad!" but that was it.

I couldn't tell you when any of the older 3 or 4 stopped (unsure on #4), because we like to keep the fun going.

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We never tell any of the kids that things we know are fake are actually real (santa, tooth fairy, easter bunny, literal religious beliefs, etc.).  We do explain to them the mythical and cultural significance of these things.  So my kids never think there is really a santa claus or a tooth fairy or a great flood with only 7 (?) survivors, but they understand what these things stand for and believe in what they stand for, if that makes any sense.

 

they don't seem like jaded kids who have had no childhood to me :)  and I don't ever worry that they think I've lied to them, as I haven't

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DD has asked in the past if Santa is real.  I've always responded with "Well, what do you think?" and "If he was not, would you want to know?" and she's always maintained that she wouldn't want to know and that she believed he was real.  So that's where we've been for a year or two...

 

 

 

Then she kind of knows, and enjoys believing. 

 

My kids were younger than that when dh fell asleep on the job - he was reading to them while I put out the Easter baskets in a very small cabin. They would still say, yeah, the Easter Bunny isn't real, we saw mom, but Santa? Definitely I believe in Santa! 

 

It was pretty funny. They wrote letters to Santa long after we had all acknowledged (at non-Christmas times) that Santa was a spirit and a feeling and not the one bringing them presents. So I have cute letters from tweens, politely inquiring about the health of Mrs. Claus and the business of the elves. 

 

I don't think most children will feel lied to unless you lie to them. If they flat out ask and you insist it's true, sure, I can see a sense of betrayal there, but not for simply bringing up the idea in the first place. My kids heard the story of St. Nicholas and how he inspired Santa Claus early on (thanks a lot, SWB!), they heard from plenty of non-believers, they just wanted to believe. 

 

They also claimed belief in the Tooth Fairy until they lost that last molar, but that was a little less cute and a bit more mercenary, I think. They got $2 per tooth, which was a week's allowance. 

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Like Farrar, we always did it as a game instead of The Truth. I promise you, the kids still have the wonder and magic - it's just that it comes from the magic of knowing we love them and care about them instead of the magic of us waiting another year and hoping they aren't the sort of kids who feel completely betrayed when they find out the truth.

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Like Farrar, we always did it as a game instead of The Truth. I promise you, the kids still have the wonder and magic - it's just that it comes from the magic of knowing we love them and care about them instead of the magic of us waiting another year and hoping they aren't the sort of kids who feel completely betrayed when they find out the truth.

 

When my brother's oldest boy tried to tell the youngest the truth, he wouldn't believe him "because mom and dad wound never buy us so many gifts!" My personal favorite Santa story  :lol:

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My DD never was a "true believer" (and asked hard questions about Santa at age 2!) but at 11, where she's still occasionally losing a baby tooth, she still goes through the ritual. I expect it will completely fade out in about 8 more teeth ;)

 

Ha!

We have kindred spirits. My daughter (now 10) told us very clearly when she was 2 that she was not going to do that Santa thing and was not going to pretend that a creepy man would come in our house at Christmas. Okay, then.  :huh:

 

 

We did however have a 'Santa sack' under the tree, purely for the purpose of easing her anxiety about what to say when well-meaning relatives would ask what Santa got for her. 

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Ds was 8-1/2 and it started with the Easter Bunny. By the end of the day he also knew about Santa and the Tooth Fairy. 

 

A giant bunny seemed like the hardest for him to believe so shortly before Easter that year he started saying he thought it was a person in a bunny suit. That day (on Easter) he asked if the Easter Bunny was real or if it was the parents. I always said when he asked I would tell him the truth. A few minutes later he asked about Santa. Before answering I asked if he really wanted to know and he said yes. That evening he said, "So I guess you guys are the Tooth Fairy too, right?"

 

His response to finding out all of this warmed my heart. He said "All those presents and candy and money all came from you and Dad?" Yes. "Wow. Thank you!"

 

We had a scare when he was about six. I forgot to take the price tag off something. He saw it and his face fell. I was sad because I wasn't ready for it to end but his mind didn't go where I thought it was going. He was upset that Santa bought a toy at Target rather than having the elves make it.  :lol:  Dh told him that sometimes if you ask for something close to Christmas the elves are already so busy they might not have time to make it. Target works with Santa when that happens.  :lol:

 

 

I think 10 is a bit old. Every kid is different, but it sounds like your dd is just playing it up. 

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Ha ha. I don't know anyone who would turn down cash from the "tooth fairy". Heck, the tooth fairy can leave ME cash anytime!

 

Dd was 15 when she had two teeth out for orthodontics. She made sure the tooth fairy visited her, and with a pain-and-suffering bonus! (And I had ds9 play the tooth fairy - I think that was actually when we absolutely and conclusively laid that myth to test for him).

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I have a very funny tooth fairy story.

 

My middle son was about 7 and lost a tooth.  He put the darn thing so far into his pillow that I couldn't get to it without moving his head, so I just left it AND gave him the money.

 

The next morning he was so excited.  He came down and said, "The tooth fairy forgot to take my tooth!  That means I can put it under my pillow again and get MORE money."

 

My oldest, in all seriousness, looked at him and said, "BROTHER (his name), you can't do that!  The tooth fairy already scanned that tooth with her wand, she knows you already got the money for that tooth!"

 

Ah, the 21st century tooth fairy!

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We never tell any of the kids that things we know are fake are actually real (santa, tooth fairy, easter bunny, literal religious beliefs, etc.).  We do explain to them the mythical and cultural significance of these things.  So my kids never think there is really a santa claus or a tooth fairy or a great flood with only 7 (?) survivors, but they understand what these things stand for and believe in what they stand for, if that makes any sense.

 

they don't seem like jaded kids who have had no childhood to me :)  and I don't ever worry that they think I've lied to them, as I haven't

 

Same here, except we do believe the Bible contains literal truth.  :)

 

I don't think it's lessened my daughter's enjoyment of holidays in the least, and there is no angst or stress about Santa Claus or anything else like that. We do explain that some families like to pretend about those things, and she should let other children's parents tell them the truth when they are ready to do so.

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I remember feeling thrilled to figure it out on my own when I was six. (My parents weren't too happy b/c I had a 4-year-old sister.)

 

I know I sound dorky, but I think the entire experience is from a place of love: and love is real. (But I also get the "be honest" side to this debate.)

 

That's how I explained it to my kids when they asked for the scoop.

 

Alley

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My kids stopped with all of them this year.

 

My son (quirky kid that he is) never wanted to leave his teeth for the tooth fairy.  He thought they were cool and since he "didn't need the money" :001_rolleyes:  we just kept them in a container.  Then earlier this year, he decided he was going to put them all under his pillow and get all the money he was owed at once.  Without telling us.  And of course, the tooth fairy didn't come.  That pretty much ended that and the rest came soon after. 

 

My policy was always to tell the truth if they flat out asked.  I wasn't going to go through elaborate rituals to extend it.

 

My kids are both very very imaginative.  When my son was younger, he wanted a dragon poster for his birthday - "but not a Pokémon dragon, a real dragon like from medieval times."  So I explained that dragons weren't real and we could look at posters together to find what he wanted.  He was a little upset about that - "what do you mean dragons aren't real?!?!  What next, are you going to tell Vicki that unicorns aren't real?!?!"  :001_rolleyes:

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My son (quirky kid that he is) never wanted to leave his teeth for the tooth fairy.  He thought they were cool and since he "didn't need the money" :001_rolleyes:  we just kept them in a container.  Then earlier this year, he decided he was going to put them all under his pillow and get all the money he was owed at once.  Without telling us.  And of course, the tooth fairy didn't come.  That pretty much ended that and the rest came soon after. 

 

 

 

 

That gave me my morning chuckle. I can see the wheels turning a kid's head as he decides it time to cash in.  :laugh:

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My 11 year old son started writing notes to the tooth fairy this past year asking if he could keep his tooth.  By the third or fourth note, I sat down and gently told him that while the tooth fairy is a fun idea, it's not real.  He can keep putting his teeth under his pillow for a coin if he wants (I'm sure he will), but I just felt like he was too old to carry on that game.  He's not the kind to break it to his younger siblings so I don't worry about that.  I do worry when Christmas comes this year if he will start asking me about Santa.  That's one that I would like to keep the magic alive for awhile if I can.

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We don't do Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. When the kids ask about parts they've heard about it, we say gently, "Well, that's what people say about it," but don't tell the stories in our own home. (Tooth Fairy lasted about two teeth before I got bored with it, so now DS6 just hands over teeth and we hand over a dollar. )

 

Honestly, it doesn't feel magical to me, it feels like lying to my kids and I'm so uncomfortable with it I can't sustain the story. 

 

My kids have great imaginations and a sense of wonder about the world, it's just not the usual "conventional wisdom" about the usual magical things in contemporary American culture.

Edited by kubiac
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Oh good the "I don't like to my kids" discussion, people never tire of that mommy war :glare:

 

OP, sounds like your instincts are to reveal to the kid. I don't think you have to necessarily at age 10. But if it's making you uneasy, it's time, it's time to gently broach the topic.

Edited by poppy
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Because all parents are individuals, and all kids are individuals, the ways-of-relating within families inherently have a lot of variety. Parents who are fairly concrete and tend towards systematic thinking are always going to look askance at the traditional fun-falsehoods of culture. It's not meant to be "war" -- it's meant to be a story of one way that one family made themselves comfortable.

 

I played Santa etc. as a game with my kids, never giving the impression that it was true. It has been a good fit for who I am, and it has the advantage of not hitting the 'how to tell' moment.

 

I hope it goes well. I'm only telling this 'even tiny kids don't always believe, and they do fine' perspective so that you can have confidence that your revelation is not 'too young' and that kids of all ages know how to play along (if coached).

 

You know this is a good fit for your point-of-telling becsuse the belief is becoming uncomfortable for you, and becsuse you know your children. Go for it.

 

Brandt wishes.

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I let my kids come to their own conclusions, mostly - they seemed to get there at about 7 or 8.  THat being said, my son, who was 5 at the time, asked about it last year, and i didn't spill the beans - I didn't feel he was having quite the same kind of logical deduction, the question came from something else, and he would have been really upset if I had been more blunt.  My girls were very philosophic, I think because they were in a different place developmentally, and they enjoyed being in on the secret.

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