Although it may be a bit less of a blow than the “Santa talk,” formally telling your children that the Tooth Fairy is only a story is one of those difficult tasks that every parent must go through. No matter how you approach it, the talk won’t be easy, but there are ways to make it a lot less difficult. Whether they heard something on the playground or are just getting to that age where they stop believing in fairy tales, you can prepare to gently let your children in on the truth by framing your talk a certain way.
Breaking the News
The age-old technique of taking the kids somewhere fun before letting them in on the truth is also an effective strategy in this context, since a pleasant environment tends to put children in a good mood and makes them more likely to react well to the news. However, this doesn’t mean you should break the news during your family trip to Disney World or at your child’s birthday party. Instead, plan a trip to the park, the ice cream shop or some other small but fun outing that will make the talk seem less serious and scary.
Typically, knowing when to break the news will depend on how the question came about. Unfortunately, it’s likely that you won’t have the option of taking them somewhere fun beforehand because your child may ask you randomly and directly whether or not the Tooth Fairy is real and expect an answer right then. You may be tempted to lie, but as a parent it’s more important that you show your children they can trust you. They are bound to find out the truth sooner or later, and finding out through you personally will prevent your child from feeling like he or she was tricked.
Where to Go From Here
You might be pleasantly surprised to find that most children react pretty well to the news that the Tooth Fairy isn’t real and might even claim that they suspected it for a while. However, once you’ve moved beyond the talk about the Tooth Fairy, it’s important to emphasize the fact that oral hygiene should still be a priority. Since many parents use the Tooth Fairy as a means for encouraging children to practice proper dental health habits, this technique will have to be replaced with an equally effective one.
One of the best ways to do this is by keeping up with regular dentist visits to make sure your children are brushing and flossing properly, as well as taking all other dental health precautions. Since these visits can add up even with insurance, look for dental coupons to save money while also ensuring your child’s health. Make brushing and flossing fun by purchasing flavored oral hygiene products and offering prizes for cavity-free dentist visits.
The Tooth Fairy talk will almost certainly lead into questions about Santa, the Easter Bunny and other mythical characters that are a fundamental part of every childhood. It’s important to be prepared for these questions and decide how you will answer them before you begin your talk about the Tooth Fairy. Even if your child takes it hard at first, they will appreciate your honesty later in life and will develop stronger bonds of trust with you that are well worth the initial heartache.