Tooth Fairy Follies

According to the Associated Press and a survey conducted by Visa, Inc., the average tooth secures $3.70 from the Tooth Fairy. Parents don’t want their kids to feel like their teeth are worth less on the market, as dictated by playground chatter, apparently. Visa offers a tooth fairy calculator, suggests you ask other parents what they’re giving, all on order to make sure toothless Jane or Jimmy feels okay the morning after a tooth loss. The article does share that one parent turns the tooth fairy gift into an incentive for college saving and good dental hygiene… But a lot of cash changes hands, nonetheless.

To all of this, I say: people are crazy. I spend a good share of my parenting time reminding our kids that it absolutely does not matter what other kids do or get or think or say with regard to “things.” What matters is how other kids treat you, and how you treat them. Comparing what you have? A poor use of time. Very poor.

Our daughter has shared what the tooth fairy has left her–a note, a coin, a small trinket–with her friends. (Nothing worth more than a dollar.) She has never expressed disappointment. She seems instead pleased that the Tooth Fairy treats her differently.

If you’re worried about “not leaving enough” as the Tooth Fairy’s proxy? Please stop it. We’re trying to celebrate a milestone here, not set our children up for a life of keeping up with the Joneses.

What do you think?

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