Monday, March 23, 2015

The Tooth, the Whole Tooth and nothing but the TOOTH!

Is it more important to 'Keep It Real' with our kids, on all levels? Or is it a healthy part of growing up and developing emotional intelligence to foster a little 'make-believe'?

Hmmm. <thoughtful look on face>

In my previous rant I talked about the difficulties I've had in managing conflictual information She-Who-No-Longer-Worships-Pink has been given through her peers and their parents or siblings.

If you read that, you'd have to be wondering what I told her about the tooth fairy, without calling her bestie’s Dad a liar-liar pants on fire?

If you didn’t, first of all; SHAME ON YOU!! Secondly I'll be generous enough to give you a brief re-cap: 

" ..her best friend told her that her father said the tooth fairy wasn’t real. She'd only just lost her first tooth and was still in raptures over the teeny-tiny letter she found with a coin under her pillow. Then her best friend’s dad comes over all; ‘let’s stick to facts-kiddo’ Pinkster was so upset she was hyperventilating through her tears to the point, I thought I might have to give her some Ventolin.

But I sat her in my lap and calmed her down a bit and I said "sweetie, very few people believe in fairies and that's a bit sad." I explained to her, If you don’t believe in something it becomes pretty hard to see it - especially since you don’t even look. And I agreed her besties parent’s must put the money under her pillow precisely because they didn’t believe the fairy would come. I suppose a fairy seeing money already under the pillow would just think another fairy got mixed up on her route and did one of hers. (She-Who-No-Longer-Worships-Pink loved that idea – fairies schedules getting mixed up)

I told her there are lots of things lots of people believe in that no-one has never seen; Like angles and miracles. I was about to mention God, Allah, Jehovah etc. then pulled myself up short of a long discussion on theology.

So I said it’s perfectly alright to have your own beliefs about mystical things and you don’t have to accept other peoples beliefs. Or challenge them.

Then I sat her down to watch Fairy Tale-a True Story. Now her imagination is thankfully, fully restored and she still sees wonder in Santa Clause and believes in Angels.

She asked me if I really believe in fairies. And I think I do. (especially after watching that film – which is based on a true story) By my own arguments who’s to say they’re not real because we haven’t witnessed them ourselves? There are many species we’re still discovering and the tiny ones are usually the most defensive, well camouflaged and therefore hardest to see.   Maybe they just need a bit of help with the logistics of coin/tooth exchanging and note writing.

  But Don’t Take my word for it..

I’ve already done some research previously about the importance of imagination and fantasy in children’s’ cognitive development, but If you would like to read something more serious (written by a more credible individual than yours truly ) with this Wall Street Journal article: 'The Power of Magical Thinking'
I hit pay-dirt. And it specifically mentions the tooth fairy.

“It is important but not necessary for parents to encourage fantasy play in their children, says Dr. Woolley. If the child already has an imaginary friend, for instance, parents should follow their children's lead and offer encouragement if they are comfortable doing so, she says. Similarly, with Santa, if a child seems excited by the idea, parents can encourage it.” Jacqueline Woolley, Psychologist and professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Well thanks a bunch Dr Wooley, always nice to have confirmation from an expert that you’re not stuffing up right royally as a parent.

So what other potential parental failing can I obsess over now?

toothless girl - image credit 


  1. Love this and the name 'she who no longer wears pink'. bahaha! good one you for restoring faith in fairies - children only have one childhood!

    1. Thanks MammaRaj :0)
      I really don't know what to call her now - it's the whole monster high & Bratz punk look leaking in- I just can't bring myself to call her She-Who-Wants-2-Wear-Dark-Goth :0/

  2. I build up all sorts of fake magical things for my kids to believe in because once you know the truth life can be pretty dull! If you want something to obsess about, today I wrote that I was sick of telling my 7yo to pick up pjs etc off the floor and more than 40 mums told me on FB not to bother as they never will - VERY DEPRESSING!

    1. Reward Charts are my fall-back! I promise I will do a pick up your clothes one for us both (I get the socks & shoes kicked off in the hall). I have a list of illustrations to add to my rewards Program like:
      - Don't scream for mummy when she's in the shower trying to have a quick hose-down
      - Don't immediately start digging me when I answer phone
      - Don't drop your school jumper in the playground & come home without it

      That's a lot of drawing- but still it works wonders on my munchkin-
      If u haven't already: check out the Rewards Program page


  3. Charlie's best friend told him there was no such thing as Santa Claus while we were walking to school together when he was five. It gave him the best laugh. 'No such thing as Santa Claus?! What?! EVERYBODY knows there's a Santa Claus!' He kept laughing and giving his friend affectionate, amused looks all the way to school. (This post is beautiful - you did everything PERFECTLY.)

    1. Thanks Jaci,
      And I love Charlie's conviction & his kind reaction to his friend what a guy :0)
      But then he has an awesome mum xx