The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .): a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?
I grew up believing in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus until I was seven years old and then my mother explained who was really all those fictional personages. It didn’t do damage to my psyche of harm my self-esteem or destroy my faith in mankind or any of the previous. It was a harmless childhood belief and it would have been fine it my mother had allowed it to continue for another few years even, but she thought that age seven was old enough to know the truth. That was her decision as a parent. I chose not to make that decision until my daughter asked me around the age of eight. I don’t know what age my granddaughters were when they stopped believing in Santa Claus (that’s usually the big one). I’ve never asked. But I know believing in Santa Claus never harmed them. And stopping the belief never harmed them.
It’s a magical thing to believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Children like having a bit of magic in their lives. They tend to invent their own magic in their play. They imagine things. They invent things. We make magic for them. It’s all right for us to create magic for them. It won’t hurt them. By the time they are seven or eight years old, they have pretty much figure it out already that their parents are buying the stuff for them or they may have heard something from other kids. It doesn’t come as a complete surprise. They ease into the information gradually. They aren’t traumatized. They aren’t scarred for life. They survived this.
So I think it’s perfectly all right to tell children about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy or anything else you want to invent. It makes life magical for them and young children need some magic in their lives. There will be enough time for reality in their lives later on. Let them be children while they are children.