A parent came up to me concerned saying “my 11-year-old still believes in the tooth fairy”.
Many parents have used the tooth fairy as a way to make their children feel better after losing a tooth. The concept of the “Tooth Fairy” is…
- A child loses a tooth.
- Child would place the tooth under thier pillow.
- When the child is sleeping, the parents would remove the tooth and place money in its place.
This signifies that the tooth fairy came and took the tooth while leaving money as a thank you.
The great thing about this is the child being excited the next day when h wakes up to receive the prize and it will turn the situation of losing a tooth from a bad one into a joyous one. It is all fun and games until the child keeps growing older and still thinks the tooth fairy is real.
Kids go through many different imaginary figures as they are growing up.
For example, we tell them about how there is a guy named Santa clause that delivers gifts every Christmas eve by riding his slay down from the North Pole. We also bring up the Easter bunny and how he leaves eggs all over the place with candy or money inside. These imaginary figures are part of our childhood and it makes us excited for situations. The tooth fairy is the same concept except it is not used on holidays and only for losing a tooth.
As the children grow up, we start to bring notice to them that these imaginary figures are not real and that it was us the whole time putting gifts under the tree on Christmas eve, money and candy in the eggs during Easter, and money under their pillow when they lost a tooth.
Most kids will understand that concept but a few might still believe in them and in this situation, the 11-year-old still believing in the tooth fairy is a concern.
What to do if your 11-year-old Still Believes in the Tooth Fairy
As much as it might feel bad to break the news to them that this was all made up, it has to be done. They can’t go on forever believing this concept and you would rather them find out by you telling them than being misled by their friends at school.
1. Talk and Explain
When talking to the children about these imaginary figures and explaining to them that they are not real, you need to do it in a way where you don’t flat out admit you were lying the whole time. This will create trust issues with your children at a young age and that is the last thing we want as parents.
We want to structure the talk to explain why these imaginary figures are used.
The first step to take would be to sit them down and explain to them that this whole tooth fairy situation has a different twist to it than they think. Let them know that there is a “fairy” but it is not who they think it is. The good thing about this tooth fairy situation is it’s not like Santa Claus where they assume it’s an actual person with a real name and a real home (North Pole).
The only thing they know about the tooth fairy is it comes at night to collect the teeth and leaves. Since the fairy does not really have an identity, it will be easier to explain to them that the “fairy” was actually you, the parents.
Explain that this was a way to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
One of the most important lessons in life is to seek the good in everything even if it seems bad at first. It is a lesson that teaches how every bad situation can bring out a positive aspect.
Losing a tooth and gaining money is a perfect example to teach a young child this concept.
2. Prove It To Them
If your child still does not believe you that the tooth fairy isn’t real, it will be time to prove to them and let go of it all.
Some kids don’t want to hear the truth and will want to keep believing that these imaginary figures are still real even after their parents have told them they are not. When it gets to that level, you will have to prove it to them by going online and showing them how this is all made up.
Show them this video below where other parents are also telling their kids that the imaginary figure they knew as Santa Claus is not real.
They should be able to then believe that the tooth fairy isn’t real and that the parents are the ones that are playing these imaginary roles.
3. If They Don’t Take the News Lightly
If your 11-year-old who still believes in the tooth fairy does not take the news well, you will need to calm them down and diffuse the situation if it gets out of hand. Many kids will get over the news pretty quickly and will move on but some will think it’s the end of the world once they find out these figures that they loved so much are not real.
Explain to them that everyone goes through this cycle of believing in these figures and as they grow older, their parents explain to them the truth. Also, tell them that this tooth fairy incident was to help them understand that losing a tooth isn’t that bad of a situation and that you did this to cheer them up.
If you are also breaking down the news to them about Santa, you can add that this concept was made up to make sure that kids behaved so they can be on the “good list”.
4. Don’t Brush Off Their Emotions
If they don’t know how to handle this news moving forward, try to get their mind off of it. The next time they lose a tooth, they will be devastated that the tooth fairy isn’t coming anymore.
This is why you need to step in and do something different next time they lose a tooth. This can be taking them out to their favorite restaurant, going to the beach or movies, or you can still keep the tradition going and give them money!
It is all about making the situation better for the 11-year-old and yourself.
Final Thought – My 11-year-old Still Believes in the Tooth Fairy
Imaginary figures like Santa, the Easter bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are what made our childhoods amazing. To wake up to money under the pillow for losing our teeth felt kind of worth it and it turned a dull situation into an amazing one.
An 11-year-old still believing in the tooth fairy can be concerning but talking them through the whole process and proving it to them should ease the situation.
This case isn’t always normal since kids tend to find out earlier but it isn’t the end of the world if your child still believes in them. What needs to happen is you explain to them carefully what the tooth fairy really is and that you the parents, are the ones placing the money under the pillow.
I remember having to explain to my 9-year-old that the tooth fairy wasn’t real and they had a bad reaction to the news so you might get mixed reactions depending on how much the child really believed in them but it has to be done.