As a kid, all one knows is that when they lose their teeth, they will get a gift for it, a coin or note for their troubles from the tooth fairy. But where exactly did the story of the tooth fairy come from? More importantly, what lessons are you teaching your kids with the story?
Are you a good fairy for your family? This, just like Santa, is one of the myths that is almost always painfully dismissed for kids when they grow up. What is more important, though, is to make sure lessons are learned from it.
Tooth Fairy HistoryUnbeknown to many people, the tooth fairy story originates from American folklore. However, the story remained so mysterious that historians and folklorists only uncovered the truth a few decades ago. It is important to note that the disposal of kids' teeth is not really a new phenomenon in most cultures.
Some involve burning the teeth, burying it or even swallowing. The closest to the tooth fairy in other non-American cultures include the culture that some version of Santa Claus would present coins to kids who had lost their teeth, of a French tradition of the Virgin Mary gifting kids for teeth left under their pillows.
A bizarre explanation for the tooth fairy is purely economic. According to researchers, the tooth fairy story reduces losing teeth to the economic principle that everything has value. For the children, it shows that everything, even that which comes from one's own body, can be turned profitable.
It is this angle that I believe can be turned into a lesson on taking care of one's teeth. Teach your kids to never take anything for granted, especially when it comes to taking care of their teeth, and you will have taught them a valuable lesson.
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