Why It Isn’t Nice To Fool The Tooth Fairy!

Jon Gallo, J.D.

Ever since Warren Buffett announced that he was giving some of his billions to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the press has been full of articles and speculation on the possible negative effects that money can have on children. Eileen and I don’t believe that money harms children, or adults either, for that matter. It’s not too much money that causes problems; it’s too few values! The Financially Intelligent Parent website (and our books) are devoted to helping you teach your children the connection between money and values.

One of our favorite examples of connecting money with values is the story of the six-year-old who tried to fool the tooth fairy. When Maggie lost her first baby tooth, her mother told her to leave the tooth under her pillow and the tooth fairy would bring her a dollar. A few weeks later, Maggie lost her second tooth. This time she put the tooth under the pillow along with a note asking the tooth fairy to leave the tooth behind. Sure enough, the next morning both the tooth and the money were under the pillow. That night, Maggie’s mom noticed that Maggie had put the tooth back under the pillow. When she asked why, they had the following conversation:

Maggie: I’m going to get more money, Mommy. I put my tooth back under the pillow.
Mom: You can’t do that. You can’t fool the tooth fairy like that.
Maggie: Yes, I can. I’ll sleep with my mouth closed!
Mom: No, you can’t do that. It’s not right to fool the tooth fairy like that. You’re not being truthful in the way you’re getting money. If you want an opportunity to make some money, tell me and Daddy and we’ll see if we can find something extra for you to do around the house.

Every day, situations arise where we as parents have the opportunity to help our kids connect the dots between money and values.

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