J.P. asks from Baltimore, MD on July 11, 2008
Any Tooth Fairy or Allowance Tips Out There?
What is the going rate for the tooth fairy? My daughter tells me her classmates have gotten Webkinz for the first one and I have other friends who have rewarded that first tooth very well. I'm just interested in hearing how other people have handled it. I think I am leaning toward giving her money to tie in some fiscal responsibility lessons. If you have any suggestions for allowance, I'll take those too. I don't think my child is ready to be responsible for the safekeeping of money but we have to start somewhere!
J.H. answers from Washington DC on July 12, 2008
I have to say if you set the bar high at the first one they are going expect better and better things. Allowance at 5 is a great idea to motivate your child. I would have some kind on sticker chart. You can have chores and behavor or just one of them for the allowance. Start low because she will grow fast and the older the more money! I hope this helps some.
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H.A. answers from Washington DC on July 12, 2008
Does your daughter still believe in the tooth fairy or is it just a reason to ask for money/toys? Rather than giving him money or toys, we take his tooth and bury it in the yard, with the lesson that God created us and everything around us and to Him we - and everything around us - will all return.
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J.C. answers from Washington DC on July 16, 2008
We give our kids silver dollars from the tooth fairy. I heard a cool quote: chilren who have everything value nothing. I would agree. We haven't yet given our kids allowances. My motto: if you're part of a family, everyone helps. So our 7 1/2 yo & 4 yo shower themselves now, dress themselves, brush their teeth, make their beds, put dirty clothes in bins, clear the table as they can, clean up toys & bedroom as they can, etc.... all with the help of blackmail or bribery. It's called leverage. For example, if you make your beds & put your clean clothes on the bed, you can swim in the pool (10 ft. inflatable pool). If you go to bed on time, you can have a treat after you eat your dinner (the next night). If you horse around at bedtime, you can have a time out. If you choose to throw a tantrum, we cannot read a book at bedtime. BE FAIR & CONSISTENT is the magic trick.
With re: allowances, I personally don't agree. Why: I don't think chores should equate to money. Why: because in real life, you don't always get paid for all your tasks. My husband disagrees with me. So we think as the kids get older, they might get an allowance for harder chores. And some chores they'll have to do just because. But for now, nothing.
With re: fiscal responsibility, we started them young. I would explain when we would shop for clothes, we should look for certain prices. Why: the money we save can go to the swing set, a new bike, or going out to eat. I had to clarify myself once. The older one thought we "never" had enough money. So I told her that was not true. We were just trying to save the money for other things, like B-day parties, bikes, pools, etc. I would try to make it positive so she doesn't feel like she's missing anything. I found that adults who felt that they missed out in their childhood (material wise) feel like they need to make up for that in their adult life. So we try to fulfill our kids with quality time, laughter, & the simple things in life. It's cheesy, but our kids seem to be unaware that they don't have all the toys other kids have. And they seem just fine. Back to that quote: children who have everything value nothing. Hope that helps. Good luck! Do what works for you. And if something doesn't work, change it. Don't sweat it. :)
M.W. answers from Washington DC on July 12, 2008
Here comes an old fashioned reply. My idea of the reason for the tooth fairy reward was to help ease a natural process, allow the mother to collect momentoes, and to put a little magic into a child's life. It was not to start a mining opperation in a child's mouth, nor was it to produce an obsessive consumer. It was a token for the child, not a source of income or new toys. Giving a branded toy that has a link to an online game portal means that this is a very sophisticated tooth fairy, and probably will tip off the child that it's just Mom. A $5 bill would be enough, and help the child learn about saving for that Webkin for herself, which also teaches about working towards goals and postponement of pleasure. Those characteristics are sorely lacking in this day and age.
As for an allowance, I have always felt that a child should be given one, but that then they need to assume responsibility for some of their wants by saving their allowance. An allowance should not be used for chothes or food or school supplies, something that parents are required to provide, but for extra toys or books that the child wants but does not need. So the amount given can be based on the child's needs, and on the level of responsibility the parent wants to give to the child.
I know, I'm an old fuddy duddy, lol.