Friday, January 14, 2011
One Stinking Dollar
Maggie's loose tooth finally came out yesterday. That damn thing had been hanging by a thread for what seemed like forever. So she put it in the designated area (the tooth fairy actually comes to our kitchen where the tooth is in a plastic tooth box suspended from a cabinet door - she tends to forget less this way) and waited for the magic visit.
When she opened the box in the morning, she huffed, "All I got was one stinking dollar." Which led me to inquire, what on earth do other kids get? Color me flabbergasted when the answer was "between $10 and $20." Per tooth!
Alright people. We're going to have to have a talk. And I'm going to apologize in advance because I am sure there is a reader out there who is generous tooth fairy.
This needs to stop. What you ask? The escalation of everything in our children's lives.
The $20 visits from the tooth fairy.
Every birthday party having a circus, magician, spa day and swag bags for the participants.
Bribing our children for doing that which is required (ie the Mom the other day who had to go buy her kid a toy for participating in their after school activity.)
You get the point. Add more examples at will. As parents, and I've been guilty on occasion, we've over-hyped everything. And I know that we're all doing it ostensibly to make them happy. But you know what? It doesn't work. The more you amp things up, the more they expect the next time and the less they can be made happy by the small pleasures in life.
If we give them "stuff" to make them happy, they will have the misconception as they grow older that "stuff" will make them happy. And it never truly will.
So let's make a deal Moms and Dads, let's dial it back. Let's reserve the gigantic parties for milestone birthdays, make the tooth fairy a token amount of money and try a little more "stick" with the after school activities rather than "carrot." It may seem like sacrifice in the short term, or too difficult, but I think we're going to raise a better crop of kids because of the effort.
As for me, we started already. We let the minions know this morning that bad-mouthing the spoils from the tooth fairy means you'll get passed by next time. Trust me, this tooth fairy is tough enough to do just that.