My Deep Dark Secret

The tooth fairy cometh

Image by Bradley Allen via Flickr

 

     It is true.  My hubby and I have been living with a deep dark secret for 9 years.  It is weighing heavy on us and we are finally discussing the possibility of revealing ourselves.  Our concern is that this could destroy our children but they must eventually know the truth.  How do we know if the time is right?  Are we making a mistake?  Will our lives be changed forever?  

     Ok, I just can’t take it any longer, here it goes…  The tooth fairy does not really exist!  

There, I said it!  Yes, my dear first-born child, your father and I are responsible for placing that gold dollar under your pillow when one of your beautiful pearly whites fall out.  Oh, and while we are on the topic, your dad and I have the whole Easter Bunny and Santa Claus racket perfected as well.   

     It is possible that I may need to work on my delivery a bit but there it is in a nut shell.  There is the dirty little secret that is eating away at our souls.   

     Delightful offspring #1 is a very mature, intelligent, insightful young man of 9.  He lost yet another tooth today and has written his regular note to the tooth fairy with his request that “she” leave the tooth behind because he wants to save this one like he has all the others from the past.  Of course, he would still like for her to leave behind the required golden dollar he has earned for the pain and suffering that was incurred.  

     Does he really, truly still believe in the visitors of the night that come and leave special little gifts behind for different occasions or are we all just playing each other a little here?  Are we doing him a disservice by continuing the charade or would the disservice be to kill the last few remnants of childhood fantasy that he may have left?  

     And then there is the challenge of the younger siblings (6 and 1.5).  Will he use this as a weapon of mass destruction should he get infuriated with them in the future?      

     When people talk about the challenges of parenting, this is rarely a topic that is discussed.  The anticipation of the visits by our gift bearing friends bring such joy to the kids.  How can we rip that from them?   Not to mention that the power we gain from the looming visit can be such a wonderful tool, especially around the holiday.  Oh come on, you know you have used the line “Santa is watching…” on more than one occasion!  

     My gut tells me that he is ready but my heart sheds a little tear at the thought of breaking the news.  So, I think we will continue the charade for tonight but we will definitely take this under consideration…next time.  

  I’d love to hear how you have broken the news in the past or plan to in the future and at what age.  Please post your comments below because I know there are others wondering the same thing as well.  

Happy Parenting!  

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187 Responses to My Deep Dark Secret

  1. Ha, funny post. I told my kids when they were 12. Yes, I too couldn’t bear break their childhood fantasies. Plus Christmas was soooo much fun. The last Christmas before I told my youngest about ‘Santa’ she opened a gift & shouted, thank you Santa. My heart almost broke. Then a few weeks later when I told her, she said “Mom, I hate to tell you, but I’ve known now for years.” I gasped! I said “but you even thanked Santa!” She replied, “I didn’t want to burst your bubble.”
    Yep….thats how mine went. I love my kids.

    • jenkline75 says:

      That’s so sweet. It just goes to show you how well you are raising her. She wanted to be sure that she kept the magic alive for you as well. She sounds like a great kid!

  2. Kris says:

    My daughter, at the bright young age of 9 came to the conclusion herself. When she asked me point blank if Santa was real, I couldn’t lie. Ironically her name is Virginia, so I bought her the book, “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause”. This also opened up the discussion for the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. So the cat is out of the bag, and she knows, but she still plays along, because her younger sister still believes. I also “threatened” her that if she ever tells her sister, that means the end of her little “gifts” that she still receives from Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Her sister has to figure it out on her own as well.

    • jenkline75 says:

      Her name is just too perfect for this topic! I think it is great that you picked up that book for her. She had to love it! I hope she continues to keep the secret for her li’l sister’s sake.

  3. akoola says:

    It sounds funny, but in our family we can never contradict what you said…
    It can ruin you’re family by one word.

    So once you say something, You have to stand by it… else you got to claim
    “That was long time ago… things changed”.

    I remember we would put out teeth, in a corner and expect an exchange of lost tooth with an old woman so that we can get a new-white and sharp tooth during the night.

    In the morning the tooth would not be there.. and soon the white sharp tooth shoes up.
    Am now 29 but i never even thought about… “where would my tooth go?”.

    But i think some of you you would take to writing make things so complicated.

    • I’m 14 years old, and I believed in the tooth fairy until I was 8. I kind of realized she didn’t exist because I soon noticed that, when ever I kept the fact that I lost my tooth a secret from my parents, there would never be any money under my pillow. And I soon had concrete evidence for it.

      When I was ten, we were packing for our move. And that was when I found a little tiny box in my mom’s room. With all my baby teeth inside. She had actually kept them all!

      So that’s where my baby teeth went. Maybe yours are with your parents too!

  4. elisajoy says:

    i broke the news to my best friend because i grew up knowing santa was a fake. she got so upset she started crying, her mom was actually relieved. she was like, “glad somebody beat me to it!”

  5. J says:

    lol, I didnt implement any make believe folks in my kids life, no Santa, Easter bunny, tooth Fairy nada. Wish you luck!
    www. nomam wordpress com

  6. ragrobyn says:

    WHAT?!?!?! THIS IS HOW I FIND OUT?!?!?

    lol great post 🙂

  7. Finding out that Santa didn’t exist devastated me as a child. It wasn’t just the loss of Santa, but the insecurity I suddenly felt about everything I’d been told by the people I trusted the most.

    When I got married, my wife and I debated this. We didn’t want to deprive the children of the magic of Santa as part of Christmas, but neither did we want to set them up for later disappointment and a huge feeling of loss. And then we remembered how real pretended stuff is as a kid. So what we did was tell them that at Christmas we pretended there was a Santa. They still got a lot of enjoyment out of it, wrote letters to Santa, and got gifts from Santa.

    But there was never a time we had to tell them we’d been lying to them.

    • jenkline75 says:

      What a great idea! I wish I would have thought of this several years ago. What a great way to let the whole idea gradually and naturally progress. Kudos to you and your wife for coming up with the idea!

  8. Until my third child was born, I told my kids the truth about anything if they asked directly. If they would ask, “Is Santa Claus (or the Tooth Fairy or whatever) real?” I’d answer “Why do you ask?” If the response was, “Because I don’t think he is,” then I would agree. But if it was “Because So-and-so said he wasn’t,” the answer would be different. But when my third was little, it got more complicated because the older two were past believing, but the youngest still wanted to believe.

    • We’ve pretty much answered it the same way. My youngest is also 9 and he recently told me he knows Santa is real because a) When are we ever without him to buy all those gifts? and b) There is NO way we could afford to buy all those gifts for him. lol

      Our oldest is 5 years older than him and has never told the youngest because he enjoys being “in the know”.

      When our oldest found out he was about to start 4th grade. He asked if Santa was real and I said, why do you ask? He told me that him and only one other soon-to-be 4th grader believed and if it wasn’t true he didn’t want to go in to 4th grade feeling like a dork. So I told him. The Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny unraveled minutes later. “Well, if the Easter Bunny isn’t real, who brought us the dog?” Me: “My birthday was on Easter that year.” 🙂

  9. yankeecountry13 says:

    Nice post! Liked.

    Check out mine.

    http://getoffmymound.wordpress.com/

  10. M says:

    I recall once in middle school, my friend and I were standing in the kitchen after school one day and we were reminiscing about past Christmases as it was winter and we got started on when we found out there wasn’t a real Santa Claus; well as we’re in the middle of this my elementary school aged little sister comes in. So we both start sputtering and I’m grasping at straws as to act natural. Well I, seeing as we were eating out of a bag of pretzels, start blathering about how I remember when I found out ‘pretzels’ weren’t real. It wasn’t clever but my sister had a fit about how pretzels WERE real and it was very funny.

    • jenkline75 says:

      That was so great of you to cover your tracks and who cares what you used to do it. The pretzel cover up sounded like it was enough to change the subject and get her to move on.

  11. CrystalSpins says:

    Good luck dropping the bomb. Be careful to tell him not to tell the other kids the news. Once I figured out that my parents were the Tooth Fairy (Santa, Easter Bunny) it didn’t occur to me that not everyone knew and I dropped the bomb at school…and with my little sister. I made a lot of kids cry. I still feel badly about it.

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

    • jenkline75 says:

      Thanks for the advice. I’m not so much worried about him blowing it for his friends in school (althought that could be a possibility), it’s more his brother that I’m worried he would break the news to. We’ll be sure to threaten him with something horrible should that occur though. 🙂

  12. My kids (now 16 and 18) never did ask about the Tooth Fairy , other than to ask what was done with the teeth collected. Caught off-guard when my son was 4 or so by the question, I told him that the Tooth Fairy takes all the teeth and throws them up into the sky, where they become the twinkling stars. He seemed satisfied with that answer, so we stuck with it when his sister came along.

    Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, from the time I was a kid until now, as a grizzled, cynical adult. I still get that “special feeling” of the holiday every year.

    With regard to Santa Claus, I told my kids (who are now 16 and 18), when they were old enough to ask the question, that Santa represented the spirit of Christmas – that good feeling that people get, the thoughtfulness, the general thankfulness people feel at that time of year (commercialization of the holiday notwithstanding…). I asked them if they believed in those things and thought they were real; the answer was yes. So then I said, well, Santa represents those things, so… and left it at that. I’ve never once uttered to my kids that there is no such thing as Santa. They still happily help me make a plate of cookies for Santa and carrots for Rudolph and the Reindeers every Christmas Eve. We all know that they know, but like their mother they choose to believe in the spirit of the holiday, which is indeed real enough – if you let it be.

  13. I still find it funny that parents still fret over how to break the news to their children about the magical beings who bring presents and gifts. To be honest, I don’t recall what my parents said to me, or how I found out. And I suppose that’s the important part. No matter how you break the news, your children will likely not remember this in the grand scheme of things…they’ll just remember those magical times when it really was Santa and the Tooth Fairy bringing them gifts and coins. Good luck!

    • jenkline75 says:

      Thanks! I needed that reminder. I guess it’s like everything else in parenting…as long as you feed them, nurture them and love them, everything else works itself out.

  14. sarahnsh says:

    I wish my parents let me believe in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus for a longer amount of time. I pretty much knew they were all fake from them telling me by about 5 or so. My parents ended up telling me, or my brother, so I kinda wish I could pretend believing in it for a little while longer.

    • jenkline75 says:

      I say you should just keep believing now. Call your mom and tell her that you are reliving your childhood and can’t wait to see what Santa brings you this year. 🙂

  15. Dia says:

    My parents cherished and valued the gift of imagination and as their kids, we all grew up with rich inner lives populated with scores of magical beings. To this day none of us (all in our 50’s) have any regrets about how fantastical that part of our childhood was and have each, in our own way, integrated that early magic into our adult lives. We’re all far more curious, playful, and happy for it. I did the same for my children (now in their twenties.) My eldest figured out early on what was going on but played along for the acquisitions. My younger child wound up needing the magic for a longer time to help her deal with the loss and grief surrounding her dad’s and my divorce. They both came to realize my role in the play, in their own time, in their own way, and they both still firmly believe today in the magic of generosity, miracles, peace, and love that lies at the heart of these rituals. They retained the gift we were attempting to give them back then: the belief that good and loving forces exist in the world that often deliver their gifts in surprising and delightful ways.

  16. winkblu says:

    Good post! South Park has a hilarious episode on the Tooth Fairy 🙂 http://www.southparkstudios.com/guide/402

  17. fuzzy says:

    what a nice post. 🙂 loved reading it.

  18. Ed says:

    I knew Santa was secretly my parents, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out who they bribed to write the To & From tags! It wasn’t their handwriting at all! Even though I’m 23, I still get gifts from Santa, but now the tags are written in a scrawl I know and love.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    My parents never really told me, I kind of figured it out on my own. Though I did confront my mom and asked her. She said she wasn’t, but we both knew I had found out. I still played along until I lost my last tooth. I am the baby of the family so I’m glad I didn’t “ruin” it for the young believers.

    • jenkline75 says:

      Since you were the baby, your mom was probably trying to hold onto the hope that you still believed more than you were hanging on to the thought of the tooth fairy. It was good of you to play along! 🙂

  20. I’m a very laid back parent. Meaning, I let her find out from her friends and then neither confirmed or denied. She finally figured it out last year. She was 11 at the time.

    This year, when I asked the girls (my other was 3) what they wanted from Santa, the big one said, “a laptop.” When I gave her the “no” face, she promptly turned to the little one and said, “I know, why don’t we ask Santa for a dog.” Yep, she got a laptop from Santa.

  21. Lindsay says:

    I read a book when I was 7 years old that was titled “How to talk to your kids about difficult things” or some such…one of them was how to break it to your kids that there’s no such thing as Santa Clause. So, I did my parents a favor and read it and them asked them if what I read was true!

  22. susha says:

    i know parents feel a responsibility towards their kid and how he/she matures. and these little things play a huge part in the way they start seeing their life, and things around them. most kids figure it out at some point… but parents don’t need to be the makers or breakers of what their kid believes… after all, they are his/her beliefs, mistakes and fantasies… they should be allowed to grow in or out of them… and if he/she chooses to believe in the tooth fairy forever, (=p) then he will. and it will make his life that much more beautiful…

    • jenkline75 says:

      Awww, thanks! A beautiful life sounds nice. I won’t mind so much if they believe in the tooth fairy forever, there’s only so many teeth that will fall out that I will have to pay for. If they decide they are going to believe in the Easter Bunny forever, they are going to have to start kicking in a few dollars towards the baskets. 😉

  23. Catherine says:

    This is very funny. My parents never actually told me there was no tooth fairy, I sort of figured it out eventually. It also didn’t help their case that I noticed that the tooth fairy would often leave ashes behind (my parents are both heavy smokers) and it didn’t quite make sense to me that the tooth fairy would smoke. Doesn’t quite fit with her image 🙂

  24. STLAVONLADY says:

    I have a 6 year old who still believes in everything. My parents raised me very honestly. They never really told there was or wasn’t a Santa, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy. I don’t remember the exact age, but I do know I asked my mom about Santa she told me the truth. She didn’t lie and say there was a Santa. That is what I plan on doing with my daughter. My husband does not agree. We shall see. : )
    Great post. I enjoyed reading it. Julie

  25. Victoria says:

    I think you should let him enjoy it a little longer. Why not? And once he gets older, I think he’ll figure it out. If anything he’ll ask. In which case, I think you should reply by asking what he really believes deep down in his heart. If he still believes, I wouldn’t tell him the truth yet. I’d just say, “Then she’s real.” This is how I handled Santa Claus with my sons. Once you ‘out’ Santa, the Tooth Fairy goes down too.

    But if he answers in a way that makes you think he has a clue she’s not real, then tell him the truth. But to get him to keep it a secret to the other kids in the house, find a way to get him in on the secret with you. Maybe he can do a special wax seal or something on the envelope? Or add glitter or confetti to it? Sounds like a mess, though lol. Anyway, you’ll figure something out.

    My friend broke Santa to her 9 year-old daughter, and she was absolutely devastated to hear the news because of the Tooth Fairy factor too. It’s almost a year now and sometimes she’s still dismayed to find that there’s no Santa or Tooth Fairy. She’s reminded every time she loses a tooth. Don’t take the magic away when you don’t really have to. That’s what I think anyway.

    • jenkline75 says:

      Awww, poor girl. Thanks so much for your thoughts. I kind of agree with what you are saying. He is a smart kid and has hinted that he is a little suspicious so I feel like the time is near but I guess we will ride it out a little longer.

  26. socksinfox says:

    Most children figure these things out on their own long before they let on to us. Even if he hasn’t figured it out, why ruin his fun? Sooner or later he’ll find out the truth, you might as well let him enjoy the fun in the meantime.

    Charlene
    http://www.thebabblingbaby.com

    • jenkline75 says:

      I agree. Like I said to someone else, he is dropping hints that he is suspicious but hasn’t come right out and asked so I guess we will keep the secret for now.

  27. When I was little, my mom used to put our recently fallen out teeth in a little cup of water (now that I think about it… it was a shot glass!) and tell us that eventually the water would turn it into money. I never gave much thought as to whether or not that was scientifically possible… I just heard money. So we never believed in the Tooth Fairy. We also were never raised beliving in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. We were raised in a Christian home; Christmas and Easter are the biggest Christian holidays. My mom didn’t want to rob the meaning of those holidays with fabricated make belief people. And I’m thankful for that. I never once felt robbed of not having that in my life… in fact I feel like I can trust my parents as they were willing to be honest with me from the beginning. But I understand the special sentiments that can come along with those imaginary parts of Holidays. Tough decisions!

    Great post… an interesting thought to consider.

  28. Evie Garone says:

    I think you can let it go on as long as possible…why break the fantasy! It isn’t hurting anyone…we still write Santa on the tags with my kids and they are 18 & 21.. So what, it’s fun and part of Christmas…if they tell you they know, that’s a different story…childhood is sooo short as it is in this mean cruel world, why does their Mom & Dad have to shorten the fun?

    evelyngarone.com

  29. I don’t have kids yet myself, but, I always loved how my parent’s handled it. They told us that Santa was the spirit of love and giving that came with the Christmas season. I still believe in that Santa. Mom told us that as long as we believed in this spirit of giving and love that there would be gifts at Christmas. Even now, we still do stockings, but it’s fun to see who can sneak what gift into who’s stocking across the holiday season.

    I don’t ever remember being surprised or disappointed that Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the like weren’t real. I always had an idea that they were make believe or pretend. It didn’t take away any of the fun or anticipation.

  30. ode2irony says:

    hahahaha when I first read the title of this post I was eager to read it, I know, my bad reading someone’s secrets.
    But when I read the post I couldn’t stop grinning ear to ear.
    Reminds me of myself as a 6 year old. I saw this episode of powerpuff girls where buttercup get a dime for each tooth she breaks and I was amazed by the “tooth fairy” ever since. But then my dad busted the story by saying, “your dad is better than any stupid tooth fairy.” he then gave me 10 bucks. I was rather more amazed by my dad after that day and I still get amazed by his occasional unmatchable wit! =D

    • jenkline75 says:

      I am sure you weren’t the only one who thought they were going to learn of some juicy, deep, dark, embarrasing secret. LOL! Your dad sounds like a funny guy and hey…you got $10 out of the deal.

  31. suitenectar says:

    I have one that knows and two that don’t. It’s getting tricky. Last year, when the oldest asked her mom point blank about Santa, and was told the truth, her thought process amazed me…

    Her only question was, “Then who ate the cookies?”

    • jenkline75 says:

      Ha…that’s too funny! I actually remember asking my mom the very same question when I first found out. I think that the remaining crumbs on the plate were some sort of proof to me that he had actually been there. So when I learned that he hadn’t really come, I was confused.

  32. Pingback: My Deep Dark Secret (via Quest 2B Me) « COTIDIANO – DIVERSIDADES – AMENIDADES

  33. i told my mum that i didnt believe in santa anymore and she was more upset than i was! she had this whole monologue of ‘your all grown up now’ 🙂

    my teeth all fell out by the time i was 8 so i just went along with it…i alwys wondered why the replies from the tooth fairy and santa were the same as my mums handwriting…

    the easter bunny was alive in our house until i was 7, then i decided that i knew it was my mum 🙂

    haha im 14 now an we all joke in school that he is still real. the is a girl in my class and she has learning difficulties…when we told her that santa wasnt real, she cried so hard…it was SO funny!!!
    lol xx

  34. miraclemama says:

    My son is almost 8 and still believes in the fairy/Santa/bunny thing. At least I think he does. Hard to tell. I am certainly not going to tell him. When I was eight, my best friend and I told my younger brother there was no Santa and it scarred him for life. (I am not a mean person in any way, I swear I don’t know why I told him.) But, to this day he doesn’t celebrate Santa with his own kids.

    • jenkline75 says:

      That is sad about your brother’s aversion to Santa but I’m sure he has forgiven you. On a side note…I just checked out your blog and LOVED your post on What your vaccum likes to eat. I never thought to just vaccum all that junk up…I’m going to give that a try tomorrow! 😉

  35. Drea says:

    I don’t remember ever breaking the news to my two (now 17 and 23), because I think their school friends told them.

    I felt sad when they stopped believing – it was as though another part of their childhood had gone.

    • jenkline75 says:

      I know, it’s almost like finding out the truth of these things is the final step in the transition from little kid to tween or teen. There is something sad about that!

  36. I’m with Boomerlane who said:” Until my third child was born, I told my kids the truth about anything if they asked directly. If they would ask, “Is Santa Claus (or the Tooth Fairy or whatever) real?” I’d answer “Why do you ask?” If the response was, “Because I don’t think he is,” then I would agree. But if it was “Because So-and-so said he wasn’t,” the answer would be different.

    As a Jewish family, our child learned early on that neither Santa nor the Easter Bunny visited to our house because we don’t celebrate Christmas or Easter. When that progressed to, “I don’t think there is a Santa Claus or an Easter Bunny,” we taught him PDQ that the fastest way to be the most hated kid is to make those kinds of announcements. He shut up.

    At age 11, I am pretty confident he knows the tooth fairy doesn’t exist, but he is happy to cling to her. Afterall, he benefits directly from her existence. And she rarely shows up. And when she does, he gets a cool $2 bill. Eventually, he’ll mention it, and that will end, too. Don’t kill it until you have to – but when they do learn the truth — teach them not to ruin others’ fun.

    xoxoRASJ
    Lessons From Teachers and Twits
    http://rasjacobson.wordpress.com

    • Ah yes – the $2 bill! I’ve never spent mine from my childhood. I love those things!

    • jenkline75 says:

      That is so great that he was able to keep the secret of Santa and the Easter Bunny from his friends. I know of othe kids in Jewish families that were a little jealous of the Santa kids that they spilled the beans. I love the idea of the $2 bill too. I just found out tonight of a friend that uses a $2 bill, rolls it up and ties a bit of dental floss around it. So cute!

  37. pen2sword says:

    Better that you break the news than someone else. I remember when Santa Claus got ruined for me by a nasty girl classmate.
    One way my parents kept us older kids from letting others in on the secret was to make us feel like co-conspirators… I know I got a little thrill at knowing what my siblings didn’t around the holidays. It’s still fun to watch my youngest brother’s eyes light up when he says he thinks he heard a sleigh in the middle of the night.

    • jenkline75 says:

      I think you are right about letting him be a part of the Santa experience. I remember sitting up very late one night helping my mom to wrap a few of the Santa gifts for my brother and sister. I felt super special the next morning while watching them open them up. Thanks for the suggestion!

  38. Great post! I finally had to let the Santa secret out to my oldest when she was about 9. She was asking too many questions right in front of her brother who was about 4 at the time. She took it well and actually felt really happy about being part of the ”secret” going forward. My youngest is 12 now and I know he knows the secret but never asked. It is mommy who doesn’t want to let it go so I neither confirm or deny anything. As another person posted we still put out the cookies and carrots, etc! Congrats on Freshly Pressed!
    Paula
    http://www.simplysandwich.net

    • jenkline75 says:

      Thanks for the congrats and for sharing! I am loving reading everyone’s comments. I also checked out your blog and LOVED your post about your Mom-Mii being Chub-bii…too cute!

  39. Paige Morgan says:

    Ha ha ha, cute! My kids are 6 and 3 so I have a little time left, but not much!

  40. Like a previous poster (She.Is.Just.A.Rat), I really have no memory of when I learned Santa and the Tooth Fairy weren’t real. It certainly didn’t devastate me to find out, and I’m thankful for that. I may have been more interested in making sure the presents were still coming, no matter who sent them.
    My mother was very imaginative and always coming up with fun things for us kids. For St. Pat’s, she would cut out dozens of footprints from green construction paper, tape them up the walls and across the ceiling and tell us the next morning that a leprechaun had visited our house in the night. We loved it, and I don’t think I’m the only one who was sad when she stopped doing that. My older brother has continued the tradition with his kids, even going so far as to build a Leprachaun Trap in the backyard, baited with necklaces and shiny objects.
    I’m all for parents having fun with their kids before the children reach the Age of Not Believing (see “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”) When you level with your kids, tell them how much you enjoyed making the holidays extra special for them and ask what new tradition they would like to start instead. Kids like “graduating” from one level to the next, anyway, so let them decide how to celebrate their new knowledge.
    -Jen
    http://littlecreekvet.wordpress.com

    • jenkline75 says:

      Thanks for your comment. I totally forgot about the St. Pat’s leprechaun. I had never heard of that until we moved into our current home, 3 years ago, and everyone at my son’s school was talking about it. So, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and put some green food coloring in our milk carton. I still do that and the kids love it. Not only do they get a kick out of the green milk, they then spend a good 15 minutes running around looking at little stains on the carpet and marks on the wall and explaining to me that they are leprechaun prints.

  41. sayitinasong says:

    What I have discovered is that dont lose sleep over it too much… with time kids figure it out by themselves…. or their friends will do the dirty work for you… ;o)

    • jenkline75 says:

      I know, I want to let it go as long as I can but I guess I would rather be the one to break the new rather than have him hear about it on the bus. Either way, I am sure he will survive.

  42. fontgirl says:

    Congrats on being “freshly pressed” and featured on the wordpress homepage – whata great way to get viewers!! Great blog entry – keep up the good work, and good luck breaking the news 🙂

    • jenkline75 says:

      Thanks! I couldn’t believe it this morning. You will get here soon too, I’m sure of it. I think I’ve been sending some traffic your way today so hopefully they will enjoy your sweet treat ideas as much as I do.

  43. mariethea says:

    Well, I can’t remember how or if my parents broke the news about the tooth fairy, but I do remember that the only time there was “no Santa Clause” was when I was with my mom when she picked up the computer from him that year.

    Of course, they made it clear that as soon as we didn’t believe in Santa Clause he’d stop giving us gifts. My youngest brother is almost eighteen and we still get Santa gifts 🙂 What can I say? it’s Tradition!

  44. My kids are 16 and 18, and we all know they know, of course, but I’ve never “told” them anything for sure. The tooth fairy wasn’t a big issue in our house – when my son was 4, he caught me off guard one day by asking what the tooth fairy did with the teeth she collected. I told him (first thing that came to my mind) that the tooth fairy threw all the teeth she collected up into the sky, and that’s the twinkling lights we see at night. He seemed satisfied, and we kept the story in place when his little sister came along and was old enough to ask.

    Regarding Santa Claus – Christmas is my all-time favorite holiday, and I still get that “special feeling” around the holidays. I told my kids that Santa Claus represented all that was good about Christmas – the spirit of the holiday, the extra kindness we show to others, the gift-giving, the time to reflect on the year and our behavior. So when they’d ask me if Santa Claus was real, I’d ask them if they believed that the spirit of Christmas existed – that feeling that we all get at that time. They’d answer yes. I’d reply that since Santa Claus represented that, well… and leave it at that. They never pressed me on the issue, and still happily help me bake sugar cookies and leave a plate of them for Santa on Christmas Eve, as well as some carrots and apples for Rudolph and the Reindeer. It IS a magical time, after all, and they seem perfectly willing to go along with Mom to this day. Some parts of childhood just shouldn’t be given up!

  45. inkgwen says:

    I am more amazed that your 9 year old hasn’t had the news broken to him by a classmate or friend. I think that is how I found out about Santa when I was little. I wasn’t crushed. I learned about the true story of St. Nicholas and how Santa Claus is keeping that spirit of giving alive. 🙂 Now, as for the tooth fairy, the deal was: Now that I know you lied to me (guilt trip), I should still get a dollar as payback for each remaining tooth that I lose. It’s only fair. 😉

    The kids will be fine. I think, like you said, it’s much harder for the parents to let go of those things that still make them your little babies.

    • jenkline75 says:

      So, your saying if we keep giving him money and gifts he will forgive us for the lies we’ve told? That’s easy enough, I can handle that. 🙂

      • inkgwen says:

        LoL…No, but it’s still nice to keep the tradition going. 😉 If you’ve raised them well, they will love you no matter what!!! 🙂

  46. traceygjones says:

    thank you for this– as a parent we need our children to believe for as long as possible to feel as though the world is magical and shiny. i know we all learn the truth some how, some way— but while my boys believe– it makes my world magical again, too.

  47. This is cute! I am at the beginning stages of this and it is already a debate between my husband and me! My parents just didn’t tell us any of it (we still enjoyed the presents, though!) Thanks for the discussion starter!

  48. I found out there was no Santa at 5. My Christmases were never the same again. Now as I parent, I refuse to tell. My kids question me but I play dumb and have an answer for everything. (Q: “Why does Johnny get a BB gun for Christmas and I don’t even though it’s on my list?” A: “Because I write Santa a note every year telling him which gifts we find would prefer he leave at the North Pole.” Let the fantasy live on! I’ll take it to my grave!!!

  49. Gabriella says:

    I am the oldest out of 5 kids, and I guess my parents knew that if they told me the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real, I would tell the rest of my brothers and sisters. So my parents waited until I was 12 before they told me Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy weren’t real. And sure enough, right when I found out they weren’t real, I told my brother’s and sisters. My 6 year old brother still believes in all three, since he was 1 when I was told, and we act like we do believe in them when we’re around him.
    It’s nice to have something so “magical” to believe in. Yet, I do wonder at what age we should tell kids the truth about them. If someone finds out, please let me know.

  50. kldarter says:

    Too funny. I stopped believing in Santa pretty early (and everything else just falls in line after Santa goes). I don’t remember but I think my older sister had something to do with this.
    My wife also learned very early (from a Jewish girlfriend who was a little put out by Christmas) that Santa did not exist.
    For our kids, they are only 2 years apart so when we go down that road, we’ll hopefully be able to tell both of them at the same time – cause if one of them knows, then both will know very quickly!

  51. mct88 says:

    LOL that’s awesome. My parents are Asians and were not informed about the tooth fairy 🙂

  52. angirach says:

    I didn’t grow up in the United States; so finding out about Santa was more of a shock than finding out that he wasn’t real. I wondered why my grand parents wouldn’t let me mail letters to Santa when kids in the US and the Coca Cola commericals got to…it made for an interesting view of reality as a child in comparison to american children.

  53. The Tooth Fairy says:

    Don’t tell them….let them come to you.

    When they ask, tell the truth, and enlist them in the charade to deceive the younger ones. It’s a rite of passage.

    What gives with letting the kid keep the teeth, though? That makes no sense–the Tooth Fairy is a harsh mistress….no tooth, no dollar.

    • jenkline75 says:

      Just so you know, I am totally star struck right now. I can’t believe The Tooth Fairy actually made an appearance. This Freshly Pressed stuff is pretty cool. Thanks for the advice, I am so on board with enlisting him in the charade, I love the idea. Sorry about letting him keep the teeth, he’s kind of a science driven kid and wanted to have a tooth collection and to watch what would happen to them after a while so we just went with it!

  54. analogmutant says:

    Please tell me that there really is a Marlboro Fairy!!!! I couldn’t take that crushing disappointment…

  55. Deb Daloia says:

    I can’t imagine Christmas without “Santa”. We had many precious years with our children filled with the wonder and magic of Christmas. Such sweet memories. I always felt a little bit bad keeping the truth from them. The time was right when I let our daughter in on the secret. No one gave it away at school, and she actually still believed in 5th grade. I couldn’t allow her to go to middle school not knowing the truth. She took it well and did not spoil it for her brothers. She enjoyed keeping the spirit of Santa alive until the boys were ready to be told. None of the kids could believe that WE bought all those wonderful presents. Not too bad for a Mom and Dad, huh!?

    They figured out the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny by natural process.

    • jenkline75 says:

      That is so great that she believed for so long. I’m in agreement with you that heading off to middle school still believing might be a little much but I guess we’ll see what happens in the next year or two.

  56. lbwong says:

    Don’t be surprised if your child knows already. These days kids are getting smarter! Anyways, I can see the dilemna you are having especially with younger childen as well. Great post, enjoyed the read! LB

    • jenkline75 says:

      I think he already has an inkling that there is a little funny business going on because he has dropped hints in the past so it’s possible that someone has spilled the beans along the way. Thanks for the kind words!

  57. Michelle Brown says:

    I’m going to confess one of those “I’m a terrible mom!” secrets. My son’s tooth fell out on the eve of this big ordeal with the youth from our church. In the midst of all the drama, we completely forgot to put the money under the pillow and the take the tooth. When he came out the next morning with his little crestfallen face, my heart just broke. I considered fessing up about the existence of the tooth fairy. Instead we lied. We said the tooth fairy had come early, but since he was still awake, she gave the money to dad. I thought I was going to get a barrage of questions – I think he was just satisfied he was getting his tooth fairy money. Good luck on whatever you decide!

    • jenkline75 says:

      Ha! Don’t feel bad. We had a situation about a year ago where my hubby and I both fell asleep and forgot about the tooth. Our son was devestated when he woke up and there was no golden dollar. He came running into my room to wake me up. I told him I would be right out to help him figure out what was going on. I grabbed a gold dollar from my husband’s nightstand drawer and ran in to “help him look for it because I am sure that the tooth fairy would not have forgotten it” and wouldn’t you know it, I found it on the floor under his bed. We had figured out that it got knocked on the floor as he was tossing and turning in his sleep. 😉

  58. Laurie says:

    I can’t imagine telling your children there is no Santa Claus. Of course the spirit of Santa Claus exists in the giving and sharing, love and peace of Christmas. The three Wisemen gave gifts to Baby Jesus at the first Christmas. Santa Claus helps give us another example of doing the same. I believe in Santa Claus and so do my three daughters, ages 18, 20, and 28 years.

    I can still remember being about 7 years old and starting to question the existence of Santa Claus. I told my mother I wasn’t sure I still believed in Santa Claus and her only response was, “Are you sure?”

    Children will believe in a way that is appropriate for them. You don’t need to define these things for them. Each has their own unique needs and level of maturity. Let each one celebrate Christmas and Santa Claus in their own way.

    The question in not when to tell your children there is no Santa Claus, but in helping them to understand how Santa Claus changes as they mature.

  59. ditto panicmonster

    I’d also add (other folks may have said this – holy smokes you got a lot of comments), finding out at school from friends, particularly friends with older siblings … tends to work out just fine in my opinion.

  60. Lydia says:

    My oldest (almost seven) never believed in the tooth fairy. He announced that we were the tooth fairies before he lost his first tooth – must have picked that up at school. Santa, on the other hand is going to be tough. My DH knows Santa personally. His name is John, he starts growing his beard at the end of summer and has a very real twinkle in his eyes. He also visits our house every Christmas Eve to visit the boys before they go to bed and he goes to work. I really don’t look forward to that bubble bursting.

  61. Great post! I still believe in Santa! 🙂

  62. Rathi says:

    What an awesome post!!! But I must say when I first read the heading of the post…I was like I wonder what it is…and I feel ‘My deep dark secret’ doesn’t quite match the responses and comments and stories that have been shared by ur readers…I can see their glowing faces lost in memory and happy tears….
    I am thinking dark secret but all I am seeing is beautiful memories…
    You have evoked beautiful memories & thoughts in each one of us…thank u for this post…
    Long live tooth fairies and santas 🙂

  63. casspaz says:

    I’m 22 and still believe in the magic of Christmas, the spirit of giving, and that those cookies I leave out for Mr. & Mrs. Clause go straight to that ass of his. I found out, as kids always do, by someone mocking my innocence and them expressing disbelief that I still believed. I went home and cried in my bed as my mom and dad comforted me. I never once thought “how dare they lie to me” because really, my eyes weren’t going to get stuck cross eyed and the lies I told them as I got older evened the playing field. 🙂 But Christmas still holds that sparkle, whether it’s because you want to believe that for one day and maybe one day only people set aside everything and just be with their family and spread joy & cheer, or maybe it was because when the fantasy world as I knew it came crashing down I then learned I could always turn to my parents to help me through it. My kids will know about Santa. As for the Easter Bunny though…a giant animal running loose in the house…we’ll deal with that when we come to it.

    • jenkline75 says:

      Your comment made me laugh…I had a vision of the rabbit from “Harvey” running through my house. Have you seen that movie from the 50’s? If not, you should check it out.

  64. dearliv says:

    My son found out when he caught me stealing a dollar out of his piggy bank to put under his pillow. There’s nothing like a cash strapped tooth fairy to send a kid to therapy for life.

  65. librachik says:

    Loved the post!!!
    Well im 15 now, 16 in october, and i belived in the tooth fairy untill i was about 11 or 12 it didn’t really break my heart but i definetly miss getting 2 bucks lol. My parents didn’t tell me i just kinda figuerd it out myself. But when i found out santa wasn’t real i was in 4th grade, and oh boy, i cryed for a few days. My parents didn’t tell me, they weren’t planining on it eather. It was my stupid (step) Aunt. what had happend was… we were, at the time, living with my step dads parent ’cause we had just moved to oklahoma. And it was about a week or two till christmas, and me and my cousin (on my moms side, he was visiting) were playing by the tree and i was looking at some of the presents and i looked at one of them and it said to: darius From: santa (darius is the stupid aunts son) and i screamed, “What?!?” and my cousin said, “what?” i showed him the present and he said, “What?!?” and then i started crying, “santa isn’t real!!!” and so i ran to my mom and told her everything and she was very mad at my aunt. so she brought me to the bathroom and talked to me about it and i agreed to not tell my little sister. she gave me a big hug and i went to our room to lay down. I wasn’t exactly ‘mad’ at my parents i was just upset that all those years of me making pictures for this “santa” was almost a waist of time. But it did NOT ruin christmas for me i love christmas, the smell, the taste, and the feeling. sorry this comment was so long lol but good luck 🙂

    • jenkline75 says:

      Hello my fellow Libra 😉 Don’t worry…the years of making all of those pictures for Santa was not a waste. Your parents worked hard to bring you the joy and excitement you experienced on Christmas morning and I’m sure the pictures you drew made it all worth while for them. I’m sure they would still like to get them today.

  66. solshards says:

    I think that you might have to do this many more times if you plan to debunk the myths one by one ( :P). Same goes for the society and world we live in, parents can either teach and educate their kids on the darker matters and problems of this society, or let the children slowly suck it up while providing guidance whenever necessary.

  67. jijobenitez says:

    I read from another blog (I forgot which) that this parent (the blogger) does not feel comfortable about “introducing” Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and other such “friends” to his daughter. He feels that when the inevitable day comes when he has to confess the truth, he might tamper with his child’s trust in her parents. He goes on to say that he would probably get really annoyed if he found out that somebody he trusts and loves has just been pulling his strings all along — so he wouldn’t want to risk that on his daughter. Point well taken, but I can’t help but recall all the wonderful Christmas mornings I had rushing straight to the Christmas tree to tear open Santa’s gift … or the feeling of amazement I always had whenever I found those gold coins underneath my pillow left for me by the Tooth Fairy. It added a sort of magical — and amusing — touch to my childhood.

    My daughter is just 18-months-old and my husband and I intend to acquaint her with all the magical, mysterious characters which have been a part of most people’s childhood, including ours. As to finally revealing to her the truth that good ol’ Mommy and Daddy are the ones behind all the surprises and gifts, I think we’ll just leave it to chance. Somewhere along the way, a perfect opportunity is bound to come along. Or, may be she’ll come up to us one fine day after school and ask us about the truth. Or, maybe she’ll pull me along for the ride, pretending that she still believes in Santa just so she could get more gifts for Christmas — just like what I did for 3 years to my parents. Then again, maybe she’d accidentally knock over a “jewelry box” in my drawer and the Tooth Fairy’s loot of teeth will come spilling out — exactly like what happened to me one afternoon when I was rummaging around for a lipstick in my mom’s drawer. 🙂 Who knows. 🙂

    • jenkline75 says:

      I love your attitude! As for the other blogger…my parents let me believe in the magic of Santa, The Easter Bunny and The Tooth Fairy. I don’t remember if I was upset at the time when I found out but I definitely do not harbor any ill will or mistrust. Actually, I think it is pretty cool that they spent so much time and energy in a land of make believe in order to make the lives of their children more magical and exciting.

  68. Don’t tell him. Life is so much better when it has…whimsy. Childhood is so special, let it last.

  69. rah86 says:

    I know my brother and I figured it out on our own when I was five (he was four). We kept up the charade for our parents until I was twelve, when my mother finally broke down and told us that it was her and dad doing the Santa thing. We never told her (lol), just like we never told her we tried to “run away” when I was seven. There are some things that you should just let them figure out on their own, in my opinion. When they start rolling their eyes at you and saying “Mooooooom,” you know the gigs up.

  70. fizgig says:

    A dollar? Spoiled brat! My cheap-ass fairy-parents only left me a nickel per tooth, maybe a dime for the really big ones.

  71. BakerTray says:

    Life is so much better when it has…whimsy.

  72. cheneetot08 says:

    Woah!! Nice Post!! I really have to visit my dentist friend and ask some of his tooth collection, they’re worth a lot of cash !!

  73. SkyofRoses says:

    I found out the tooth fairy wasn’t real the night I lost my last baby tooth. My mom had somehow been keeping track, and she heard the cat meowing strangely in the garage that night. She came into my room to ask me if I heard it too and when I said no she shrugged and then said “I am the tooth-fairy, give me your tooth!” Since it was my last baby tooth it didn’t surprise me too much, but I was a little miffed at the way she had told me. The next morning she told me she was also Santa, but that the Easter bunny was entirely my dad’s doing. So for anyone else who comments that’s curious and is actually willing to keep track, you could tell them when their last baby tooth comes out and remind them that this is the last time the tooth fairy will come. Seems like a lot of effort to me, but my mom did it!

  74. My parents never really broke the news of ‘the truth’ to me. I remember when I first started to question if Santa was real – it was quite delicious to hang onto the idea that I couldn’t prove or disprove his existence. So, if you’re asking me, based on my childhood memories, don’t tell. They’ll figure it out soon enough.

  75. littleowlski says:

    I found out Santa wasn’t real because I woke up as my dad was sneaking into our room to put the presents on the end of our beds – wearing nothing but his bright red ‘Christmas’ underpants!! “Oh, that’s not Santa, !”. I kept it quiet for years because of my two younger sisters.

    The youngest sister got told by her friend that he wasn’t real, came home and told my mum. Mum told her friend that, “She was a naughty girl who shouldn’t tell lies!” I’m not sure who she wanted to keep the magic going for – my sister or herself!

    Emma

    • jenkline75 says:

      The vision of your father (not that I know him) in his bright red Christmas underpants made me laugh. It brings back memories of my families traditional Christmas sleepwear. 🙂

  76. bipolaridiot says:

    Maybe you could just tell him that the tooth fairy stops visiting children when they pass a certain age, without you throwing yourself in the pit of fire and him feeling betrayed by you 🙂

  77. I never told my kids, they just figured it out and that was it. It was never a big deal and the older kids kept the knowledge from the younger, so they would have the continued pleasure until it was “over”. I can not see anything wrong with making up fairy-tales and living in fantasy and dream-land – on the contrary. Kids grow up to realize the difference perfectly naturally by themselves and I think we should let them, it is never a problem. What I don’t understand is why you feel the need to tell them?

  78. raisingable says:

    Lying to kids is rough.
    Having Santa, Easter bunny and tooth fairy take all the credit for women’s work is kinda weird. How did we get caught up in this hoodwink?
    It’s fun until they figure it out, then there’s a big let down.
    Maybe it’s preparation for life – things aren’t always what they seem.
    Be wary of scams, “free” stuff and offers too good to be true.

  79. Loved the article! A few Christmases ago I started dropping hints to my son about the reality of Santa. I think he may have suspected by then but never let on, probably like me at that age thinking he might not get presents any more if we knew he knew. It was that Christmas when I made the huge mistake of being not so subtle about it in front of my mother-in-law. Boy was I the evil one! Destroying the magic, ruining the spark in their eyes etc. etc. O-Kay! Take a chill-pill. No more subtle hints from then on – but he did know. And at the same time they want to believe.

    • jenkline75 says:

      I think you are right. He seems to have an idea that something seems a little fishy about the whole thing but he still goes on believing/pretending. I think letting go of those beliefs makes childhood seem a little less magical.

  80. B.Held says:

    So endearing 🙂

  81. julieperrault says:

    Speaking as a former five-year-old whose 10-year-old-sister, ruined Christmas Eve with a terrible announcement, keep it under wraps as long as you can. How fabulous to live in a world where tiny little fairies deliver money and fat old men breaking into your house is not something to be scared of. Why drag him into reality any sooner?
    Congrats on the Press!

  82. onlyouknows says:

    good one! this story reminds me of my dad. He said that Santa Claus is really not true when I was Grade 5, i told him Dad I know that back when I was still just I just can resist all the gifts! 🙂 hahaha! 🙂

  83. Great blog! My daughter caught me sneaking into her room to put money under her pillow. I tried to tell her that the tooth fairy makes herself look like the parent so that if the child wakes up, she/he is not frightened. She wanted to believe me, and she kept it up for another 2 years (she was 9 at the time). In the end, the evil children at school told her that none of them exist or ever existed. I was off the hook! (she was 11 at the time, I know, a little old, and she’s smart so it never made sense to me, which leads me to believe that they all have us hoodwinked)

  84. Bryan R. says:

    We handled the possibility of the older sibling using it as a weapon was this…

    “If you don’t believe in Santa Claus then you don’t get presents…”

    It worked like a charm. He even started helping with the “late night magic chores” and started to see what the real magic was all about when he got to see his siblings delight in the morning.

  85. Bee says:

    Great story and very cute! Takes me back to times when life was so simple 😀

  86. jessbhinkle says:

    Interesting post! It reminds everybody about his very own experience with the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus as a child. I also enjoyed reading all their responses to the end. Congratulations!

    Jess B. Hinkle
    http://jesshinkle.wordpress.com/

  87. Kelly Hay says:

    Sweet post … I never had to come clean with either of my two children because they both busted me in the act – my son caught me being Santa and my daughter caught me being the Easter Bunny. Obviously neither were the heavy sleepers that I thought they were.

  88. sheila365 says:

    Your post sent me back to when I was a kid… my mom would have us put our tooth in a little glass egg-cup filled with water and placed it on the kitchen window sill overnight. In the morning, the tooth would be gone and a quarter in its place at the bottom of the egg cup

  89. melainayve says:

    i remember when i was something like 8 or 9 yrs old, i already knew that my parents were the Santa Claus’s in the house. The only thing that kept me wondering at that time is how they managed to sneak in the presents without us, the kids, seeing/noticing it. Well I guess that is just one skill that a n adult must master once they become parents. 😀

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  91. Susan Okaty says:

    I never worried about telling them. I’ve heard that some kids are “traumatized” when they find out Mom and Dad have been lying to them, but I don’t buy it. They usually hear it from someone at school, and if they ask you point blank, you can’t keep lying, but they realize that this is a racket that’s been going on for generations, and when they find out the truth, they’ve just moved a little closer to adulthood. I like your blog, by the way. Sweet writing.

  92. Allison says:

    When my little cousin (6) lost a tooth, she asked for pixie dust because “it’ll make you fly, just like the tooth fairy!” Cute. 🙂

  93. beni.suryadi says:

    Funny! I like your post. First time I know about this is from the movie Tooth Fairy, starred by Dwayne Johnson.

    Anyway, in my country, Indonesia , we are not familiar with tooth fairy.

    But, when I was a kid and I lost my upper teeth, my parents told me that I should throw it to the roof, and if it happen to my lower teeth, I have to buried it. If I don’t, the new teeth will not ever coming.

    Yeah, I was realized this is just a fairytale when I was 12 y.o.

  94. 網路行銷 says:

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  95. Harriett says:

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