Since Yahoo Parenting launched on Oct. 23, the editors and writers have posted nearly 600 stories on the site. They chose this article – originally published on that first day – as a highlight of the pieces that offer trusted advice, inspire provocative conversations, and hopefully add a little fun to your life, every day.
Dear “Tooth Fairy,”…
So begins 9-year-old Lexi’s letter to her mom and dad. Redditor willsanderson, a friend of the family, posted a photo of the note on Reddit with the headline, “Found this on my daughter’s pillow.”
In looping pencil penmanship (with admirably sharp use of quotation marks), Lexi informs her parents that “I know it’s you who gets the money and puts it under my pillow.” She then softens the blow — “I’m sorry if this is hard for you, but I’m 9 now.” — before revealing that she doesn’t believe in Santa Claus either and, “Daddy, I knew it was you, last easter, hiding my easter eggs!”
"I am so very proud of Lexi for being able to express something in writing that was concerning her," Lexi’s mom, Denise Rosser, tells Yahoo Parenting. "She was truly worried that telling us this would make us sad, which is why she choose to write the letter." Rosser adds that she suspected Lexi didn’t believe anymore. "It is so bittersweet… but as a parent you want to hang on to these fleeting moments as long as possible. I knew I wasn’t going to confess anything until I had to, so I guess her letter makes it perfectly clear that she really is growing up!"
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Lexi’s note resonates with every parent who’s dealt with (or dreads) “the moment they know,” and Dr. Deborah Gilboa, family physician and author of “Get the Behavior You Want… Without Being the Parent You Hate!" tells Yahoo Parenting that meeting this milestone with honesty works best. "Tell them that you love your family tradition of The Tooth Fairy, or Santa Claus, and ask if it’s okay to keep doing it," she says. "If they press, though, you might respond with, ‘Do you really want to know?’" Gilboa notes that many kids will say, "Nah, that’s cool."
For the inquisitive ones who must get the facts straight, though, it’s good to come clean: “Kids count on us to give them information about all sorts of things, and we need to be trustworthy,” says Gilboa. “But you can also add, ‘It’s a game we play, a lovely tradition, and it doesn’t have to end.’”
And one more thing: Gilboa advises stressing to your child that you’re trusting him with a secret that’s between parents and their kids. “You don’t want your kid to be the one who tells everyone in second grade that there’s no Santa,” says Gilboa. “Remind them that it’s up to other families when to share this information.”
Lexi’s own mother, Denise Rosser, tells Yahoo Parenting that, “TK.” It’s clear from the Reddit responses that Lexi’s letter is striking a chord. In 1000+ comments, Redditors are sharing experiences and expressing kudos and support for these parents.
ReconSC2 writes, “Those first moments you realize your little girl isn’t that little any more…”
OccasionallyWrite, with two kids under 5, comments, “This brought a tear to my eye.”
And Beyond_Re-Animator weighs in with a solid final word: “Reading that, you know you raised a smart, funny person who will be a benefit to us all. Thanks!”
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