From Time Magazine, to the Washington Times, to the Denver Post, to Parenthood.com, there has been widespread coverage in the past week about a recent survey we released showing that the amount the Tooth Fairy leaves children has declined by 40 cents, to $2.60 per tooth in 2011.
Aside from stirring up water cooler and book club conversations over the appropriate amount to leave under the pillow for a loose tooth, I’ve been asked repeatedly: ‘Why does Visa care about the Tooth Fairy?’
The answer is simple: money left by the Tooth Fairy presents an ideal teachable moment for parents to discuss money management with their children.
When a child discovers that her tooth has been replaced in the dead of the night with money, that cash has far more value to her than its official worth as legal tender. Regardless of the amount, it is, by definition, magical. And while a check from the grandparents might by welcomed and generous, there is no mystery or fantasy surrounding it.
Recognizing the power of the Tooth Fairy’s largess with my own two children (who give me breathless, hourly updates whenever a tooth shows the slightest hint of wiggling) we decided to arm parents with a few conversation starters they can use with their own kids.
Many parents don’t know how or when to begin talking to their kids about money and the Tooth Fairy gives us a perfect opening. Even asking simple questions like the following can help instill your family’s financial values:
- What do you plan to do with the money?
- Do you want to save some of it for that toy you’ve been wanting?
- What about setting some aside for charity?
If the Tooth Fairy can help launch a few more children on their way to a lifetime of successfully managing money, it’s well worth the effort.
Posted by: Jason Alderman, Visa Corporate Relations on August 2, 2011 at 9:26 am