YOUR MONEY-Should the tooth fairy just vanish forever?

Tue Oct 6, 2015 10:00am EDT
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By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK Oct 6 (Reuters) - When Claer Barrett, a London-based editor, filed her newspaper column a few weeks ago, it didn't take long for her to realize she had hit a major nerve with its subject matter.

A dental nerve.

The personal finance editor for the Financial Times had proposed the unthinkable in a recent column: Killing off the tooth fairy.

Her logic? In making our kids' first interaction with money a fanciful one, where cash suddenly appears under their pillows from a "magical source," we are doing them a disservice.

Predictably, Barrett's email inbox blew up.

"I had to call for the death of the tooth fairy to make my wider point about personal finance education," Barrett says.

"Many people were angry with me for denying children the fantasy of believing in the tooth fairy, but I argued that they needed to know about financial reality. The tooth fairy is the just tip of the iceberg."

After all, if you introduce young minds to that kind of magical thinking, it can persist for years - in terms of not realizing that money has to be earned, not appreciating the true value of a dollar, and not realizing that their latest must-have iPad or smartphone comes with a huge price tag.   Continued...