Koenig talks to the Star Tribune about the tooth fairy
Melissa Koenig, associate professor, Institute of Child Development, explored the tradition of the tooth fairy in The Tooth Fairy Visits Many Cultures in the StarTribune on June 22. Koenig says that the loss of baby teeth can be seen as a rite of passage or a symbol of the loss of childhood, which makes the ritual of the tooth fairy an expression of that loss, as well as a reassurance of the independence to come, for both children and parents.
"While the children are getting the independence they need from the ritual, the parents are seeing their children engage in something childlike," Koenig said. "And that helps them slowly give up the reins in a way."
The article presents information about tooth fairy traditions from many cultures.