The security blanket, bottles, pacifiers, cuddle toys, teddy bears, stuffed animals and night lights can provide your child with a sense of security, particularly at bed time. While there is much attention paid to children who indulge in such things, it is important to remember that adults, too, have their forms of security blankets. At a certain age, however, it is a good idea to confront weaning your child from a dependency that could serve to embarrass and thus inhibit him from being socially active.
Reasons for Security Objects
is estimated that 60 percent of young, middle-class children in the
Western world use blankets, stuffed toys and pillows to soothe
themselves during times of discomfort and bed time. Understand that
toddlers and younger children use objects to help make the transition to
independence from dependence. Life is an adventure for them, and
sometimes it is irrational fears that cause them to have a blanket,
bottle or stuffed animal with them most of the time.
Pacifiers and Bottles
children get attached to pacifiers and bottles for comfort in their
early lives. Once a child reaches the toddler years, understanding why
he is using the pacifier and bottle can lead to a path of weaning. For
example, when a child is fussy, rather than reach for a pacifier or
bottle, try offering something to drink in a cute cup that he picks out
in a store.
Blankets and Stuffed Animals
an older child from a security blanket or stuffed animal, start on a
gradient scale. Gradually offer your child new and interesting things to
do. For example, turn his attention toward an activity that is fun,
such as coloring, reading or playing a game. Interact with him more.
Repetition and Schedule
will be times when the child really wants his security item and nothing
else will do. Try to address the issue and realize that if you can
avoid stressful incidents, the toy or blanket won't be needed so much.
If you put your child down for a nap regularly, he can have the toy at
bed time rather than when out in public.
nightlights can be an effective tool in soothing an anxious child who
has a tendency toward object attachment. Sometimes, there is fear
associated with going to bed at night in the dark, making him want to
cling to something. For a small child, being alone in the dark can be
very traumatic. A soft night light can go a long way toward a happily
adjusted child and is well worth the investment.
Every child has
his own developmental time line. Don't try to force the issue. Take the
time to understand why the child needs the object and address the
underlying issue. Maybe the child has separation anxiety and uses the
item for comfort. Let him have the object for as long as he needs it for
his own comfort and your sanity.
- Home & Family
- How to Wean Your Child Off the Security Blanket and Other Comfort Objects
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