Letting Go of that Comfort Item

Growing up, I remember some adults passing comments about the kids who used to drag around their Blankies. They’d say they just wanted attention and all they needed was for their moms to stop mollycoddling them and let them grow up.

I must say this has left an impression on me and I remember looking at toddlers and thinking, you’re getting too old for that blankie, dummy or dirty old toy that you’re dragging along.

Well as karma would have it, my 6 year old boy has a blankie….. 3 actually. One is his sister’s pink baby blanket…gasp! He really battles to fall asleep without it. He says he loves the smell of it. (He actually used to push it up his nose! Thankfully that has stopped!)

In my mind’s eye I am already seeing him go to university with his blankie in his suitcase. At least I know it would be a put off to the girls and that settles mom’s nerves a bit!!! But that’s a story for a different time…

He was also quite fond of his dummy until the “mommy Impala took it for her baby” when we were at a game reserve when he was 2 and a half. I couldn’t find it in the car and had only packed one. Oops! He was quite happy with this explanation and hasn’t asked for it since. Cute thing is that he stills moves his lips like he’s sucking a dummy when he just falls asleep…..everyone go ahhhhh!

Both my kids were anti-dummy in the hospital but THIS mommy forced them to like it by putting it back every time they spat it out. I must say it helped a great deal later on when they were crying as I could easily settle them.

Now I’m wondering about how clever this forcing thing was. Is this not why my son still has a blankie?

I have been googling incessantly, hoping to find that it is normal and that there is no psychological problem that needs to be addressed. Funny how google is a great form of consolation, not unlike a blankie, for those looking to be normal. Unless you are googling an illness, then it is an immense source of grief and misdiagnosis.

I read articles with titles like: “Having a lovey is normal”, “Loveys and Blankies: What’s normal, what’s not?” I carried on reading until I found one justifying my action to not take it away from my son. Which, by the way, did not take long as most articles described it as normal.

The best advice I got was, don’t rush it! While getting over my own insecurities as a parent I started talking to friends with kids the same age as mine and realised that it is actually quite normal for kids to carry security items into their teens. Some kids even carry them into adulthood.  As you get older it’s mostly for nostalgic reasons. In adults it is called essentialism and can be compared to the feelings you have towards your wedding band – google it! But I digress….

There is apparently no set age when a child should no longer need a comfort item. So we need to relax and not make it an issue. There are many more serious matters to worry about than something that sooths your child without causing any harm.

As for Blankie and its place in our house? It is welcome as long as my child needs it to self-sooth! It doesn’t replace me or his daddy, it actually just reminds him of us!

 

Happy cuddling till we meet again!

 

 

 

 

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