Your child should continue to sleep with their plushies as long as he likes it! Children have their own schedule for growing up and its much slower than some adults have the patience for.
By 5-year-old most kids will no longer need a comfort object like a plushie or blanket everywhere they go. But they may still sleep with that object for much longer. Many kids will stop sleeping with their plushies by 10-year-old. No matter how long it takes the behavior is normal and is simply a token that your child uses to reassure himself everything is ok with the world.
Many studies suggest that any kind of comfort object should be encouraged for kids until they feel like they don’t want it anymore. For example, an 8-year-old will not have developed full emotional maturity and stability until late high school or college.
The time she starts itching to move out will be a beginning indicator that she is close to finishing the development of her emotional maturity. Until that point, a comfort object may help illuminate or dull emotional outbursts. Keeping a child more stable by giving her an outlet and comfort when she is struggling to use the proper self-coping tools to soothe herself.
Taking the object away that is providing her this comfort creates a level of resentment and distrust. Also can psychologically play a role in training her to be emotionally detached down the road.
The importance of stuffed animals
To better understand the importance of stuffed animals in childhood, we need to delve into the playful world of children and find out a little more about their development. Children use attachment objects as a support to gain independence because these objects work as a way to replace the security they feel close to their parents, helping them in the absence of reference figures.
Children, when feeling alone in bed, in day care, or in kindergarten, use these objects to feel more secure and confident. They associate the softness of each stuffed animal with the feeling of a lap and this gives them peace and security. This affection is very important throughout childhood. According to experts, from the age of three, there are no restrictions on giving a stuffed animal as a gift to a child, and even when they are older, toys continue to have a special meaning.
When should we give the stuffed animals?
Should we then offer our children stuffed animals when they go through this age of separation in order to complement, encourage their development? Well, although educational toys are highly recommended for child development. However, when it comes to transitional objects, there is no way to direct children to anything.
Children can choose various objects such as inseparable pillows, irreplaceable teddy bears, beloved blankets, and several other types of objects. perhaps teddy bears are the champions because they are the most abundant objects around children, but there is no way to predict what the child will direct its affection towards.
At what age should a child give up a stuffed animal?
As mentioned before, there is no age limit to abandon the transitional object. However, the child may be harassed at school, for instance, for still carrying a teddy bear. So, we should just be attentive. This object should only serve as a bridge. In other words, it is hoped that, as the years go by, the child will be able to deal with his feelings in a healthy way, sharing them with other people and that the teddy bear will become just a cuddly memory!
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Mom’s sun. 2022. At what age should a child give up a stuffed animal?. [online] Available at: <https://burlingamemothers.org/toddlers/at-what-age-should-a-child-give-up-a-stuffed-animal.html> [Accessed 29 April 2022].
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