Many children, especially between 2 and 5 years old, have a special "friend", a "blanket", "rag", "gasita" … As the years go by, they usually become discolored, smelly and frayed, but they are so fond of each other that they seem to appreciate them more and more. For them it supposes an accomplice, a companion of dreams, and above all, a source of calm.
Whether it is a "blanket", a stuffed animal, or any other soft element, also known as transition objects, these are used by many children as a way to calm themselves without the need of their parents. In 1951, the child psychologist Dr. DW Winnicott defined for the first time this transitional object as "any material to which a baby attributes special value and by means of which the child is able to make the necessary changes from his first oral relationship with
In other words, these "blankets" allow children to make connections with the outside world, as well as with their mother. Such objects are commonly adopted when children go to school or daycare as a way to alleviate the anxiety of separation from their parents.
Contrary to popular belief, especially a few years ago, children who use these objects of transition are not too childish. In fact, their objects of comfort can give them the possibility of being more independent than children who do not use them.
With the tranquility and confidence that comes from having their stuffed animal or "blanket" at their side, children can feel more secure in unfamiliar situations such as day care or school. For example, when they fall down in the school yard and their mother is not there to pick them up and kiss them, the confidence that their stuffed animal or "blanket" gives them keeps them going well.
Several studies show that children who use these types of objects are actually less shy and concentrate more than those who do not. His "dear" objects are like the wheels of the bike, it serves as training to convince themselves "that everything will go well". With this intrinsic sense of trust, children feel safe enough to take small risks, explore and grow.
Many parents when their children reach a certain age make these objects "disappear" because they are already very damaged. And for many children it is a hard trance, how can they ever go back to sleep without the softness and irreplaceable smell of their object?
As the first "non-possessive" choice? , these objects of comfort help children to become self-sufficient and establish themselves as independent individuals of their parents. Due to the great importance that children give to these elements, experts suggest that any criticism or rejection of the chosen object can lead to difficulties of attachment and affection in their adult life.
The respect and consideration that parents show by these objects of comfort can "improve contact between children and adults, and even contact between children themselves."
Many children, quickly after losing their comfort items, find a way to self-calm again, sometimes with another similar object.
It is likely that the very friends who make fun of these things have or have had some similar object. This type of elements are very common among children: 60% of children have one, as well as 35% of adults.
It is very important that children decide for themselves when to reject or move away from them of Transition. Many take the step of hiding them in a place where they know they do not reach or that they do not have easy access to them. Unlike when they are taken away by force, this is their self-determined way of saying "I am a big boy. If something scares me I have enough emotional tools to overcome it on my own. "
That does not mean that comfort items should be left behind when we grow up. The therapist Gerri Luce, LCSW says that even adults can benefit from these beloved objects to help them out in difficult times, as long as they do not interfere with their intimate or professional life (it is probably better not to take a "blanket" to work)
Many adults, either consciously or not, adopt some kind of objects to cope with daily stresses. Journals in which to express their feelings, objects that remind us of a loved one, or even a telephone with which to connect with others when they are alone can have an effect similar to a "blanket" on a child. As long as we leave the teddy bear behind, the need for a physical object that gives us comfort and security is not specifically childish.
As psychologist Colleen Goddard says, transitional objects "represent the process by which (a person) it can navigate through life, and experience an interior homeostatic equilibrium, a sense of cohesion of well-being in each phase of development ". So keep your teddy bear (or your iPhone) close tonight, because according to famed psychologist Abraham Maslow, having these kinds of basic needs "matters more than anything else in the world."
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