All of us have a favourite stuffed animal from our childhood. Mine was Chippy, a stuffed chipmunk (nobody accused me of being artistic with my names). Chippy occupied my mattress far longer than I care to confess. I keep in mind being seven or eight and pondering, “I’m too previous to sleep with a stuffed animal.” However my mattress appeared unusual if he wasn’t mendacity shut by.
I didn’t cuddle or work together with him at that time. I didn’t carry Chippy round with me. However his presence made me really feel snug. I haven’t seen or considered Chippy in not less than a decade. Nonetheless, I can nonetheless describe each element of that stuffed animal, from the white on his stomach to the lacking plastic nostril my dad unintentionally (he claims) knocked off with a mini-baseball bat.
Initially, I felt unusual sharing all these particulars a few childhood memento. I imply, who remembers a lot a few stuffed animal? It seems loads of adults are in the identical boat.
Many Adults Have Their Childhood Stuffed Animal
In 2017, the Construct-A-Bear Workshop commissioned a examine of two,000 adults, and greater than half mentioned they nonetheless have their childhood stuffy. Almost one-third of these surveyed mentioned consolation was the very first thing they thought-about when picturing it.1
Now, as a dad in my mid-30s, I’m watching it occur once more from a very completely different perspective, that of my 2-year-old daughter, Adley. She began preschool for the primary time in January. The primary few days of drop-off had been troublesome, which we anticipated, but it surely didn’t make it any simpler.
My spouse and I started second-guessing ourselves, as I think most dad and mom do. Is our daughter emotionally able to be away from us for 4 hours every day? Did we begin her at school too quickly? However after per week, we realized our considerations had been unfounded, and he or she was doing nice!
Enjoying ‘The place’s the Water Bottle?’
The varsity takes footage and posts them on its web site so we will see all of the enjoyable issues Adley’s class did every day. After a few weeks, my spouse and I observed a constant theme: Adley’s water bottle.
Not in just a few footage, however in each photograph. Every single day.
- When the youngsters had been studying collectively, Adley was clutching her water bottle.
- When they’re in P.E. class and operating within the health club, Adley is holding her water bottle.
- When she is climbing on the playground, Adley is holding her water bottle.
At first, I simply discovered it entertaining.
It was like a “The place’s Waldo” e-book making an attempt to determine the situation of the water bottle in every image. However then I started to surprise why she by no means put it down. Is that this regular? Is that this wholesome? It seems the reply to each these questions is sure.
Transitional Objects Are Widespread
Researchers and scientists refer to those as transitional objects. Often, they take the type of a blanket or stuffed animal (like Chippy), however they are often nearly something, together with Adley’s water bottle.
A examine printed in 2016 discovered between 60 and 70 p.c of kids in america and the UK have some transitional object.2
This concludes it is not uncommon.
A Giggle Journal article states, “Most psychologists and consultants right now agree that these attachments usually are not unhealthy in any respect and should result in the next degree of vanity and luxury.”3
This concludes it’s wholesome.
One other examine suggests a baby’s sturdy attachment to a transitional object can point out a powerful bond with a guardian and general happiness.4
This concludes it could result in sturdy connections between dad and mom and their youngsters.
Attachment is a Good Factor
I started my analysis, not sure of what I might discover. However now I’m satisfied Adley’s attachment to her water bottle isn’t solely utterly regular but in addition an indication of happiness and progress. It’s additionally a pure signal of growth and a coping mechanism to battle separation anxiousness.
Is it unusual that she selected a water bottle, not a blanket or stuffed animal? Positive. Nevertheless it looks like a easy compromise to make as Adley continues her transition into a brand new atmosphere. Specialists say the attachment to those objects intensifies round three and normally begins to wain inside a yr or two. However it could proceed into the later levels of childhood, which isn’t dangerous.4
The query for my household is, will Adley’s attachment to water bottles attain Chippy territory? I’m certain Chippy remains to be in a closet at my guardian’s home. Get me a aircraft ticket and quarter-hour in my childhood bed room, and I’m prepared to guess I may discover him. That is our connection to our favourite childhood stuffed animals or favourite objects. In a method, it’s a gateway to our childhoods themselves.
Fond recollections that by no means really go away; they’re simply hiding behind the closet.