Parents often wonder about the attachment that children have with their toys and blankets. It is unfathomable why kids are so emotionally drawn to their inanimate companions. Science tells us why. If your kids start crying when you throw away their favorite toy or blanket, do not be worried and know that all children do this.
Even as adults, there are certain material possessions and belongings that are special to us. Same follows with our children as well. A study found that children preferred their original toys and blankets - no matter how worn out or dirty they had become - to a new duplicate of the same thing.
Children believe that their cuddly toys and smelly scraps of materials possess a unique essence or life force. One of the main factors in this, however, is whether your children sleep with you or whether they sleep alone. In the western world, where kids mostly sleep away from their parents, their toys become an almost life-like comfort. In the eastern countries, where parents tend to keep children closer to them while sleeping, children do not get attached to their toys as much.
When given a new object, identical in every manner, children will still not accept it. This happens because kids think that there is a certain quality attached to the original item that does not come with the new one. Kids learn to attach a certain intuition and essence to the original toy which makes every other copy incompatible.
What to do about it:
Parents often worry about their child’s over-attachment to a certain object and want it done with after a certain age. This concern is reasonable and here are a few things that you can do about it –
1. Set limits and reason out with your little one to keep their toy away from themselves for certain periods of the day. For example – you can tell them that the teddy bear can be with them when they are in the house, but that they cannot take it to the playground with them, lest it gets lost.
2. Wash that toy/blanket. Children carry a particular toy with them so much that it becomes dirty and smelly. In such a case, it is a good idea to keep it clean by washing it overnight when your little one is sleeping or by reasoning with your child that their object of affection also needs a bath, once in a while.
3. Spend some time with them. Most children become attached to their toys in the first place because their parents aren’t spending much time with them. Try to give your baby some hugs and kisses and see how the toy falls away from their arms. It is very important that children realize that there are other sources of affection.
4. Keep your children busy. There are a lot of toys available in the market to help build children’s mental and cognitive abilities. These toys will not only enhance their skills but also keep them away from their star toy for a substantial amount of time.