TIRED OF SEEING YOUR CHILD DRAG THEIR TEDDY OR BLANKET ALL OVER THE PLAYGROUND AND INTO YOUR HOME? USE THESE TIPS TO HELP YOUR CHILD GROW OUT OF OVER ATTACHMENT TO THEIR TOYS OR BLANKETS.
Growing attachment to a sentimental object is very normal for a toddler, and actually helps when it comes to bedtime cues and comfort in stressful situations. But there is a time and place for these beloved objects, and with a little consistency and care, it is possible to have your child grow out of the excessive attachment to certain objects, making it easier on caretakers and keeping things much more sanitary.
When possible, try to keep the toy or item to specific places or events only. For example, tell your child they can have their favorite item in the house, but not outside or at the playground, or they can bring it in the car, but can’t bring it in the store. If it is not possible to send them to school without it, this will help our caretakers enforce keeping it to indoor playtime so they aren’t tracking dirt in from outside.
It helps to say things like “let’s leave ____ here so he doesn’t get lost or dirty,” to help them understand that it is better for them to leave their toys at home where they will be when they return. Having a designated spot for their favorite toy is another way to help ease out of bringing it everywhere with them.
Keep Them Distracted
Having other toys, games, puzzles and things to keep their minds busy and engaged will help get their mind off of their comfort toy. This is a very useful trick when trying to wash their item or before leaving to a place they cannot bring it with them while avoiding a major meltdown.
Having a backup is also helpful in the event that the original goes missing – also avoiding meltdowns.
Make Your Child Feel Extra Loved
Comfort items are a safe place for kids, so if you turn up the love and affection, you’re filling that need and comfort so they aren’t only looking to their toys for that connection.
Children usually grow out of their attachment to certain items between 2-5 years old, and can stay around much longer after during stressful events, so don’t be alarmed if it is taking a while for your child to easily leave the house without their item. Be patient, but firm when necessary.
Toy & Lovey Rules at Claire’s Day School
For babies and toddlers, a blankie or lovey can help at naptime, and provide comfort in times of separation anxiety. However, always remember that our primary concern is the safety and well-being of each child in care, and sometimes security items are inadvertently left in the classroom at the end of the day, or accidentally go home with a different child. For this reason, we recommend that the thing your child can’t live without stay at home.
Also, outside toys are never allowed to be brought to Claire’s Day School. Trying to keep track of the dinosaur or dolly brought by Johnny or Susie is not the responsibility or goal of our teachers and caregivers. Also, it prevents fighting over certain toys. A big part of the preschool experience is learning how to share, take turns, and thrive in a different environment away from home!