It’s adorable when your child shows affection to their first stuffed animal. The hugs and kisses they give it will assuredly make your heart melt. However, the cuteness will begin to fade as they grow up. Knowing the best tips for taking away your child’s favorite stuffed animal helps them let go of something they love for the better.
Understand Their Feelings
You may understand the weaning process of separating your child from their preferred comfort object, but they may not comprehend why you’re taking away their best friend. Therefore, a parent shouldn’t punish or embarrass their child if they cling to the object. If you use their stuffy as a threat of punishment, they will never let it out of their grasp.
Instead, try to reason and talk sense with your child. Imagine if someone took away something you have an affinity to out of the blue—you’d also be upset. Soft stuffed animals are integral for babies, so it isn’t unreasonable for a child to be stubborn about saying goodbye.
Find the Right Time
Timing is a vital component of our lives. Some things worked out in our favor because the timing was right. Likewise, bad timing could lead to major complications. You don’t want to begin the process of taking away something they love if they are already going through additional changes.
For example, their first day of preschool may not be the appropriate time to try making this change, considering their anxiety may already be high. The ideal time for the transition is toward the end of the school year or in the summer. During this period, there shouldn’t be many things on their mind, so they won’t rely on their comfort object nearly as much.
Take Baby Steps
Making the change suddenly, without any previous suggestion you would do so, will yield negative results. The best strategy is to take small baby steps, letting the natural progression make it easier. Forbidding your kiddo from their comfort object altogether is a recipe for disaster.
Try introducing the concept of leaving a toy behind in small ways first. Keep the stuffed animal at home while you go to the grocery store, and continue to do so for other places you go as a family. By the time you suggest leaving the toy behind for bedtime, they might be over it already.
Use a Substitute
There’s no harm to a substitute object if things go haywire. Items such as a locket, family photo, or watch can replace the stuffed animal when they need something to comfort them. It’s possible that taking a small piece of the stuffed animal to wear as a necklace could provide the same reassurance. The “they are always close to your heart” reasoning is usually something kids can accept.
These tips for taking away your child’s favorite stuffed animal or comfort object can help you minimize your frustration levels while attending to their needs. It can be challenging to accomplish this seamlessly, but it’ll be worth it.