Whether they are snuggling with a velvety blanket or hugging a teddy bear, young children tend to cling to certain objects that give them a sense of comfort. While many parents may think of this as a negative thing, it is actually completely normal known as an “attachment” or “transitional” object.
On interview with New Woman, Rodrigo Flores Gallegos, Master of Science in Developmental Psychology at the University of Maastricht It tells us how important it is to understand where this need comes from and how it influences its development
According Explain Galician flowers, this is more common in children about one year oldas this is the time when they begin to explore their world on their own by sitting down, starting to walk, and manipulate objects with new materials.
“The so-called attachment or transitional objects have a special way of helping babies and children while they rest, play and grow. Over time, these beloved items become part of their daily lives, ”he asserts.
There is no specific object that children should fix their attention on. According to the specialist, they are having preferences for those objects that they can know in depth through their senses, which represents a certain identity, that they recognize and with which they make an anchor of trust.
“These objects represent things that they know very well what they are about. They give them security from their surroundings, they make them feel good and they help them to handle new experiences ”.
Children want it to be a maneuverable object or easy to transport, that does not weigh much and with which it is easy for them to interact. This is why blankets tend to be the most chosen transitional object as they also have many sensations. Smells are also a key attribute because they are part of a process of recognition for the same reason, it is common to hear that “they should not wash”.
Although many times parents worry about when their children should leave the object of attachment, experts assure that there is no “normal” age for this to happen. Nor should they force them to quit.
“They alone tend to separate themselves from their objects little by little because they are exploring new options, generating new preferences and detachment,” says Flores Gallegos.
According to the specialist, there are some criteria that say it is up to 3 years, although there are children who extend a little more and that is fine. “But if when growing we see that they have a dependency that generates irritability or annoyance if it is separated from the object (dependency symptoms), it is an indicator that suggests evaluating emotionally what is happening. Why are you not changing your emotional anchor to other things? You may need that object to feel comfortable and reaffirm your security.
Flores Gallegos adds that although it is common, not all children have an object of attachment, it is not mandatory and there is no specific situation behind it that triggers it. However, it is important always pay attention to your emotions.
Recommendations for parents:
-Try to get the baby to explore as much as possible with the objects. Let them interact as much as they can.
-If the object needs to be washed, they must do so aware that they are going to take it.
-Don’t force them to leave them. If when they grow up they do not do it alone, we must see what happens in the school or family environment. And in an extreme case of great anxiety or irritability when not having the toy, evaluate with a specialist.
-Do not saturate them with toys but do present options little by little for them to interact. This will help them to leave the object of attachment on their own.
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