Parenting: The "bear" necessities
July 7, 2011 (WPVI) -- My 9-year-old has a little brother named Teddy. He's a bear - a stuffed teddy bear. I forgot who gave Teddy to Nicholas, but he's been a part of our family since Nicholas was a baby.
And after almost ten years, he's not going anywhere anytime soon apparently. At time's he's my son's constant companion, his confidant, his playmate and his sleeping buddy (some nights his pillow).
Can a child become too old for a teddy bear? Especially boys?
I remember when my parents deliberately threw away my favorite stuffed animal when I was a kid (his stuffing was starting to fall out, and he only had one eye), but experts say that doesn't have to always be the case. While some parents believe their children ought to give up their teddy bears or security blankets or thumb sucking at a certain age, other parents feel that kids should be allowed to grow out of such things on their own - when they're ready. It's one of these internal debates where there's no "right" answer.
But here's some food for thought: a parent probably shouldn't take away a teddy bear simply because we don't understand the attachment. Just grin and "bear" it.
Of course, if the child insists on taking teddy to school every day, well that could be a problem. Otherwise, as one expert told me, "let a kid be a kid... there are far worse habits he or she could be developing". Isn't that the truth?
Certainly, all of us carry something in our hearts. So why shouldn't it be a precious stuffed animal? And you may come across an adult who will tell you they still have a teddy bear in their life, as a comforting connection to their childhood and happy memories.
If that's the case, then I hope my kid will have a teddy bear forever... just as long as he throws it in the washing machine from time to time!
rick williams parenting reports, parenting, rick williams
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