We’ve all heard the horror stories of kids who are too afraid to go to sleep without their beloved object, the blankie, and those parents who want to protect their child from the boogeyman, but don’t want to spoil the child’s sense of security.
This article will help you get your child to let go of the security blanket and start feeling more secure without having to resort to punishments or other disciplinary actions.
What is a “Blankie”?
If you’re not familiar with the term “blankie”, perhaps you’d be more familiar with “security blanket”.
The security blanket (or the baby blanket) is one of the most important tools parents have at their disposal when it comes to helping their children overcome any fears or anxieties they may have during early childhood.
It helps build confidence in the child by showing him that he can trust his parents and other people in his life.
If you have ever seen a child who has been through some traumatic experience, then you know exactly what I am talking about here!
When your child starts using the security blanket, they can feel safe and protected. Wearing a blankie can help your child overcome their fears.
How to Get Over the Blankie Phase
There are many parents who feel that their child is being “stuck” in the security blanket. It’s as if they can’t let go of the security blanket even though it no longer serves any real purpose.
Sometimes the adults have to put their foot down to get their child to give up the security blanket.
However, if you are too forceful about this, your child may end up getting upset. This will backfire on you, as they might become even more dependent on their blankie.
If you’re not willing to say no or take away your child’s blankie, then you can still help them by teaching them alternatives ways of soothing themselves that don’t involve holding onto a thing.
Here are some steps you could take to encourage your child to give up their blankie:
1. Give Them Time and Space
The first thing you can do is give them time and space.
If your child doesn’t want to give up their blankie, you could allow them some time and space on their own so that they can get a better perspective on the situation.
This will help them to be able to let go of the security blanket without any resistance.
It will also help them to be able to express themselves better when they are trying to let go of their security blanket.
You could also take away the blankie for a few days, and then return it and see how they feel without it.
2. Offer a Substitute
The next thing you can do is give your child transitional objects. In other words, offer them something else to soothe themselves with instead of holding onto their blankie.
An example is a stuffed animal, a baby rattle, or any soft objects that your child finds comforting.
For example, you could ask them what else they would like you to bring in from outside when you go shopping for groceries, or if there are any special toys that they would like you to buy for them at a store.
This way, you’re not asking for them to immediately discard their attachment to their comfort objects. Instead, you’re giving them a steady transition period so they can take baby steps–pun intended–to slowly lower their attachment to objects.
This will help them to feel more secure in their world, and they will eventually let go of the security blanket.
3. Put Time Limits
Another way to encourage your child to give up their blankie is by putting limits on it.
For example, you could say that the blanket is only for sleeping and not for playing with during the day. You could also tell them that they are not allowed to sleep with it at night if they want to get out of bed early in the morning.
This may make the process easier for them, as you’re not asking them to abandon the blankie immediately.
Letting them have small, gradual periods of time without the blankie can also help them to realize that their blanket isn’t really necessary after all.
4. Offer an Explanation
Another thing you can do is give them an explanation. Perhaps the reason they’re giving you such a hard time about the blankie is because they don’t understand why it’s necessary.
In that case, you could tell them why it’s important for them to let go of the blankie.
You could say something like, “I want you to feel more secure in your world and be able to let go of the security blanket so that you can feel more confident and safe.”
This will help them to understand why they should let go of their security blanket.
5. Talk About Their Feelings
The next thing you can do is talk about their feelings with them. This will help them to express themselves in a more productive way, and they will eventually be able to let go of the security blanket.
If they tell you that they don’t want to give up their blankie because it makes them feel safe, then tell them that they are not being responsible if they hold onto it too much and this is what causes their anxiety attacks and insomnia.
They might also need some therapy or counseling sessions with a professional therapist so that they can learn how to cope with their anxiety without holding onto the security blanket anymore.
6. Always Encourage Them
Another crucial thing you can do is to always encourage them. If you don’t, they may not realize that they need to let go of their security blanket and will hold onto it even more tightly.
This will make it harder for them to let go of the security blanket and they may feel discouraged. This will increase their attachment to the blankie, which will make it harder for them to let go of it.
You could always encourage them by saying things like, “You can do this! You’re a strong kid!” or “Let’s try again tomorrow.”
7. Give Them Rewards
The last thing you can do is give your child small rewards as they gradually move towards giving up their blankie.
For example, if they are still holding onto their blankie at bedtime, then you could ask them if they would like a special treat when they get up in the morning.
Or if they have already gotten rid of their blankie at night, then you could give them a special treat during breakfast time.
This way, you’re giving them rewards for gradual progress and making it fun for them to get rid of their blanket. They will realize that giving up the blankie is an achievement worth celebrating!
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