Have you ever had a stuffed animal that brought you great comfort? Transitional objects are items used to provide psychological comfort for children, babies, and adults. These items are usually physical objects that take the place of the mother-child bond. Transitional objects give emotional and tangible comfort during times of stress. I believe that stuffed animals are greatly beneficial to young children because stuffed animals provide comfort, companionship and help with social development. How do transitional objects provide comfort? When a mother or caregiver leaves an infant, the infant can become upset by the disappearance of their primary caregiver; this is called separation anxiety.
Comfort items are typically soft items reminiscent of the mother’s warm arms and breast. By cuddling the object, they feel as though they are cuddling the mother and as such feel comforted. These items are portable reminders of the comfort and security of home and parents, which enables many children to feel more confident as they explore the world outside their parents’ arms.
How do transitional objects help with social-emotional development? In my early childhood education class, I learned that social-emotional development includes the child’s experience, expression, and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others. Transitional objects help children manage their emotions. Role-play with stuffed animals and dolls is a safe, positive way to learn how to handle their feelings.
Relationships with siblings, parents and new friends can benefit from the role-playing children do with their stuffed toys. Through imagined interactions, children learn to empathize and practice behaviors they have seen around them. Have I benefitted from comfort objects? I have benefitted from comfort objects. I had several stuffed Barneys that I would alternate between, my favorite was a large one that I went to sleep with. I could always count on Barney to bring happiness and comfort to my day. The darkness brings me comfort as well. When I was younger, I would get really overwhelmed and would find any shred of darkness that I could.
This lasted until about my third-grade year. Today, the things that bring me comfort are the drone of a fan, music, and darkness. Overall, it may be said that transitional objects have benefits for those of all ages. Whether it be for comfort, security or companionship.