The Therapeutic Value of Teddy Bears

Published: 05th July 2009
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A child's attachment to one particular Teddy Bear might seem a little bit ridiculous, but there is a therapeutic value in Teddy Bear bonding. During the early developmental years a child starts to separate from the parents and finds that they have more experiences on their own that can be frightening, confusing, or overloading. A child's bond with a Teddy Bear can be their chronic voice in their ear that takes the place of your constant presence.

Children will give up their Teddy Bear needs as they learn that they do not need a single constant presence in their life. For some kids, this is as young as age two or three while others might hang onto the teddy bear throughout their teens. It's simply another form of comfort, which is something that we all do one way or another. An attachment to a Teddy Bear can only be considered "unhealthy" if the child refuses to engage with anyone outside of the teddy bear and immediate family members. However, it's not the attachment to the teddy bear that is unhealthy, but a sign that there is an unhealthy response to stress or stimuli that bears further investigation.

Children who lose their Teddy Bear attachment because they have reached a magical age set by the parents can experience literal emotional harm. Just adults find comfort and consistency in their world through a wide variety of habits and comforts, children do the same and that sudden loss can be scary and painful to say the least. Besides, you aren't removing the child's need for comfort; you are just demanding that they replace it with something else. Many children who lose their teddy bear attachment at the hands of a frustrated parent will immediately turn toward thumb sucking and other behaviors which can be considered even more "antisocial" than the Teddy Bear habit.

Adults who still have one or two special Teddy Bears in their presence are actually able to self soothe in that same way that a child clinging to a Teddy Bear will self soothe. Somewhere along the way many of us have turned toward external forces to soothe our woes. Teddy Bears are highly effective at helping adults remember the power of self soothing and self comfort.

Teddy Bears are universally loved for those wonderful childhood moments that there was no other witness to a great personal event other than the teddy bear. So often they were our witness when we learned how to live without diapers, while we practiced tying our shoes, when we cried at night, and when we turned our bedrooms into stadiums full of adoring fans. The Teddy Bear is the longstanding permanent date gift that is almost always guaranteed to be a big hit. The Teddy Bear is our reminder of a time when we worried about putting one foot in front of the other instead of worrying about the bills.

If you remain unconvinced that a Teddy Bear has therapeutic value for kids and adults, fish out your old Teddy Bear and find the emotions that return to you. He was there for you in a way that no living entity could be, and now he is there for your child in a way that you can't fulfill. Allowing a child to hold onto a Teddy Bear until they are ready to give him up is a normal childhood step.

Paul Lakeman- AKA Funkybearman is an expert on beloved Teddy Bears. In fact, he has an extensive selection of wonderful Teddy Bears that can be personalised with any message of your choice and would love you to visit at www.funkybears.com or www.topteddy.co.uk


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