I’m having a moral and ethical dilemma. Let me ask you outright; is it ever correct to limit access to a child’s comforter?
Mrs Adams and I find ourselves in a slightly thorny situation regarding Elizabeth, or youngest daughter. Like most kid’s she’s always had a comforter. It’s a bright pink strip of material.
Well, it was bright pink. Years of being dragged across car parks, dropped in puddles and food spillages have seen it become a strip of material with pink, brown, white and grey patches. Before you judge me, yes it is regularly washed but even so, I dread to think how many microbes live on that thing.
Anyway, Elizabeth is three but her fourth birthday isn’t that far off. We’ve noticed there is a big gap between her teeth caused by this activity and that she is most likely to suck her thumb when she has her comforter. The comforter is kept out of reach while she is at pre-school and the staff say she doesn’t ask for the material or suck her thumb while there.
Over recent weeks I’ve ‘forgotten’ to put the comforter in the car before going on some journeys. As opposed to sitting in silence sucking her thumb as she would often do, Elizabeth has been very sparky and we’ve had some wonderful conversations. It’s left me wondering if she’s become a little too used to having it with her.
This was a situation we didn’t really face with our older child, Helen. Sure, she had a soft toy called Sheepy that she loved. Thing is, she was never as reliant on it. More to the point, her comforter was lost when she was three and it has never been found.
Losing Sheepy was a traumatic experience. Not so much for Helen but for Mrs Adams who periodically went on expeditions to find Sheepy years after he went AWOL.
The question remains, what should we do with Elizabeth’s comforter? She’s not starting school for another year. We would ideally like her weaned off this heavily-smudged strip of material, or at least ensure she only has it at bedtime by the time she starts school.
Even so, I feel mean at the thought of doing it. I once read that kids use comforters as they find their way in the world. The love they have for their comforter is, essentially, a substitute for the love they have for parents they know can’t be with them 24/7. Under those circumstances, limiting access to a comforter seems a little mean.
Then again, she is a very sociable child and very capable of making friends. Her teeth are clearly suffering and she seems lively and happy when she has no access to her comforter or is engaged in an activity and has no reason to be thinking about it.
So come on readers, what is your opinion? Maybe you’ve been through this with your own children? Would it be wrong to slowly wean Elizabeth from her comforter or does that strike you as a bit mean? Please leave a comment and let me know.