Why Do Children Become Attached to Security Blankets?
Many parents of young children have experience with the importance of a security blanket. A child becomes attached to a particular blanket and might wish to bring it along with him everywhere he goes. Alternatively, he might need it to sleep every night. Psychologists have long studied the attachment that children develop to security blankets.
A security blanket is used to curb anxiety in a child. According to Psychology Today, children with security blankets are more likely to adjust to a stressful situation. The security blanket serves as a proxy when the child is away from her parents, particularly when she goes to bed at night.
A security blanket provides both comfort and a secure feeling to a child. His attachment with the blanket provides a stable feeling in a potentially unstable environment. Security blankets prove especially helpful in new situations in which the child longs for something familiar. Research indicates that no long-term harmful effects occur from a child having a security blanket.
Other objects besides a security blanket can feel just as important to a child. Additional attachment items include favorite toys, stuffed animals or pacifiers. The attachment can happen naturally or might occur as a result of encouragement from the child's parents. In some cases, a child will show no affinity toward a security object.
A common misconception is that there is a correlation between a child's attachment to her mother and the need for a security blanket. A study of 74 toddlers conducted by the American Psychological Association shows that attachment to the child's mother and attachment to a security blanket are unrelated.
If a child has a security blanket, it is important to practice good hygiene. Make sure it is washed regularly to keep it clean. Also, your child might need to leave the security blanket at home when he goes to day care or preschool. A teacher might be concerned that the child will become too territorial over the object.