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Psychological Effects of Stuffed Animals in Children

By Guest Author On June 7, 2011 Under Improve Your Life, Improve Your Self Esteem, Self Improvement

One of the cutest things is seeing a little tyke carrying around his favourite stuffed animal in every single place he goes. You’ll not only see him speaking to his small stuffed doggie, but pointing things out & hugging him, as if he were “real” live dog.

If you have a young child with a favorite animal, then you know all too well the trauma that the whole family goes through when it is lost. Until it is found, the child may have a hard falling asleep at night.

This attachment to stuffed animals is natural & is actually beneficial to children. Plenty of times it is their first toy and can be their best mate, defending them from the dark when they go to bed. Stuffed animals make excellent companions that children can talk to and express themselves through role play.  Stuffed animals may even be an outlet for emotions & feelings that they may not be able to express in other ways. “Play” is the natural way a child expresses themselves, as “words” are for adults.

As a child grows older, the animal becomes even more special as it will bring back brilliant memories of things they have done and places they have gone. The animal may also have been a gift from a special relative which also brings back memories.

Stuffed animals have also been used in therapy by psychologists to help with plenty of issues children may have, such as: hyperactivity, aggressive behaviors, temper tantrums, staying quiet and relaxed, and nightmares. The animals are also used in play therapy where the kid’s natural means of expression, namely play, is used as a therapeutic method to assist him/her in dealing with emotional stress or trauma.

In some hospitals, children are allowed to bring their stuffed animals with them. This not only helps them feel more secure and comfortable, but makes a great way for the doctor to ease their anxiety about a pending operation to them, or their loved one. Some doctors can even use the animal as a way to show the child what will be happening to them, or their loved one, during the operation, and may even apply bandages to their “pretend” boo-boo’s.

If a child is brought to a hospital after a traumatic incident, sometimes they can answer questions simpler in the event that they are “talking” to their stuffed animal, as against a police officer. It helps them relax and “open up” whereas they may have not desired to answer any questions because they were terrified.

Did you know that stuffed animals can be therapeutic later in life? Stuffed animals are not just for kids… they make great companions for the elderly at convalescent homes. They offer a wonderful sense of comfort and security and a soft, sweet thing to hold. The Jellycat truffle stuffed animal not only makes a great friend, but can even be used as a huggable pillow, too!

In the event that you have any additional “unused” stuffed animals lying around the house which you do not need, you might think about donating them to a children’s middle or convalescent home where they are sure become a loving companion to somebody in need.

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