The Importance of the Security Blankets
Many of you might have had a security blanket when you were young; that little item that made you feel safe, and which you carried with you everywhere you went. Children from all over the world still do it, as they have a favorite toy, or a favorite clothing item that they feel the need to keep close by.
The reality is that many grown-ups do it as well. Kaitlin Lipe is one of those persons. She received her security blanket when she was six months old, and now at 24, she still uses it. She is a social media manager in New York, but she can not separate from it. Whenever she feels distressed she likes to hug her Puffalump because it makes her feel better, and because all the negative emotions go away. She stated that the main reason why she still uses it, is because of the fact that it reminds her of her happy times, when she was younger, and when she did not have a care in the world. She is not alone in this situation, as there are many people who resort to certain objects in order to find their security.
The psychologists call these objects, “transitional”, and they represent an object to which the people feel a certain connection. The problem is that the connection or the relationship between them is one-sided, as the affection which the people offer to those objects is not returned. Not all the adults go and hug teddy-bears, but many of them become attached to an inanimate object. That offers them the same security that they felt when they were children when they stayed close to their security blanket. It is uncertain how many people still have their plush animals, but the results from a survey conducted on 6,000 British adults, revealed the fact that 35 percent of them admitted that they still sleep with a stuffed toy animal.
The survey might not be too accurate, but according to University of Bristol psychologist Bruce Hood, there are many adults who use various items as a crutch to use in difficult moments. She studies sentimental attachments to humans, and she said that she had lots of subjects, which proves the fact that many of the people use still use these kinds of objects. According to her, women are a majority when it comes to this situation, as more of them have sentiments for stuffed animals than men do. Psychologist and security object expert Richard Passman did a study in 1979 and he discovered the fact that 60 percent of the children are attached to a certain toy or blanket during their first three years.
There is no gender difference when it comes to this situation until the children reach school age. That is when things start to change, as boys start to abandon these items. It is believed that the main reason for that is the peer pressure. Simply put it, since the other boys have done, he is afraid to be known as the boy who still has a teddy bear. Prior to the 70s, it was believed that the children who engaged in these kind of activities were neglected by their mothers, and they even tried to stop them from doing it. Passman and other fellow scientists have made researches in this domain and have proven that the security blankets are not a bad thing. It was discovered that the children who were allowed to take the blankets with them at the doctor, felt better than when they weren’t allowed to do it.
They felt that the blanket protected them, and that made the experience much better. It was also revealed that even if the kids with ages of 14 did not use the blankets as much as they did in the past, they knew where it was located, which means that they haven’t completely forgotten it. Hood said that the main reason why the adults still use the blanket or the toy is not because of fear or anxiety, but because of nostalgia. They want to remember about the past, about the times when they had no worries, when everything was fine. Regardless of the reasons, emotions were still invested in the items, and the process is called “essentialism,” which is the idea that an object is more than a physical object.
The practice is very common. For example if one would tell you to replace your wedding ring for example with a replica, I am certain that you would not do it. That ring means something, and even if that person would offer you the exact same replica, the new ring would not have the same importance. It would not have the same symbol and it would not represent the memories you cherish. Objects are emotional because we make them in that manner, and it starts from an early age. When children were told that they could put their toys in a box, in order for them to be replaced with other toys they did it, but they did not place their favorite toy there. That toy meant more than an item for playing; it had emotions attached to it. It seems that not security blankets are warm and fuzzy, as people can get attached to regular items as well. For example, some got attached to coffee mugs, others to pens, and so on.
People get attached to items which they received from ex-lovers as well, and once again, nostalgia is responsible for it. Looking at that item reminds them of their time with that person. Do you have such an object?11