Sleeping with a Stuffie?
Your son or daughter has been sleeping with a stuffed animal since they were small. Now they're hitting their teen years, and that grungy old bear is still making it's home on their pillow. Whether to throw away that old bear or not has hung up parents for years, but scientists say that it shouldn't. If you're teenager still likes to sleep with a comfort stuffie, it's fine to do so and may even be beneficial.
While it may seem like your kid is the only one on earth who still has their stuffed animal, they're actually just one of a startlingly significant number. Over 1/3 of all adults admit to sleeping with a stuffed animal, and while scientists once thought it was a sign of poor attachment to parents, the opposite is true. Children who sleep with stuffed animals do so as a reminder of the love they already possess.
During this stage of childhood, comfort toys like stuffed animals are used as transitional objects. Instead of holding onto you for comfort, they hold onto the toy so they can still be independent and secure.
Once they hit teenage years, those same comfort toys have a new purpose. Psychologists have found that teens and adults who sleep with stuffed animals experience fewer negative feelings, such as anxiety or loneliness.
The bottom line? Sleeping with a stuffie is harmless no matter how old you are, and may be beneficial. If your kid is still sleeping with a stuffed animal, let them have it for as long as they want it.