In a previous post we talked about a common misfortune that befalls children… the little lost doll. This week we’d like to offer some advice on how to handle it:
If you’re the parent of a desperately unhappy child, what can you do?
- Try to recognize how much of the child’s anguish you have caused by your reaction. Like if you’ve gone OMG! ballistic and frantic… your child is going to ramp it up as well. So step one – calm down. Don’t let your panic, anxiety or guilt roll over onto the child; do a due diligence search with the child to see if you can find the lost doll, and then as quickly as possible,
- Find a suitable substitute fast – transfer the child’s attachment to a new lovey. It doesn’t have to be exact! It just has to be suitable to the child. Many a time we’ve offered “Lovey’s little sister,” or Boo-Boo Bear’s brother has come for a visit…his name is Boo Boo Panda”, or even a complete replacement… “The Cat in the Hat heard you lost ‘Fuffy Cat’ and wanted to come play with you instead.” You’d be surprised how often these substitutions, when offered in a calm and reasonable presentation, end up working out just fine!
Once your world finally settles back down, here are a couple of additional suggestions:
- Teach your child to have different favorites for different things, like a bedtime favorite that stays with the bed, and a playtime favorite that can go in the car!
- Have an agreed upon ‘Little Miss Back-up’ lovey that keeps your child company when Number One Lovey goes in the wash.
- If you see a child is really, really attached to a particular doll, teddy or lovey, buy a second one now before there’s a problem.