As a parent, there are few things cuter than a young child whose best friend is a stuffed animal. While it might have been appropriate for your little one to drag around a favorite stuffed buddy everywhere as a toddler, the same can’t be said as your child moves beyond preschool and kindergarten. However, convincing your son or daughter to leave this furry friend behind can be easier said than done. Here are a few tips on artfully separating your reluctant child from a stuffed animal.
Make it a stay-at-home toy
Before you worry about the later stages of stuffed animal separation, your first step as a dad should be getting your child to leave his or her toy friend at home. Consider speaking with your little one about letting the stuffed animal rest at your house while you head to school in the morning or run errands on the weekends. The idea is for your child to get used to occasional breaks from the toy.
Offer a new distraction
As you segue into this new stage of development, consider offering your child a new activity on which to focus. For example, signing up for tee-ball or art classes can help your child have fun and make new friends in a stuffed animal-free zone.
Let your child say goodbye
It’s often best to let your child say goodbye to the stuffed animal on his or her own terms, so don’t feel like you need to put the toy in storage or take it away yourself. By keeping the fuzzy friend at home and away from other social activities, your child will begin to understand the age-appropriateness of the stuffed animal in time. Then your little one can say goodbye at the right time.