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What do you tell your seven-year-old daughter when she comes up to you crying because there is silly putty stuck to her bear that she’s had since she was born?  Yes, you heard me right…since she was born.  I want to laugh sometimes, because I think it’s ridliculous for her to be crying over something so trivial.  Too mean?  Well, I don’t.  Besides, it’s not Christ-like.  I try to understand why she feels she needs it.  But; however, I do find myself asking her why she’s crying over a stupid animal.  I know, I shouldn’t use the word “stupid” but it just slips out.  (Need to work on that one.)   I just feel that her attachment to this bear is unhealthy for her, and that she needs to ”steer” away from the baby side, and start to grow up some and start acting like a young lady, instead of a little girl.   I also think it would be better for her self-esteem.

I have been trying to get rid of the bear for quite sometime now, about two years to be exact.  When she was six I told her that when she turns seven she was going to have to give it up.  Well, that didn’t work, so I told her that she could just sleep with it rather than tote it around EVERYWHERE!  That worked for a few days, but then I’d catch that bear at the dinner table in a chair, or on the couch, or somewhere other than on her bed.  And then when she would spend the night with Grandma she tried to catch me off guard by saying “I won’t be able to sleep without it.”   And, if I tell her that she should try, she pouts and then here come the waterworks!  So, what am I supposed to do then, send her crying to her Grandma’s house?  ‘Course she would have a different viewpoint, most grandmas do, but that’s a whole nother blog I could write about.

I want my daughter to grow up confident, and secure, and have a high self-esteem, but without having to, or needing to tote that bear or any other object around to feel that way.  I feel that if she “lets go” of all the other stuff now, that she would be successful in being confident, secure and feel good about herself.   I guess I’m trying to get her to grow up, because I have a rambunctious three-year-old son with a mean streak that takes all my sanity! (That’s another blog entirely, as well!)  :)

So, I would just like for her to grow up some, not a whole lot, but it would be nice if she would give up the bear, and doesn’t pout or cry when she doesn’t get her way (that really drives me nuts).   I keep reminding her that I already have one toddler; I don’t need two, and that I need her to help me out more, especially when my husband’s away.   She says, “Yes, maam”, but I guess she forgets because five minutes later she’s back to acting  like that “little girl” again.   I don’t know… maybe she has  ”little girl syndrome”… if that even exists.

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12 Responses
  1. Mom With A Pen says:

    One thing I know is that children, who are Army kids, lose that bit of security when Daddy goes away. I wonder if she’d donate the bear so that Daddy could have comfort when he traveled, and perhaps Daddy could send pictures every once in awhile of him and the bear? My daughter loves stuffed animals but doesn’t have a preference. She gives each of her dolls a fair “chance” at sleeping with her. Of course, different perspective I assure you!

    Just so you know I googled “giving up bear” and it said…do you mean, “giving up beer”. I’m sure that’s not the issue you are having, but perhaps another Mother who’s gone through similar circumstances can share… Good luck and stay strong!

  2. Debbi says:

    Maybe ask her to send it to one of the kids in Haiti who has nothing and that way she would be giving it up for something special and to help other kids in need!! Tell her I said that bid girls that play softball don’t need teddy bears!!! LOL

  3. Vintage Mom says:

    You sound so stressed with all you’re dealing with. In the whole scheme of things, how important is it you take away something your little girl treasures? You may not believe me now, but pushing a child into growing up before they are ready is always a bad idea. For one thing, you can never recapture this time in her life and when you look back, you will wish you could. It is so hard to be both mom and daddy when one parent is away. Do you remember when you were just seven? Your daughter may feel so insecure and abandoned right now. Please let her find comfort in any way she needs to, even a ratty old teddy bear. Really, you won’t regret it. Keep venting on this page and know you are supported by those who understand.
    Vintage Mom has been there and I feel your pain.

  4. Sometimes our children do things that make no sense to us at all! Holding on to the bear is one your daughter has. You, the adult, believe your daughter needs to let go of the stuffed animal, because a stuffed animal, to you, is babyish. Your daughter, on the other hand, feels very secure with this very old friend. It isn’t babyish to her. Your daughter is only seven and, as said above, with her father away, this old friend takes on even more significance.
    She is still a little girl and I am sure that by the time she is fifteen, she’ll leave that bear in the house in a box. ( I hope you are laughing. you betcha.) You’ve heard the expression, “Pick your battles”? This is one.
    I believe that hugging that kid when she is hugging her bear and telling her you are sorry you hurt her feelings and she can take care of her bear as long as she needs to will bring tears to her eyes and a greater appreciation for you, her empathic mother.
    please be careful using uncomplimentary adjectives for her bear or other toys. She will remember the way it feels to be discounted. You don’t want that. Her feelings are very important now and especially in her memory of the ‘now. Confidence comes from a lot of experiences. One of them right now is she can be herself, her mother will accept what she needs, and she will go on growing up, letting go of things when it is time.

    • Mormon Mom says:

      Thank you so much for reading my blog and responding; I guess I never thought of it that way! Okay, well how do I get her to stop the other babyish things, like pouting and crying when something doesn’t go her way? without hurting her feelings. But, it would really be a big help if she did mature some, since I have such a hard time with my son.

  5. I had a little puppy that I got at a company picnic where my dad worked, and I kept that until I was in my 20s. The ONLY reason I don’t still have it is because my grandmother gave it away to her home health aide for her son. I was really upset about it, and I was an adult!! :-D My older daughter is 6 and still has a puppy that was given to her when she was born, and she brings it to school with a blanket she’s had since she was born for naptime. I’ll be 110% honest with you, I wish she wouldn’t bring them. I don’t mind her having them around the house, but we normally don’t let her take them *in* with her anywhere except the grandparents’ houses. But because it was her first year of school, I let her take them in, and she still does. She doesn’t take them out as much, but they’re there in her backpack. Part of me loves that she still has that need for comforting, but another part of me wonders if I should be doing something more about it. I’m kind of just being patient on this one!

  6. Michelle says:

    7 is a hard age – so is 8. We want our daughters to “grow up” – - but wait, not TOO much. It is a highly confusing time. They don’t want to let go of their childhood yet they are eager to be BIG kids.

    I chuckled in reading this because my niece (age 34) STILL has her special stuffed toy from when she was a baby (she’s a mother of 2). And my husband has his baby blanket. So why “get rid” of the bear? Transition it to a special place of honor WITH your daughter. Get her to the place where she wants the bear to be “safe” so she’ll have him for all time. A special little chair where he can sit in her room might work.

    • Mormon Mom says:

      I did tell her that she didn’t have to get rid of it, but maybe put it on her shelf to look at from time to time, but not need it so much for security. I threaten to give it away, though, when she doesn’t mind me! :) That usually gets her attention! LOL I’m hoping by the time she turns 8 she will feel ready, but if not, I guess I’ll just be patient like Undomestic Mom.

    • Vintage Mom says:

      I saved my children’s favorite stuffed animals when they outgrew them and gave them back in “memory boxes,” with school papers, report cards, mementos when they were grown. My mother didn’t save anything from when I was a child and I wish she had. It’s almost like my childhood didn’t exist. One of the animals I returned was a ratty old Eyor that now lives in a special place at her house, along with her husband’s childhood stuffed bunny.

      I laughed when I read Michelle’s post, as once when I took a script-writing class, I wrote a short film about a woman who was so attached to her stuffed bear, she sewed it into a pocket inside her wedding dress. There’s more to the plot than that, but as Louise, a Marriage and Family Counselor wrote, holding on to those old friends to comfort her is right. One way of letting her know you understand she hurts and you still love her unconditionally.

      From your concern about this, I just know when the waterworks start you enfold her in your arms and ask her why she is crying and what can you both do to make it better? She may open up to you about what is really going on with her.

      Hold on, it will get better and vent whenever you feel overwhelmed.

  7. Mormon Mom says:

    That is something I would like to do! Right now I have that stuff put away in her closet, though, so they won’t get lost or torn up. And most of the time I know why she’s crying; it’s because she didn’t get her own way. But, I’ll keep it in mind the next time the waterworks come. Thanks.

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