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Anyone know anything about transitional objects?

(5 Posts)
CapricaSpoox Thu 23-Oct-08 20:16:34

dd (5.2) has a cuddly puppy that is extremely well loved... by both of us grin.

Today when i was telling her i loved her so much, more than anything else she said "Do you love puppy more?" or something like that and I said, "NO! I love YOU more than anything else! Why would I love puppy more?!" but it then became apparent that she actually wanted me to say I loved puppy better than anything else, and I ended up saying I love him because he is hers and that it's like he's a part of her, but that it would be ridiculous to think that i could love puppy more than her or even as much!!! She was actually anxious that i should say I loved them both the same, it was quite odd.

What is that about?! i know transition objects are a big deal and a healthy thing for a child to have, in fact i have actively encouraged puppy and he was actually needed when dd was younger, but i am wondering if i've encouraged him too much. I am very fond of puppy myself... (I didn't let go of my own soft toys myself till dd came along come to think of it, I'm sure THAT'S not healthy!)

Have to say though, puppy has a very odd effect on ppl. My boyfriend, who has always rolled his eyes and/or looked very worried at me & dd's puppy antics, once found himself exclaiming "aww puppy!" and rescuing him, telling me off for dumping him out of the way behind something, and my friend when puppy was held gazing into her face went all wibbly over him once! She said he looked real.

Me & dd know he is real wink.

ummadam Fri 24-Oct-08 08:47:38

Sounds quite normal and I think your answer was really good! She is at an age where she is still working out the difference between real and unreal in her head (hence their rather wonderful imaginations) and working out what 'love' means to her. More, most etc will still be concepts she is working on even if she can give you the right answers. She loves puppy, she loves you, any further comparisons are evolving but still rather meaningless to her. She will probably ask again and I would probably give her the same answer. Maybe miss out the word ridiculous as it could be taken that you think she is ridiculous for loving both. If she has a sibling then you might want to include them too or add in friends or inanimate objects to hep her evolve her understanding eg " I love puppy and MN and chocolate and the cat but I love you and 'possible sibling' and 'partner if appropriate' most of all'.

CapricaSpoox Fri 24-Oct-08 11:20:40

Thanks! I didn't actually use the word ridiculous, i think i said "strange" or "silly", and i was joking around about it "you strange daughter" hug-hug sort of thing, she was laughing about it. I have been worried that she thinks i love puppy more, several months ago she asked me who i loved more, her or puppy, it worried me a bit so i felt i needed to counteract that somehow & was surprised when she was insisting that i love them the same.

My guess is that puppy is still not seen necessarily as "separate", from either of us. A transitional object is supposed to help the tansition from mum, isn't it, like it's an extension or a symbol of mum. and i see him as an extension of dd. a few years ago when we lost her first comfort object (doggy) i was distraught, it was like i'd lost a part of dd. maybe she's picked up on that sort of thing, so therefore i really ought to love him as much?

She doesn't have any siblings, and I have a boyfriend (not her dad). nobody comes close to her for my affections!!

ummadam Fri 24-Oct-08 12:28:53

Sounds to me like you are doing a very good job and puppy is working well for both of you If it ain't broke don't fix it grin

CapricaSpoox Fri 24-Oct-08 13:00:06


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