Rascal is now four and a half. She will start school in November. Although she does not tend to suck her thumb in public (it is very much something that she does in the evening when she is tired), I'd hate for thumb-sucking to turn into a source of teasing for her at school and for some time I have been putting quite a lot of thought into how to help her to stop.
Then a few of months ago I read about how my friend Deb's daughter had a special visit from Santa Claus at Christmas. Her daughter gave her dummy to Santa and he, in turn, gave her a special doll... It got me thinking! I loved the idea of not punishing the child and completely taking away their comfort (lets face it, the children of Christchurch have needed comfort more than most over the last couple of years!), but instead just replacing it with something else. Gentle but yet effective.
For Rascal, thumb sucking is very closely associated with her piglet comforter. I reasoned that if we could get rid of piglet, then perhaps the thumb-sucking would disappear too (or at least be minimised)!
|Preschool Piglet; Piglet and Winnie the Pooh|
Rascal had a think about it and told me that she would like the new doll and accepted the conditions.
All that was a couple of months ago, and while the doll was being specially made for Rascal by Dee, we had a special visit from preschool. Lightening is a special teddy bear who is given to children to take home for the night as a reward for good behaviour. Rascal was super super proud to have Lightening home for a visit and as Mr Tartankiwi tucked her in to sleep that night she whispered to him that she was going to cuddle Lightening instead of sucking her thumb.
|Lightening and Pooh|
Rascal's new doll arrived this week. She is a complete hit! Although Rascal has admitted to sucking her thumb "just a little bit" at night, I have not once seen her sucking her thumb during the day! She is really really proud of her achievement and I truly believe that she is doing her best to stop sucking her thumb.
Thank you Deb for inspiring me to be a better parent and thanks again Dee for making such a beautiful new friend for my daughter.
I'm joining in with Miriam and Becoming the Mama You want to Be.