I was devastated this week that my twenty three year old childhood cuddly toy, Puppy, also affectionately known as Rat after years of love and wear, decided to shed its legs. Thankfully, a needle and thread were on hand and I was able to restore him to his previous form (although several inches shorter as sewing has never been my forte).
Before you mock me for retaining my childhood toy, it has been reported that one in four adults still have their cuddly toys. For many, toys have transformed into a tool for escapism, offering comfort in times of despair or trouble, even as adults, whilst also extending a patient listening ear (in all shapes and sizes). Needless to say, in a society that is obsessed with technology, it is obvious as to why a cuddly toy or baby doll is still gratefully received by children at Christmas time.
Seeking out a source of comfort can also lead children to dummy’s, friends or even invisible companions.
Invisible friends have become somewhat of a taboo subject between parents who often judge those children with friends of the imaginary nature as being lonely or lacking any social competence.
In fact, a study conducted by researchers in Essex has reported that it is perfectly fine for children to develop non-existent friends as it can help them to deal with being scared and provides them with an outlet to secretly discuss the trials and tribulations that a five to eleven year old experiences.
However, whilst it is still acceptable to own a childhood toy as an adult, still owning a childhood imaginary friend may see you with a prescription for Paliperidone and a visit to the local mental institute. I suggest sticking with the stuffed toy bear.
Link to news report