A mum has popped up on parenting forum Mumsnet to share a dilemma that many parents have had to contend with.
“It helps her wind down”
She explained that she was having a lot of trouble weaning her daughter off her dummy, revealing that she’s now six years old and that taking away this comforting object makes her feel like an “evil” mum.
The mum says her little girl uses it to soothe herself off to sleep, and that it’s a bit of a ‘family secret’ that she still needs her dummy at bedtime.
“She is only allowed it strictly to go to sleep, it helps her wind down right before bed,” the mum clarified. “She is very aware that she is far too old for it, and would be mortified if anyone found out about it.”
This family has tried lots of different strategies to help this little girl kiss the dummy goodbye, but it’s a “massive struggle” and “every time she just gets so upset”.
“We’ve had visits for the dummy fairy, and Santa to take them away, we’ve read books about giving it up, and once we even ‘forgot’ it when we came back from holiday,” the concerned mum wrote.
“Three hours of crying”
After watching a TV show about a woman who helps kids give up their dummies, she says her daughter seemed keen to give it a go.
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“She was very excited for this, until she got into bed. She then started to sob, saying she missed her dummy, begging us to let her have it. She eventually fell asleep after three hours of crying, I even heard her in the night, softly sobbing. It was heartbreaking. This morning I told her how well she had done, but she just asked if she could have a dummy tonight.”
Now this mum is not sure if pushing her daughter to give it up is really what’s best for her child.
“On the one hand she’s way too old for it, on the other, what’s the harm?” the mum writes.
“It hasn’t affected her teeth, as the dentist has assured me, and her speech is fantastic. One second she wants to be a big girl and give it up, which we are here to help and support her for, the next minute she just wants her dummy.”
Scores of comments suggested simply putting the dummies in the bin and toughing it out.
“If she decided she preferred not to go to school and sobbed her heart out you would still send her?” one commenter posted. “You need to toughen up.”
“This is poor parenting on your behalf,” another critic wrote. “You need to be consistent with boundaries and supportive when she finds these boundaries difficult, without giving in.”
“I don’t know why you let the dummy fairy bring them back tbh,” someone else commented. “None of us like upsetting our children but you need to do things for their own good sometimes. My daughter really liked wearing nappies, tough!”
Let it go
But other people thought this was not really the big issue that some believed it to be.
“I sucked my thumb until I was around 10 and nobody could throw that away so I kept on going until I was ready to stop,” one mum wrote.
“I’m 30,” someone else confided. “I had my dummy until I was 8. I needed it purely because I had a horrendous childhood. It was my comfort. My only comfort.”
“Let her have it,” a sympathetic commenter posted. “Let her give it up when she wants. My daughter sucked her thumb much later. She finally gave up when ready and I realised I had wasted sooooooooo much time stressing over something unimportant.”