Lovies, whether they’re a stuffed animal, a security blanket, or other object, are important to children. They offer security in times of stress or change, and become something that transcends a mere object. They become friends, confidants, and teachers.
When a child loses a lovey, or it through some accident becomes damaged beyond repair, this can cause real grief for a child. This sense of loss is difficult, and your child may not always be ready to face it on their own.
The loss of lovies can cause an inability to sleep, and anxiety that the child used their lovey to cope with can resurface. It’s hard for parents, too. They may need to use extra steps to get the bereaved child to sleep, and may have to endure tantrums as children experience emotions too big for them to understand or process.
There are things you can do to help your child through the process of losing a lovey.
Marking the Lovey’s Passing
When a lovey is lost, having a family gathering to acknowledge the friendship that it had offered to your child can be helpful. It helps the child learn to grieve in healthy ways, and shows your child that you understand how important their friend was. It can give the child a sense of closure after the loss of their friend. Teaching a child how to grieve can be difficult, but helping them face this with support and understanding can help them understand how to cope with these big feelings later in life.
Remembering a Special Friend
If you have a photo of your child with their lost lovey, it might comfort them to have a framed print made of the photo. You can give it to them as a gift, or offer to hang it in their room. This acknowledges that the child’s love for their friend was real and important, and it gives them a healthy way to remember their friend.
Replacing a Lovey
We understand how important a child’s lovey friend is. When you lose a Bunnies by the Bay lovey, we do our best to find a replacement. If a replacement can’t be found, we can make a replacement for you.
At Hutch Studio, we work hard to create a handmade lovey that’s as perfect a match to your child’s lost friend as possible.
You may experience some resistance when replacing a lost or damaged lovey. Keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to trick your child into thinking that it’s the lost lovey, because the old lovey will have wear marks and even smells that your child knows well. Instead, treat the new lovey like a new friend who needs your child to love and care for them.
You could even have a little welcome party for the new lovey, with snacks and even decorations. Treating the new lovey as an important new friend may help your child accept the replacement lovey more easily.
It might seem strange or a little silly to make such a big deal of a lost toy, but remember; a child’s lovey is so much more than just a toy. It’s a friend, a teacher, and a comfort to them. Acknowledging the importance of this relationship will help your child feel understood and supported and loved.