MetroImma

An online community for Jewish moms

I was asked by a company to write a blog on a thumb sucking product.  Ironically depending on which way you look at I am either the best person or worst person to write about this

It's confession time…

Even super human moms have their quirks. I already told you how I do not change diapers. I have another secret….

When I was a kid, I had a blanky appropriately named Sucker Thing. It has been my lifelong companion. As a kid, my parents thought they had banished thumb sucking by putting black pepper on my fingers. Only my nanny knew where I hid Sucker Thing. Gavin was introduced to Sucker Thing and he was advised that we are a package deal . No Sucker Thing – no marriage. I am actually lucky that Gavin thinks it's kind of cute.

So Sucker Thing has been cut into successively smaller pieces. I keep losing pieces and I am now hanging onto a really small piece. After all, it's seen 67 countries and countless other places. It has been hidden in bags that accompanied me to university exams, job interviews and business meetings.

Sucker Thing is one of my greatest pleasures--it calms me and makes me feel secure. When Meron had his blanky called Guga, I simple could not tell him big boys don’t have blankies because big mommy does. Meron outgrew his but I did not.

It’s one of those parenting moments when you have to imagine what message you are giving your kid. Funnily enough, when I have discussed this with people, so many adults--including guys--confess to still having rabbits, teddys, blankies, and other childhood mementos.

We as parents invest so much in making our kids feel secure and confident. Is it so bad that we adults hold onto a childhood security blanket? I would love to hear what Metroimma’s have to say on the topic...

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Tags: confession, moms, secure, sucking, thumb

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Comment by Ellie S Grossman on October 24, 2012 at 8:02pm

Its better than chocolate.

Comment by Rachael Zavodnyik on October 24, 2012 at 9:46am

I had a blankie until I was in my teens. It travelled with me out of the house only until I was 6. I remember I took it with me when I went to university on the Gold Coast. It disappeared when my parents moved to be with my sister and me. Oddly enough, my snoopy, my oldest teddy bear is still around. My son developed triticomania as a very young child, before he was 2 and I had to cut all his hair. I was devastated. No upsherin. It was that or bald anxious child who would never stop pulling out his own hair. I shaved his hair short and gave him a teddy (Dov) who now has no hair. Reuben is now 8. Dov is well loved, much like my snoopy who is 38 (like me). I say tehillim weekly. I dont think having a special thing that brings you comfort is a bad thing. I dont think having an object that transfers anxiety is a bad thing. In Reuben's case it was prescribed by a Paediatric specialist! That you love something and show your love for something special, I think teaching that to your children and the care of that thing and how that can translate to family and each other and themselves, that is so much more important. Go Sucker Thing!

Comment by Jodi on November 5, 2010 at 5:18pm
Hi all

I am not offended in anyway at all. I woudl not have gone public if I was afraid of comments>

I personally ahve no problem with my kids knowing about sucker thing> I never take it out in public and although it accompanies me to interviews etc its my secret.

i am comfortable with my situationand aware that the goal is to teach my children to feel secure regardless of a blanket but I am not juding them if they want the comfort.
Comment by rebecca klempner on November 5, 2010 at 12:50pm
I'm sorry if I offended any of the blankie/teddy/etc.-maintainers out there. My concern is primarily because, as Jodi's original post points out, you're sending a message to your kid. If you don't mind your kid replicating your behavior, than it's o.k. to keep that security object into adulthood. I think that security objects are great through the preschool years (and for adults, it's better than alcohol/drugs/TV/etc.). Even older kids can benefit from having them at home. However, once teen and adult years hit, it could cause negative social consequences aside from any reflection of one's psychological state.

My son has autism, and thus engages in self-soothing and repetitive behaviors at a higher than normal rate. The advice about such behaviors that all his therapists, etc. have shared with my husband and me (and we have gotten the same info from Jewish parenting classes for neurotypical children) is that if the habit is neither harmful to him nor has negative social consequences, then leave it alone. However, if it is either harmful to him OR has negative social consequences, then it needs to be dealt with.

Jodi reports taking it to exams and job interviews. If an interviewee got caught at an interview with Sucker Thing or the like, they could loose the job opportunity! Imagine asking a rav or rebbitzen for advice (or a judge in a court room) and seeing them rub a scrap of blankie in their pocket. It could undermine their authority in many people's minds. What if someone forgets their blankie during finals week and can't calm down enough to perform well on an exam? And although Gavin is more than tolerant of Sucker Thing...some spouses would not be. I wouldn't want my child to have any of these heartaches.

Also, it occurs to me that for some people, it's not the security aspect, but the sensory aspect of it. I know a lot of people particularly gravitate to the texture of the object, for example. Maybe a more "adult-appropriate" object could be found: a pocketbook with a satin lining, a belt with a pleasant texture, clothes with the same color, etc. My suggestion of tehillim is just that...a suggestion. One that is viewed as more adult-appropriate. I picked up from Jodi that it's specifically the parenting aspect she was most concerned about, so that was what I was responding to.

I'm not an expert, but I wanted to share my impression. Maybe ask Slovie to respond?
Comment by Talia Davis on November 4, 2010 at 3:26am
I still have my blankie... don't often admit to it but you have inspired me. About 6 years ago in LA a dear friend of mine, who is a gifted seamstress, sewed it into a pillowcase for me. She gave me a soft and fluffy feather pillow to put in it and we have been inseparable since. Yes, Hashem is in control and I trust Hashem... however, I have faced a lot of loss in my life and having this piece of my childhood to connect to is special.

Thanks for sharing this, Jodi!
Comment by Debra Alvo on November 3, 2010 at 3:00pm
It's not about 'who's running the show', it's about comfort. Yes, Hashem provides us with comfort, but then Hashem also provides the threadbare object to provide that source for the little and the big kids, ie) the adults.
Keep holding on Jod, it's harmless to anyone else and mostly to you.
Comment by rebecca klempner on November 3, 2010 at 2:51pm
Maybe you need a replacement behavior. Say a pasuk of tehillim every time you want to hold your blanky. Then you associate comfort with Hashem running the show instead of a threadbare object.
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