I don’t think I have ever needed a security blanket friend – a person that I have needed to have around to make me feel more secure and safe. Many children have a security toy or comforter when they are younger, but as they get higher up at primary school they tend to develop more coping mechanisms, so they give them up. This includes relying on security blanket friends.
This seem to be differ from child to child though. There are many children who will not do something unless their best friend is doing it, or someone they know is going to a party or an after school activity. They don’t want to do it alone. It is not because they are shy or quiet. They just need that security blanket so they have someone they can talk to just in case they don’t know anyone else.
Is this okay? Should we let our child of 11 years old call their friend every time a party invitation comes up or should we encourage them to make that decision on their own?
Ditching the Security Blanket
Your child either wants to go to a party/after-school activity or they don’t. It shouldn’t rely on their friend attending. If they do want to go, encourage them to go and enjoy it without their friend.
There will be hundreds, if not thousands, of situations in the future where they will have to turn up on their own and make conversation with people they don’t know so well. Shouldn’t we be getting them to do things where they don’t know anyone now, before they go to secondary school?
Shouldn’t we be giving and teaching them the tools to make new friends, start and hold conversations? Our children cannot always rely on a friend to be there and hold their hand. Teaching them interpersonal and conversational skills will stand them in good stead for the future.
I have written many blogs on raising children’s confidence and dealing with friendship and self-esteem to help parents help their children. Take a look at my previous blogs to give you the tools you need to help your child ditch their security blanket.