Of all the moms that I know, I don't know ANY who are as strongly opinionated on this subject at I am... so, I'm just going to voice my opinion, and possibly open up a can of worms. oh well.
I have a huge issue with "Security" blankets, "Favorite" stuffed animals, and Pacifier use beyond a year. Let me give you my reasons.
I feel like Security blankets only allow your child to be shy and hold back. Besides, as an adult trying to get a child to interact with other children, it drives me NUTS when you have to work around them. It is like giving the kid a free pass just because they have that crutch that is NOT NECESSARY! I mean, if you never pushed that blanket on the child they wouldn't have this issue. I am pretty sure it starts innocently enough. When the baby is crying, you give her a blanket. Since it worked you kept doing it. Then when the older child gets emotional at all, you ask if they want their blanket. And when the child is 2 or 3 you are still asking them if they want their blanket, only this time, it's not the child who is ACTING like they want it, you just are doing it out of habit. And now your kid has a complex and can't participate in social activities because he or she has to have one hand on that blanket at all times. I know I'm probably 90% wrong, but these are the things that go through my head.
And as for that Favorite Stuffed Animal. Let me tell you... If you allow your child to get SO attached to a toy that you are having to take it from another child to give it to your kid so they stop screaming... you have another thing coming. Allowing your child to have that one toy that is theirs, and theirs alone... you are teaching them that they do not, in fact, have to share. That if they want something bad enough, they just need to make a stink about it and they will get it eventually. That their friends/siblings don't really get to share their toys. Isn't that sending mixed signals? And if you DO allow your child to become this attached to something, DO NOT bring it out in public... i.e. sending it to a social activity as a "security thing". This causes all KINDS of problems when another kid gets a hold of it. Your kid WILL set it down eventually, then another kid will pick it up and start playing with it. Is it this kid who is wrong? No, your child was finished playing with it for now. He should share and let the other kid play with it for a while. I HATE it hen an adult takes that toy away and says "Oh, this stuffed animal actually belongs to Bobby. Sorry." and takes it from the kid who rightfully picked it up and gives it to the screaming kid. I mean, COME ON! If you would just cycle your toys every once in a while, if you see that your child is growing attached to one toy, let it retire for a while until he loses interest. This doesn't allow your child to be so attached to a toy that you have these kinds of issues. And if someone does come over to play with your kids toys... that is the POINT of having friends over, to SHARE your toys... duh!
And Pacifiers... they just are annoying. I mean, I see the point of them when the child is an infant. Don't get me wrong, my kid used one. But once she turned 6 months I quit giving it to her during the day. She ONLY got it at night or at naps. By one, ONLY at night, NOT at naps. and the only reason she kept using it until she was 2 was because she was sharing a room with me and her sister at the time. But again, ONLY AT NIGHT. I refused to allow her to have it in when she woke up. Not only would that create speech delays and oral malformations... blah blah blah... that's not what I did it for. Allowing your kid to have a pacifier when it is not necessary again gives in to the "Security" item. The item that is Theirs and Theirs alone. It separates them from the group, it isolates them from any form of communication and socialization, and it gives them that "crutch" and an "excuse" to be that way. It's like putting a sticky note on your kids forehead that says "I am still a baby, you should treat me like it."
Again, these are my opinions, (there are plenty more where they came from). I am sure that all my mommy friends who read this will either completely agree or get defensive and completely disagree. But no matter what you did with your child (or plan to do) it is your decision. I would never judge you based on how you do things with your kids. These are just my opinions. take them or leave them.
love you all!