"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who comforts us in all our affliction" -2 Cor. 1:3-4
From the day a baby is born, a parent's number one goal is to protect and provide. A baby's number one goal is to be provided for and protected. What a great combination! As moms know better than us dads, babies "long for the pure milk…” Most babies don’t have to be coerced into loving their security blankets, eating or being cared for by mom and dad. But the “care for” concept gets a bit complicated later on.
It is commonly believed, the term security blanket was popularized in the Peanuts comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz, who gave such a blanket to his character Linus van Pelt. Linus called it his "security and happiness blanket," in Good Grief, More Peanuts printed in 1956. If a child has not acquired the ability to pronounce complex onsets, it may be a "Banky", a "Woopie" or a "Wink." Our kids called them "Bobbie" and "Blankie."
In human childhood development, the term “transitional object” is normally used. It is something, usually a physical object, which takes the place of the mother-child bond. Common examples include dolls, teddy bears or blankets.
Donald Woods Winnicott introduced the concepts of transitional objects and transitional experience in reference to a particular developmental sequence. His research showed that most children need a physical object to replace mom and dad. The blanket comes to represent the love and nurturing of mom when she leaves (naptime and bedtime).
Research with children on this subject was performed at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by Richard H. Passman and his associates. Among other findings, they showed that security blankets are appropriately names- they actually do give security to those children attached to them (what a surprise)! Along with other positive benefits, having a security blanket available can help children adapt to new situations, aid in their learning, and adjust to physicians' and clinical psychologists' evaluations. Passman's research also points out that there is nothing abnormal about being attached to them. In the United States, about 60% of children have at least some attachment to a security object.
Our goal as parents is to do the best job we can transitioning our kids from dependence on us to independence. But that independence is actually trading dependence on us to a healthy dependence on other things, namely God.
God is the ultimate security blanket. I've heard some people say "God is just a crutch- a security blanket. People just depend on him cause they're weak." You know what? Those people are right. But someone who isn't depending on God is depending on something else. Exercise, money, and fame are all "security blankets." As humans we were invented to depend. And our Creator is the only one who can effectively fill the void.
But we don't give up easily. According to a 2011 survey by Travelodge, many adults take comfort objects away on business trips to remind them of home. About 35 percent of British adults still sleep with a teddy bear.
During this Pandemic time, many of us don’t have our usual blankets. Sports, concerts, and gatherings have all been postponed for a while. And while blankets are OK, but we need to remember and teach our kids that the only thing that brings true security is Jesus Christ.
He is the only "Bobbie" that never wears out.
May we all carry Him with us each and every day.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©