Most people have heard of Paddington Bear, the sweet little teddy bear taken in by a family in London, he loved to eat marmalade sandwiches, keeping them safely under his hat so that he could nibble them whenever he felt hungry.
Winnie the Pooh is equally famous, he’s a lover of honey and a friend to Piglet and Tigger. These old favourites, bears from our history, paved the way for more recent famous bears such as Care Bears and Gummi Bears.
All of them hold a place in people’s hearts but have you ever wondered why we might feel so attached to our teddy bears?
If you have your own special teddy bear from the past, you might be well placed to understand the psychology behind the strong attachments that people form with their bears! Is your bear scarred from journeys you took it on when you were a child? Did you insist on taking your bear to the most inappropriate places despite of the protestations of your mother or father?
If so, then you’re probably one of the 60-70% of people in the UK who form strong emotional attachments to a single toy.
A Bear is for everywhere.
Did you always insist on taking your bear to the swimming pool, for example, despite the obvious difficulty that he would have in the water? Perhaps you insisted on taking your bear to the fairground where it not only ran the risk of being completely lost if you dropped it but where it was sure to be daubed in candyfloss by the end of the day, never able to quite fully recover from the evidence of the day’s adventures? Or maybe your bear absolutely had to come on a boat trip with you, creating stress and worry for your parents who spent the day feeling nervous that he would be dropped over the side of the boat, leaving you inconsolable, unable to sleep and traumatised for the foreseeable future.
These are the bears who have been truly loved! These bears kept you company through thick and thin, in good times and in bad, up trees, in sandpits, next to you at the tea table and even whilst you learned to cook chocolate cake for the very first time. These are the bears who are stained and torn, they are threadbare and ridden in holes. Their squashed bodies show the evidence of hugs that lasted for days and days, their patch repairs and hastily stitched holes remind us of the distress we were caused when they were injured (and they remind us of those kind souls who fixed them when they broke). These bears were your true companions, your friends through childhood!
A wealth of research into the imaginary world of children has suggested that children who form a strong emotional attachment to a toy tend to be less shy, more able to focus their attention and tend to have a more advanced social understanding relative to other children. If a child pretends that their teddy is their best friend it can mean that the child will tend to enjoy interacting with others and, when no-one is around to play with, they make someone up.
So go on, dig out your old teddy bear and remember the good old days, the adventures you used to have together and how much you cherished your teddy bear. Those scars on his body can tell some stories! Of course nothing has changed really, children nowadays are still going on adventures just as good as the ones you used to have. Teddy bears are still being dragged around as trusted and loyal companions, but one thing has changed – sending a teddy bear gift has never been so easy: choose one today from Send A Cuddly and get it delivered by post – let a new adventure begin!