My 4-year-old daughter wants to keep her dummy. — How can I help her learn to do without it?
Caroline Khanafer, clinical psychologist. 3 Take advantage of a holiday or trip away from home and the everyday routine. You can help your child say goodbye to her dummy by symbolically leaving it beneath a tree (“the soother tree”) or by “giving” it to an animal. It’s a gentle way of moving onto other things. You can also make an appointment with a dentist, who’ll explain to her that dummies will harm her teeth. A doctor’s natural authority will make it easier to accept than simply her parents forbidding her to use it. Your child finds sucking her dummy soothing. Perhaps it is hard for her to stop because she needs reassuring. Ask yourself why you gave her the dummy in the first place. At any rate, stopping her from sucking it will help her to express herself differently.