Psychologists call warm fuzzies "transitional objects" for children and they can be a little teddy bear or stuffed animal, a "blankie" or a pillow. Whatever it is, it gives the child a security object. I remember, when my grandson visited me and he left his "blankie". He missed it so much that I had to send it home to him the next day; he couldn't sleep without it. I also remember when I was a child and my brother left his teddy bear at camp. My father had to turn around and go back and get my brother's "best friend" before we returned home.
What do these warm fuzzies provide for children? Psychologists say that children need the companionship of a non threatening, special friend to help them deal with their fears and anxieties and they may use them to calm themselves down in stressful situations (like leaving Mommy to go to preschool). It is not unusual to find a preschool child reading to his or her special fuzzy companion or talking to one on a toy telephone. They are real and they are comforting. The warm fuzzy encourages emotional well-being and may, or may not, be abandoned at a later age. The attachments that we develop early, particularly to our stuffed animals, often last for many years.
I collect my teddies in many ways; some are from my travels, some have been given to me and some I just thought were cute and I bought them. I have a pair of little baby sloths that I bought in Costa Rica and a pair of dressed up teddies that I bought in Switzerland. One of my favorites is my koala bear that is, in reality, a golf club cover for my clubs. However it seems to have wound up on my bed and I use it as a hand puppet for playing with children.
Do men collect warm fuzzies too? Well, yes they do and some keep them on their desks or travel with them. We have an Eeyore who sits on a Harley Davidson motorcycle in our bedroom that belongs to my partner and a teddy bear that his daughter gave him from her alma mater. Although he and I are adults and have been professionals for many years, we still seem to hold on to these sweet objects. I don't disclaim my collection. My teddies are soft and friendly faces in a sometimes challenging world and I enjoy them. It seems that fuzzies are our security objects all through life.