How do you wean your child off her or his dummy (or, as the Americans call them, pacifiers) and, more to the point, keep them off it? The Swedes have the answer!
The photos attached (taken in Lund, southern Sweden) show a ‘Dummy Tree’ – and, no, we do not mean a tree that is not too bright! The tree is situated near two nursery schools and when parents deem it time for their child to dispense with their dummy the child is taken along to the Dummy Tree and, with great ceremony, the dummy is hung on the tree. Sometimes the child hangs the dummy on the tree and sometimes father has to climb a step-ladder and hang the dummy high up. But the dummy is then LEFT ON THE TREE!
Photos are taken and great play is made of the fact that this is a permanent arrangement.
Any parent will see the advantages of this ploy: the child feels grown up and has done something significant; if the child asks for their dummy back the answer is, ‘Sorry darling – it’s on the tree.’ Hanging the photo in the house endorses the message that it is a permanent arrangement and lo and behold the dummy becomes history!