Do you have a family member deployed or on course? The transition from having a parent around to the parent being away can be tough on children.
To make things easier when it comes to separations when a parent is away, the Military Family Resource Centres started carrying Daddy Dolls. If you haven’t heard of Daddy Dolls, they are stuffed dolls dressed in military CADPAT. You can personalize them by inserting a picture of mommy or daddy where the face would be, and you can also record a message that plays when the doll is hugged.
You are able to record the parent’s voice in-person, via Skype, or through the computer. Plus, the recording does not erase when you change the batteries.
Audrey Storch created the huggable, picture frame dolls after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995. Her children, both under the age of 10 had a difficult time adjusting to her being away during her surgeries. While she was away, Storch would give them pictures of her to calm them, but it wasn’t the same as her being there to hug them physically.
Later, after learning she was cancer free, she made her first Huggee Miss You doll.
“I always wanted to start my own business and help people, so my husband supported me, and we took loans against our home, and in 1999 after hundreds of hours of research, I made my first twenty-one-inch size Huggee Miss You,” said Storch. “I called it that because every time I came home my son would say, mommy, mommy give me a hug, I missed you!”
After years of working at trade shows and market research, she invented the recordable versions of the doll.
In 2003, Storch introduced the military Daddy Doll, which has helped over 750,000 military children feel safe, comforted and takes their fear away.
“Not only military, but we have also helped anyone missing someone they love. We can’t always be there for the ones we love but Huggee Miss You can,” said, Storch.
The response towards Daddy Dolls was overwhelmingly positive, and the MFRC’s quickly ran out. Although the MFRC’s no longer carry them, you can order them online here for $16.95 USD.
You can read about the adventures one Daddy-Doll had at grandparents’ house in our Been There, Done That article in our Fall 2018 issue of the magazine.