Approximately 1.2 million children belong to families with active duty military personnel; 40 percent are under the age of 5. The stress of separation, the disruption in routines, the anxiety the at-home parent feels can all have a serious impact on a young child.
‘Daddy Dolls’ (or Hug A Hero Dolls) are the brainchild of two military moms, Tricia Dyal and Nikki Darnell, who make them in Nikki’s basement as a way to keep the deployed parent in the mind of the child.
The unique Dolls and other objects or traditions can help kids deal with the absence of a parent.
Recommended by child psychologists, Hug-A-Hero™ dolls have helped thousands of children cope with the stresses of separation. Whether you are deployed with the military or a grandparent living across the country, Hug-A-Hero™ dolls will keep you close to their hearts and just a cuddle away.
- A personalized photo of dad on the front – many are done from pictures of daddy in uniform.
- A personalized message(up to 18 characters) on the front like “Daddy Loves You”
- Your choice of 8 fabrics
- A keepsake pocket on the back to store a special note or trinket from dad
- An option to ‘double the huggs'(L- $38.95, S – $31.95) by adding a second picture on the back
- An optional voice recorder($7.95) that stores a personalized message from dad
Experts say that children under the age of 1 might become confused or even upset at hearing dad’s voice come from a doll, but the soothing presence of another significant adult makes all the difference. And for most kids, an object with an image of a deployed parent can bring comfort or help them express anger or sadness.