Dr. Drew, Hands Off the Pacifier

Julie Ryan Evans

Dr. Drew PinskyAmidst all the drama surrounding death, addiction, abuse, and other major issues on last week's Teen Mom finale, Dr. Drew Pinsky couldn't let go of one little, tiny thing  -- a pacifier.

The good doctor was adamant that Ryan and Maci get Bentley, 2, to get rid of his pacifier.

Forget the bigger problems like him being pulled between two teenage parents wrapped up in a custody battle. There are more important matters to be had -- that damn piece of plastic in his mouth?

The fact that Dr. Drew even took the time or energy to focus on something so small in the midst of so many other huge life struggles was more than a little ridiculous. 

Almost as ridiculous as Ryan's rebuttal to Dr. Drew's questioning:

"I had a bottle 'til I was 2, and I turned out great."

Which actually may be an argument in the other direction, but ... in general, really, what's the harm in kids having pacifiers -- especially kids who could use a little bit of comfort?

Yes, I know all the reasons why you should get rid of pacifiers like potential damage to teeth and possible interference with communication skills.

But honestly, I don't care ... much.

My son (now 7) had his until he was 4!  We weaned him early to use it only in his crib ... and then his big boy bed. He didn't walk around with it, and it helped him sleep.

Plus, right about the time I was about to get hard core about making him give it up, we found out we were moving across the country. So to take that security away from him then seemed cruel.

Then one day after his 4th birthday, he wanted me to go on a roller coaster at Sea World. I HATE roller coasters, but I told him if I was brave enough to go on it with him, he had to be brave enough to give up his pacifier.

I made it through the ride, and he gave up his pacifier. And that was that. He was ready.

My daughter ... well, she's 21 months and still walks around with hers. I feel the glare of older women in the market as I imagine they're tsking me for letting her have it. Several people, including her preschool teacher, have made comments about her giving it up.

And she will, when she's ready.

For now, however, I'm not worried about it ... and neither should Dr. Drew be worried about Bentley and his. Let the boy be.

Oh, and for the record, my son has extremely healthy teeth, and my daughter has NO trouble communicating -- we actually have trouble getting her to stop talking.

Did/do your children use pacifiers? At what age did you take them away?

Image via mtv.com

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