Parenting - Behaviour | 3-12 yrs

Children And Imaginary Friends

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It is quite normal for children to have imaginary friends. And it isn’t unusual for parents go through a phase of getting to know about their children’s imaginary friends. According to an article in The Telegraph, “When parents were asked about the "kind" of imaginary pal their child had, most cited them as other little boys or girls, some parents thought their child had fantasy pets or characters from fiction and many attributed their child's alter-ego to an entirely made up creature.”

As a parent, have you ever wondered why children create imaginary friends?

In an article in, Kimberly Eckert, a registered psychologist in Calgary, says, “Children often create playmates just to engage in imaginative play (the way another child might play with action figures), but sometimes they do so when bored or lonely. An imaginary friend can also be used as a form of self-soothing during a big transition, such as adjusting to a new home or sibling. It’s a way for children to practice fledgling social skills in an environment where they’re in control.”

The sheer pleasure of making a world of their own with people or magical creatures or animals is the reason behind this phase in children. There are no problems associated with having an imaginary friend unless children start fearing this ‘friend’. Parents of children with imaginary friends need to parent the imaginary friend as well. Having an imaginary friend helps children learn so many things like taking control, wishful thinking and relieving boredom. As children grow up, most of them replace the imaginary friends with real friends.

Learn more about the mysterious imaginary friends of your child by reading this ClipBook. 


Imaginary Friends

It is quite common for children of about three or four years of age to have an imaginary friend. This may be another child or could be a magical person or an animal. Sometimes the imaginary friends change as the child grows older.

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