imaginary friends??

Crystal - posted on 04/13/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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my 5 year old has a beautiful crazy imagination...she is an only child and has a lot of imaginary play time shes constantly talking to pretend friends and acting out imaginary situations....i worry shell continue to do this while shes at school when she starts this fall.........how do i get her to only do this at the appropriate time so shes not made fun of or singled out.....my hope is with so many real children around her the imaginary friends will not be so nessasary she knows they are not really and she created them just for play but should i be concerned about this being a social problem for her?

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Danielle - posted on 04/18/2010

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I wouldn't worry about it being a social problem. My daughter is 3 1/2 and has more imaginary friends than I can keep count of. My aunt, who has a degree in early childhood education, says it's very good for children to have these friends and usually indicates a slightly higher IQ.

Izelle - posted on 05/04/2010

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My daughter, 2 years 4 mnths, is an only child and very popular with her friends at school, but the moment she gets home, she can't wait to play with her imaginary friends.

Let me tell you about my daughter's imaginary friends. We recently moved into a new house and all of a sudden she created this imaginary friends, imaginary we thought....

At first I thought nothing of it, I meen it's normal for kids of her age, right? But then I thought the name was strange for a 2 yr old to come up with. So I spoke to some friends with toddlers and they all said that imaginary friends will go every where with her and she would not share, but would actualy want her friend to have everything she has, so in her case it was different, when we leave the house she says good-by to her friend, and hallo when we return. When she eats she pretended to feed her friend, and when I asked if her friend wouldn't like to have her own food she said "don't be silly mommy"

So one day one of my friends was visiting and Nicole was in her room, playing tea time with her "friend" and my friend asked me who's playing with her, and a bit inbarresed to say she has an imaginary friend, I just said no one she is alone. Then my friends said but listen there's another voice comeing from the room, and I listend, but I could not hear it, and then it hit me, I sometimes heard strange children voices comeing from where she is playing, but always thought it was her changing her voice to different people, I was wrong, we listened again, and I heard the other childs voice, needles to say, I almost wet myself. I started asking my daughter questions about her friend and found out that it was 2 boys, she decribed them in detail and told me that they were brothers, and that their parents left them there when they moved.

At this point I was very conserned, so I went to see my Pastor, he told me that it could be a lost spirit that used to live there ( this was confirmed by my daughter) So we set aside a date for him to come to our house, to do a cleansing ritual. And ever since he did that her friends is gone, she sometimes cry for them, but she understands now that they were not real.

Now this is just my story, it doesn't meen there's a spirit with your child. I would strongly recommend you don't encourage it.

Good luck with the imaginary friend. :-)

JuLeah - posted on 04/19/2010

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Most smart creative children have friends such as this. My G-Grandmother told me when I was small to never stop talking to them. She told me to never stop listening.

She said many adults have forgotten how to listen and believe in magic, but I could hold onto it if I wanted to.

I took her advice and, as an adult, I don't talk with imaginary friends,but I do speak with God and I do believe in magic - it happens all around me. Last week, one of my Mexican jumping beans hatched. I knew there was a small worm inside and they, in the wild, did hatch. But, people laughed when I said I'd keep them watered and warm in the hopes that they'd hatch indoors.

I believe in such magic however, I have a lot of faith in that type of thing. And, two have hatched.

I don't know if this is the reply you are looking for, but as a teacher I can tell you that many kids bring their imaginary friends to school with them. It's only sad when they grow up and stop believing.

Let them be little

Jenniffer - posted on 04/14/2010

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I don't think that her imaginary friends are a cause of concern. They are a pretty normal part of growing up. In fact, they can be an important way to stimulate creativity or imagination. To wean her from her imaginary friend-especially when you feel things are getting out of hand-consider doing these activities: read books with her, share stories about your day, relish her artworks, play music together, and encourage bonding trips with the family. Don’t worry. Most children lose their imaginary friends by age 6 or 7, when they naturally grow an understanding of the difference between reality and fantasy.

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Supriya - posted on 03/09/2012

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There's nothing to worry Crystal...she'll be over it. Thats ntural with all children and when she gets into a group..she'll play with them..and with imaginary friends when alone..just keep urself invloved now n then with her with her story plays..I try to encourage Sam's imagination and this helps her in being expressive..thats what we want for our only child..being close to us:-)

Julia - posted on 02/09/2012

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wow, so many great posts! I agree, totally normal, mine has one too. My husband gets a little worried, but many of us had one. She is just filling a void and its ok, healthy I would say. At school, if here friends have a problem with it she will change her tune at least at school. that is part of learning and its important she goes through it.goo luck and relax!

Jena - posted on 01/30/2012

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I believe we shouldn't change perfectly normal behavior that doesn't harm. All we can do is teach our children that everyone is different and to celebrate it, if she gets picked on than helping her understand that sometime when people look or act different people will judge you, but never change who you are. She is probably a Crystal child

Jessica - posted on 05/02/2010

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I had imaginary friends until I was 11. I had a sister who was pretty close in age to me and she had them too. Don't worry about it unless she is 15 and still spends more time with imaginary people than she does real ones.

April - posted on 04/30/2010

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When my son was 5 he had an imaginary friend who went everywhere with us. I worried about him taking his little friend to school and what the other kids would think. We started a morning routine that may seem silly, but it worked for him. We made an imaginary life for the imaginary friend. My son went to one school and the friend didn't go there. After breakfast and before we left to go to school, we said good-bye to the imaginary friend. It only took a few weeks of this for my son to get bored with the imaginary friend and quit talking about him. He enjoyed the new "real friends" at school and they never knew about the imaginary friend.

Sally - posted on 04/22/2010

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My 3 year old has imaginary friends. Quite a few actually. Her favorite is Baby Dragon. He goes everywhere with us. I would not worry. She wont be made fun of at this age, in fact it is quite possible some of the other kids will join in the game. By the time she reaches an age that other kids would make fun of her she will have moved on or have enough social sense not to talk to them in a public. I would not in any way discourage her from playing/interacting with her "friends". She is totally normal. More than likely very smart. Takes a smart kid to keep up with something they cannot see. The more intricate the play, the smarter the kid. Any kid can play with a Dora Doll (or any character). To create your own? And keep it going? Thats wonderful.

Connie - posted on 04/19/2010

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Thank you for posting about imaginary friends!! I've been slightly worried about my daughter. She loves the show The Backyardigans and half the time she pretends that they go everywhere with us. We're also Catholic and she got hooked on Baby Jesus at Christmas. Now she takes him with her wherever she goes, also sometimes Mary and Joesph as well. Its good to hear that this will fade in September when she starts school and that she's not the only child that has very creative imaginary friends.

Shannon - posted on 04/16/2010

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I had imaginary friends when I was a little kid (I was an only child with no other little kids around) and I didn't take them to school with me. lol I doubt you have anything to worry about chances are when she has real children to play with she will not need her imaginary playmates quite so much.

Sara - posted on 04/14/2010

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Hi Crystal - my 4 year old daughter has imaginary friends also...she will start school in September... I think, as you do, that once she starts school her imaginary friends will fade away...I am, however, not worried about them impeding her social skills...I just think that she has a great imagination! She does play well with other kids but sometimes prefers to play with her imaginary friends.

Marilee - posted on 04/14/2010

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My son had several. I think last count was about six or seven. Apparently they went everywhere with us. We only just moved from a small town with not many small kids his age just before he started kindergarten. And to tell ya the truth since he started school they are all forgotten. He got out with more kids his own age and he never needed them again. I had them forgotten about as well until I read your comment. It's probably just a stage and once she starts school she 'll forget about them.

K.C. - posted on 04/14/2010

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SHe will be fine. She will work out when she should and shouldn't pretend. It's great when a child has an imaginary friend. It shows their creative side and their intelligence. On the flip-side it could be more. I'm not a wack-job and it's up to you what you may believe....Children have a closer connnection to the spiritual world. When I sit down and hear the conversations my lil 3 year old has with the air, sometimes the conversations are almost too indepth for her. When I ask her to tell me about her 'friend' her answer is usually along the lines of 'it doesn't matter Mum, don't worry.' Which always makes me think hhmmmmm....

Esme - posted on 04/14/2010

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she sounds like a perfectly normal child. She sounds ready to meet her new real friends and be on the look out for that creative side to come out in other wonderful ways.

Melissa - posted on 04/13/2010

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I would not worry, she is normal! Once she is around other children the "friend" will not be needed anymore.

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