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Imaginary Friends


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My little girl (3 and a half) has an imaginary friend and it's not something I've come across before, so I'm not sure what I'm best to do (if anything). I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this? There's a rich story involved with this friend, who lives in France in a pink house and has a whole family of her own.

 

I'm assuming it's a sign of an active (over active?!) imagination. But when she talks about it, should I pretend that I 'believe' what she's saying? Should I join in the story? Or should I talk about how it is her imagination creating this? She seems to completely believe in what she's telling me, I asked her questions about it yesterday and she could answer every single one in detail. If I didn't know better, I would almost believe it was true!

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Both my brother and my son had imaginary friends, Mr Wee-Woo and Little Philip respectively :o and we just accepted them until they gradually disappeared. I would just accept without encouraging too much, just be matter of fact. Personally I wouldn't go into it being her imagination, as I expect deep down she knows that.

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My Grandson had an imaginary 'brother' - Thomas ........this started at 3 years old and continued until he was 5...just have you have said, so much detail involved too!

 

We all had slightly different ways of 'handling' this - we all accepted it and joined in his converstaions about Thomas - I was the only one who used to do things like return to the car because we had forgotten to let Thomas out!!! - My son used to say "please stop encouraging him"!!!

 

We could always tell when Thomas was about - he would start by 'holding his hand' - before he started speaking to him.

 

Thomas just completely disappeared overnight. No idea why - when my Grandson was a couple of years older I asked him if he remembered him "oh yes ... but he's gone I don't need him anymore" - I was very interested that he had used the word NEED ...but that's probably just me looking too deeply into things!

 

I just find the whole subject fascinating.

 

Should add that my Grandson is now 10 and seems to be a perfectly well-adjusted child so I don't think Thomas did him any harm at all...I quite miss him..........!

 

Sunnyday

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That's fascinating to hear that others have had this experience.

 

The word 'need' is very telling, I think. My little girl seems to project her worries or experiences onto Ellie her imaginary friend.

 

Thanks for your responses.

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Just remembered.......'Thomas', although he was meant to be his brother had a different mummy and her name was the same as mine - very odd ...... so I asked him one day if I was Thomas mummy - he said "of course not, you're my nana"!!!

 

This has made me feel quite nostalgic!

 

I will ask him tomorrow what, if anything he remembers about Thomas (he's 10 now - could be interesting!)

 

Sunnyday

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Hi - my daughter did not just have one imaginary friend = she had around 10 - she would play loads of games and if I closed the door before they all came in she would get really mad -------------- it went away after a time, but i did just play along with her when she wanted.

 

Dot :o

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My niece had an imaginary friend about the same age as your daughter. 'She' (sorry can't remember the name) would do all the things that my niece wasn't allowed to do and knew that she (my niece) would get told off for doing. She did go after a while but my niece found it quite funny if we included the friend in convsersations or asked if she wanted juice and a biscuit too!

 

There have been a few studies about imaginary friends and children who have them are supposed to be more creative and have advanced communication skills (which cheered my sister up after a particularly fractious afternoon with this 'friend'!).

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/jul...ervices.schools

 

Lxx

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My son's 'Little Philip' got up to all sorts and was to blame for doing all kind of things which had actually been done by 'big' Philip.

I found that link very interesting. I had a horse which lived in the garden. I rode him to school every day and tied him to a drainpipe. When I went to bed at night I used to wish fervently that he would be real in the morning when I went out to get him ready for school!

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My six-year old daughter has had an imaginary friend on and off since she was 2. He appears at times of upheaval like when she was starting school. Sometimes he live in the playhouse at the end of the the garden and sometimes he shares he bedroom. He has the same issues she has with school dinners. He is obviously very real to her when she needs him to be.

 

I am happy for him to sit at the table with us but he has to bring his own plate, dinner, etc. When he comes in the car he has to put his own seatbelt on. He manages these tasks quite well for himself and we have developed an understanding that he is welcome to join us anywhere but I won't be running back to get him if he's left behind. When we left him on holiday he got the train and beat us home!

 

I always happily support her need to talk about and include him but, as JacquieL says, deep down she knows he is imaginary. I don't add anything, talk to him or make suggestions about him. I don't think she needs him to be real for me. She just needs me to accept that he is there so that's what I do.

 

Enjoy sharing this experience with your daughter SuzieC8. Listen carefully to what she is telling you. If this friend has little worries it can be very enlightening.

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Well, you'll never guess what happened on Friday - just the day after this thread was started!

 

A little boy at work started telling me and another staff member, allabout his sister and how she broke her arm at home. So we asked himall about her, how old is she? 10 and a half. Is she at big school then? Yes, not today though. What colour hair does she have? Brown like mine. etc etc.

 

So I say to mum at hometime "He's been telling us all about his sister today" she looks at me and says "He doesn't have a sister..." at which point this little boy pipes up saying "YES I DO! She's sitting on that chair!!" :o

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  • 1 month later...

Just had to ressurect this topic.........my grandaughter (3 yrs.) ........seems to think she's Garfield! :o

 

This has been going on for a week or two now........

 

When you use her name she says "no I'm not xxxx I'm Garfield! Not quite an imaginary friend I know but I'm getting a real sense of deja vu........

 

She will be completely humoured by this nana - I like a bit of 'let's pretend'!

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How lovely!

 

I'm glad she will be humoured.

 

I have a six-year-old little girl/puppy living with me now. She even went to bed on a cushion on her bedroom floor the other night. I did draw the line at her eating a bowl of cereal fro a bowl on the floor dog style though. I know I'm a spoilsport and when I have grandchildren I will probably indulge them completely!

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