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Imaginary Friend!


kristina
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We have a 3 year old child that started with us about 5 weeks ago, an only child with older slightly protective parents, mum is Bulgarian and dad is English (bit of background for you!).

The child is quite possesive over a particular child at the setting, always wanting to sit with and play with this child, quite forceful if this doesn't happen, but even more interesting is the Imaginary Friend!!

If we ask the child not to do something or ask them to do something and they dont want to they blame this imaginary friend.

Usually along the lines of my friend done it (no one else there) or my friend doesn't want to do it!!

Example this morning at snack child was flicking their hair around at the table, when asked to stop as it was going in food the child said "stop flicking my hair!" and smacking the air around them!! No one else was there and the child said "it's my friend he wont leave my hair alone".

I have never experienced this before so any advice would be welcome, I understand some children do invent a friend as a comfort for them if they are unsure. This child comes accross as very confident and is very vocal within the setting.

 

Kris

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I don;t think you need advice - you just allow them to have their friend, but not to use the friend as an excuse to behave how they like. It sounds like you have a clever imaginative child then who has thought of a good "get out of jail free" card!

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Hi,

It might be useful to find out whether this imaginary friend is only there when the child is in your setting or whether the friend appears at home too. I would also agree with the earlier comment that you must try to ensure the child doesn't "get away with things" by blaming their friend. Try not to get too worried about it but keep a note of anything which concerns you incase this friendship becomes a bigger problem. Most imaginary friends disappear of their own accord as the child develops further.

 

Nicky Sussex :o

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  • 2 weeks later...
We have a 3 year old child that started with us about 5 weeks ago, an only child with older slightly protective parents, mum is Bulgarian and dad is English (bit of background for you!).

The child is quite possesive over a particular child at the setting, always wanting to sit with and play with this child, quite forceful if this doesn't happen, but even more interesting is the Imaginary Friend!!

If we ask the child not to do something or ask them to do something and they dont want to they blame this imaginary friend.

Usually along the lines of my friend done it (no one else there) or my friend doesn't want to do it!!

Example this morning at snack child was flicking their hair around at the table, when asked to stop as it was going in food the child said "stop flicking my hair!" and smacking the air around them!! No one else was there and the child said "it's my friend he wont leave my hair alone".

I have never experienced this before so any advice would be welcome, I understand some children do invent a friend as a comfort for them if they are unsure. This child comes accross as very confident and is very vocal within the setting.

 

Kris

 

Hi Kris,

I've had a little boy with an imaginary friend. I looked into this and it is very much linked to attachment and loss. It is very important not to probe into the imaginary friend unless he wants to share it with you. The little boy I'm talking about used his "baby dragon" to try and get more food and to blame things on. I tried to give him empowerment by saying that he was in charge of baby dragon and because of this he had to take responsibility for baby dragons actions. By doing this he couldn't get away with negative behaviour. I must say it was fascinating! Hope this helps.

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Hi HoddyEYP,

 

congratulations on making your first post and welcome to the FSF!

 

A little girl I childminded also had an imaginary dragon friend! Dragon was a playmate when there were no other children around :o

 

Nona

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