Is it Healthy for my Child to Have an Imaginary Friend

Well, having imaginary friends is not new among children, as many children develop such imaginary friends, especially in between three to five years of age. This can be a person or an animal, and sometime the imaginary friend changes with your child’s growth. Many people consider this as an indication of their child’s loneliness, but this not the case all the time. There are many parents, who get alarmed because of their child’s imaginary friend, and think that their child is socially maladjusted, has lack of stimulation, etc. However, instead of getting scared, the best way to react is to relax.

What imaginary friends do?

If you are concerned about your kid’s imaginary friend, then you should understand what such friends do for your child. Such friends actual helps your kid in a number of ways such as:

  • They offer companionship to your kid
  • Children can practice socializing with others with their imaginary friends
  • Your child can play creative games with his or her imaginary friend
  • Children can safely test their feelings like anger and fear without any hesitation and offence
  • Children can even cope with stressful life with the help of imaginary friends

Whether imaginary friends can be a problem for your child

There is no need to worry about your kid’s imaginary friend, as an imaginary friend can actually be beneficial for your kid. They serve a number of useful purposes for your child like:

  • Your child can try different relationships I his or her social development
  • Children can understand issues like power, discipline, and control with imaginary friends
  • Imaginary friends can also help your kid to cope with hard to handle emotions

If your child scolds the imaginary friend, then do not take this as an indication of you being too harsh on your kid, as this can simply be a way by which you child is trying to learn concepts such as punishment, authority, and even right and wrong.

When can the problem arise?

You should keep an eye on your child’s duration and intensity of involvement with his or her imaginary friend. When you child play only with the imaginary friend and avoid other kids, then it can be some kind of psychological problem. With time, imaginary friends tends to disappear, but if your child remain focused on imaginary friend all the time, then you can consult a professional for finding out underlying anxieties and concerns.

What step should you take?

If your child does not want you to get too involved with his imaginary friend, then it is better not to get too involved. If your child asks you to get involved or play, then you can move ahead. Do not add your ideas to your child’s story. With age, try to get your kid involved with real kids and involve your kids in exciting activities. Just remember, that if you handle the situation correctly, then such a friend can be good for your child.