What do you do about imaginary friends?
It hasn't come up, but I would be willing to play along with an imaginary friend if it wasn't causing any real problem. (I wouldn't, for example, set out a separate plate of food for the imaginary friend and let it sit there going bad.)
However, I would never invent an imaginary friend for my child and tell him it was real.
What do you do when your child puts a sign on your front door to keep out ghosts?
Nothing, unless I need to explain it to someone who comes to the door.
What do you do when you child sees something that isn't there and insists that they did?
It depends very much on whether or not he is frightened of the thing. If he is, I put more effort into trying to convince him he was mistaken, because that can help to calm him. But if it's a fun thing that he's enjoying, I'll just say, "Oh? I didn't see that," and go about my business.
What do you do about the afterlife?
“Nobody knows exactly. It’s a big mystery! We trust God to take good care of us after we die, but we won’t know how it all works until it happens to us. Jesus said [paraphrased], 'In God’s house are many rooms. When I die and go away from you, I will get your rooms ready for you.' Jesus said that at the end of the world, we’ll all get back into our bodies and live again. God goes on forever, and Jesus said that we also will live forever, just in a different way. It will be interesting to find out what that is like, won’t it?"
What do you do about 'visits' from loved ones who have died?
None of us have ever experienced this. We have read some ghost stories and talked about whether we think they could be true or not, and what else might be the explanation.
What do you do when they ask about natural disasters? Murder?
I explain the situation as best I can. My child demands more detailed explanations than most children I have known. Here are some examples:
What do you do when your child wants to be a 'real live prince' with a 'real live castle' when he grows up?
"That sounds like fun. I look forward to visiting you."
What do you do when they ask what happened to auntie's body when she was buried?
"Her body will slowly turn into dirt, like compost, and help the plants grow. This happens slowly and smells bad, so we put the body in a hole underground. Usually human bodies are buried in a special park called a cemetery so that they won’t get dug up by accident. Another way is to burn the body and turn it into ashes."
What do you do when your children make-believe, and then want to bring elements of the fantasy into their daily lives? ie. feeding their baby doll at the table, wearing their dinosaur costume and insisting that you address her as 'velociraptor' and wants to eat raw meat with her hands?
That's fine with me unless it becomes impractical--see answer to your first question. I would not let my little velociraptor eat raw meat; I would help her choose an acceptable food to pretend with, and if necessary I would explain that raw meat is unsafe because she is not really a velociraptor.
Your questions give me the impression that you're missing a central point in my approach: I don't want my child's life to be totally realistic and devoid of pretending and magical feelings. I am happy to pretend with him sometimes and happy to allow him to pretend even more of the time. However, I do not tell him things are true which I know to be untrue; if I am suggesting something for us to pretend about, I make it clear that we're pretending.