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Imaginary Friends

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My 3 1/2 year old has about 10 imaginary friends. He is constantly talking and playing with them. Some of them are characters from movies or books, but many are animals or kids. Often, he pretends to be someone else and pretends I am him. He is Luke Skywalker and I am Ben. Or, he is a cat (bird, dolphin, raccoon, whale, dragon etc...) and I am Ben. Is it strange that he is always pretending to be someone else, am I over psychoanalyzing this? He just introduced me to his new friend, Jonathan. I don't know where he got this name, but he is our new friend. I decided to get some expert opinions.
I know it is wonderful and healthy and a sign of a good imagination, but he is always talking to imaginary things and is always pretending. Often, I pretend with him. He is an only child, and we have been by ourselves a great deal lately, (see post about preschool for 3 year olds.)

So, I am wondering if he is needing something or is this just fine.
I may have been a bit distracted and busy lately. But, I spend a lot of the day with him, playing. Opinions?
post #2 of 8
My almost 5 yr old is the same way. She has had imaginary friends for a long time and still spends lots of time talking and playing with them. She is a well adjusted child and has a lot of real friends but just really enjoys all her imaginary friends as well. She has indepth conversations with them and even says goodbye to them at the front door sometimes.

I think it's normal and we just have children with very active imaginations!
post #3 of 8
My dd is 3.5 also and has an imaginary sister. (She is an only child too). She tells me stories of what her sis told her, had a crying fit today cause it was her sister's birthday and there was no cake (we made one later), she draws picture for her sister, etc. I have no advice, but am curious to see what others have to say.


PS. For the record I think it is normal and am not worried. I tell dh it's cause she needs a sibling!
post #4 of 8
My 4 yo ds has only one imaginary friend.. HIs name is Timmy.. .He lives a book he says.. In a house in a book with his brother and sister and mommy and daddy... I don't know what book it is because we don't have any books with anyone named Timmy...

So he tells me that Timmy is scaring him or tha the and Timmy did this or he and timmy did that... i only had one imaginary friend when i was little too my mother says, but she says i said i had lots of angels following me around so who knows... (she's 1/2 off her rocker to start with)
post #5 of 8
My son has an imaginary friend named Timmy, too! We don't know anyone named Timmy or any charaters, either. How funny.

I think imaginary friends are good and useful. Actually, my husband and his sister both had imaginary friends and my MIL had them participate in a study on imaginary friends in the 70s. My FIL also had imaginary friends, so we joke that it is a family trait.

We asked our son if Timmy is real or pretend and he looked confused and said "yah, I think so". Then I asked, "did I ever meet Timmy?" and he looked at me like "are you crazy mom?" and answered "I don't THINK so..."

We actually think it is pretty cool. Our son can imagine trees and water and pretend fishing poles and pretend fish. I kind of wonder why we have a house full of toys, since he seems just fine playing with his imaginary toys and friends.

I think it is very healthy and creative.
post #6 of 8
We don't have *imaginary* friends at our house, they're *invisible friends* It started at about 2.5 - 3 for DS; Gonzo (M)came first (we checked, he doesn't mean the Muppet); then Dowdeed (F) (phonetic spelling?) (Not Dodi alFayed, I checked) ~ these two are sometimes adults, married, brother and sister, teenagers, peers or younger siblings; next came Aaron (M), Stinky (M) (who doesn't stink but likes the name), Lala (F) (lives in Mexico). DD has gotten into the game, claiming she can see and talk to them, too. It seems to be okay, I did have to send Gonzo and Dowdeed home one day because *they cut hayden's hair* They promised not to do it again, so they're back!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I did find out who Jonathan is. He is the boy in Ben's favorite book. Duh, I can't believe I didn't tie it together. He has been pretending about cats and kittens, also from the book. I'm so glad he is using books as well as movies to pretend from. So far, Jonathan has behaved himself quite well while here. Thanks for the opinions, I know it is normal and actually a sign of high intelligence and creativity. A friend of mine reassured me and said I should encourage it as much as I like.

JoJo- I love that you made a cake for your dd imaginary friend. That's great! I put Jonathan in the bath last night. But, drew the line with giving him an extra ice pop for him. Suddenly, he had five friends in the tub and each of them wanted their own ice pop.!
post #8 of 8
Quitre the smart one you have there....

5 friends = 5 popsicles!!!

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