IS MY IMAGINARY FRIEND REAL? In childhood, many children introduce an imaginary friend and there are several theories on why a child takes on this and I found an interesting article. Let’s read the article and I will give you my take on imaginary friends for a good lesson in life.

Here is the article on Why kids invent imaginary friends
You shouldn’t be worried about your kid’s new pal, but here’s what you should know.

Jun 1, 2015 Lisa Kadane  http://www.todaysparent.com

Photo: Lane Oatey/Blue Jean Images/Getty Images Illustration: iStockphoto

When Deborah Tetley is too busy to play with her four-year-old son, Jackson, he invites his friend Dylan over to play soccer or hockey. It works out well for Tetley because she still has only one child to supervise — Dylan is her son’s pretend friend.
Dylan is also a real-life friend of Jackson’s, but since he lives two hours away in Lethbridge, Alta., and they only see each other on summer camping trips, Jackson has to pretend play with him the rest of the year.
Tetley says she was taken aback the first time she saw her son high-fiving thin air. “I was a little startled. The constant question parents ask themselves is, ‘Is this normal?’” But Tetley can relate — when she was five she had an imaginary friend named Timmy who sat beside her at mealtimes.

Here are some more frequently asked questions about imaginary friends:

How common are imaginary friends?Having an imaginary companion is common in preschool and beyond. The pretend pal is often a personified object such as a teddy bear that can talk and play with a child; sometimes it’s an invisible friend like Dylan. According to a 2004 study by University of Washington and University of Oregon psychologists, by age seven, 65 percent of children have had an imaginary companion at some point. Research indicates eldest or only children, like Jackson, are more likely to invent imaginary friends.
Should parents be worried?“It’s not a cause for concern,” says Michael Dickinson, a Canadian Paediatric Society spokesperson and paediatrician in Miramichi, NB. “This can be a routine part of normal childhood development.”
Why do kids create imaginary friends?According to Kimberly Eckert, a registered psychologist in Calgary, children often create playmates just to engage in imaginative play (the way another child might play with action figures), but sometimes they do so when bored or lonely. An imaginary friend can also be used as a form of self-soothing during a big transition, such as adjusting to a new home or sibling. It’s a way for children to practice fledgling social skills in an environment where they’re in control.
Do children know it’s pretend?Creating and sustaining an imaginary friendship is a sophisticated cognitive skill, says Eckert. “Kids can separate what’s real life and what’s fantasy life. They know it’s pretend play,” she says.
When do imaginary friends go away? Imaginary companions usually disappear by the time kids head off to school, where pretend friends are less socially acceptable. If your child still has an imaginary friend by grade one or two, evaluate whether it’s preventing him from socializing normally, says Dickinson.
Tetley sees no harm in letting Jackson’s imaginary playdates continue until he grows out of the phase. “We have to let Jackson be who he is,” she says. “He’s just tapping into his imagination.”

A version of this article appeared in our July 2012 issue with the headline “Pretend friends,” pp. 52.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives us the definition:

Full Definition of imagination

  • 1
      the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality
  • 2
    :  creative ability
    b :  ability to confront and deal with a problem :  resourcefulness <use your imagination and get us out of here>
    c :  the thinking or active mind :  interest <stories that fired the imagination>
  • 3
    :  a creation of the mind; especially :  an idealized or poetic creation
    b :  fanciful or empty assumption
As a fictional writer, I pull from my imagination to create characters or one could say I introduce my readers to a lot of imaginary friends. I draw from all kinds of memories of people I have met or a combination of different personalities to form a unique personality of its own to enhance the story line. Once I started assembling characters, it caused me to think back and I realized I never had imaginary friends growing up. I wondered why I never created my special friend. It may have been I was surrounded by my brothers and my sister as well as numerous cousins and neighborhood friends. Or, am I just now getting around to finding all of the imaginary friends I had stuck in my head all of those years and bringing them to life in my books. Not hardly, as some of my characters are not the type one normally hangs out with.  They are interesting and somewhat appealing in some scenarios, but each comes with a large amount of complexity. I am not sure I could have imagined these characters in my childhood.
Now for the deeper thought…….. Are we components of all of the people we have met, read about, heard about, or not? I need to spend some time on this thought as I find it intriguing and worth studying in depth. What I do know is imagination is a byproduct of another facet of our personalities and that is curiosity. If we can imagine, if we can contemplate, if we can create; our minds are very active and the world becomes more interesting.

(C) Copyright 2012-2016 Arline L Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material is sourced to original location for reference credit. 

Author: sippingcupsofinspiration

A blogger since 2012, a published author of three Five Star romance novels, A MISTRESS, A WIFE and TELL ME LIES; LOVE ME STILL and RIDDLE ME THIS, LOVE OR BLISS. Still a small town girl with a lot of experience of people watching. Ten years of blogging experience.

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