How many of us are famliar with the cartoon show "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends"? It is a lovable show that shows what happens to our childrens imaginary friends after they have grown out of them. For many kids, imaginary friends are a part of growing up. My sons imaginary friend is Chocolate the Dinosaur. Are you concerned that this may be unhealthy? I was at first. Many parents tend to worry a bit about their child when one day they come to us and talk about their “imaginary friend”.
This is very common in all children and tends to happen between the ages of three and five. Unfortunately, many parents do not understand why their child is creating somebody imaginary and they end up feeling frustrated at their child, or feel they have bad parenting skills. Usually this is not the case and can be very healthy, a sign of a good imagination and help you as a parent understand what your child is feeling.
As a loving parent you have taken a step in the right direction by reading this article. Why? Because you are going to feel good knowing that it is perfectly safe for your child to have created an imaginary friend, or perhaps more than one of these fake companions.
In fact, these imaginary friends can be an important part of growing up. You may not remember having one yourself when you were a child, but I can almost guarantee that you had one. Having imaginary friends is also a very creative function of a child and a good indication your child has a healthy imagination.
You must understand that it is very hard for a youth to explain themselves or communicate well in words with adults. This “friend” then becomes almost like a gateway of communication between you and your child. It will help your young one deal with emotions and problems that he might otherwise not be able to handle.
A perfect example of this is when he is feeling lonely, bored, or in need of attention when you are not around. These emotions can make anyone feel very upset, especially a child under the age of five. So this imaginary friend might help him deal with a new school he has to transfer to, or adjust to a new home where there are not many friends, or perhaps if a new baby comes into the house and is getting all of the attention now.
Children have miraculous ways of dealing with life's issues and confusions, especially when they create this fake person that helps them get through it. Let's take fear for example. Children may create an imaginary animal, such as a dog, to help him overcome the fear of real dogs because he would like to have one himself.
Also, when children feel unaccepted or over-controlled by his parents, then he may invent an imaginary person who he pretends treats him as the way he wished Mommy and Daddy treated him. It sounds sad I know, but the minds of our kids are so young, so pure, and so fresh.
Children are not like us. They have not experienced all of these uneasy feelings in life and learned to deal with them. So from now on you should embrace this imaginary friend and find out more about him by asking questions. You just may learn a lot more about your child than you thought you could.