How do you deal with your child's imaginary friend?
On TV stories exist about imaginary friends. It would be interesting to know if it happens often in real life and how parents deal with it. Some parents may not allow such imagination while others may let it go on until a certain age.
Parents should not be critical or judgmental of their children's "imaginary friends," as this can stifle their creativity, which in turn may have an impact on their intelligence, performance in school, and ability to solve problems.
Only if the "friend" becomes a substitute for interaction with real people is there a problem.
Another possibility to consider before dismissing a child's conversations or interactions as an "imaginary friend," is that young children have no preconceived notions or built-in "taboos," and they are much more open, and that "friend" may well be a spirit visitor that the child can see and speak with, but adults, closed-off as many have become, do not.
Some adults retain this sensitivity to those who have passed on--they are the lucky ones who were not ridiculed and "taught" that they were speaking with their own imaginations.
Before you judge or worse, condemn, be open. Ask the child questions about the friend. What are they saying? What do they look like? Then look up the history of the residence. You may find that you have a former occupant still with you.
A ghost or spirit is not necessarily a bad thing; it only seems so, thanks to Hollywood over-dramatizing things for the sake of ratings. In point of fact, there is nothing inherently 'bad' or 'evil' about a spirit. They are merely people who are no longer part of the physical plane, and they retain the personalities they had while here.
There are many reasons and theories why they may not have fully 'crossed over,' and are merely seeking to be noticed, and happy when someone does.
In fact, we have a spirit in our house; it is a somewhat mischievous little girl. The cats can see/sense when she is around, and we've had a few odd things happen, but we are not uncomfortable with our guest.
The bottom line? Never rely on TV shows to guide your real-life actions and decisions.
It is perfectly normal and natural for children to have imaginary friends. Especially if there is only one child. Many times, these imaginary friends come about due to the child being abused in one way or another and this 'friend' is the only friend the child has. I would not discourage it, this 'friend' will go away on their own unless the child is really having some severe abusive issues. Their friend is a way for the child to escape if only for a moment and have someone they can trust. With this being said not all imaginary friends are a form of child abuse, sometimes children just really need a friend. Does this make sense?
My daughter had an imaginary husband, Hoota Bob. She was about 4 or 5 and we had no problem with it...and she outgrew it but his name has become a wonderful family memory.
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