Useful tips

When should I be concerned about imaginary friends?

When should I be concerned about imaginary friends?

Parents should be concerned and talk to their doctor when a child with a buddy that no one else can see shows no interest in playing with other kids, engages in hurtful or violent behavior, blames the friend for misconduct or seems to fear the imaginary friend.

When should I be concerned about my child’s imaginary friend?

But, you should pay attention if your child has no friends or no interest in forming friendships, if your child has violent or harmful behavior and blames his or her imaginary friend, or if your child is fearful and complains his or her imaginary friend will not leave him or her alone.

Is imaginary friends a mental illness?

Imaginary friends, sadly, are not associated with intelligence — but, thankfully, there’s no link to mental illness, either. There is no evidence that shows the presence of a pretend friend can be linked to future IQ, but research does show some commonalities among children who have them.

Why would a child have an imaginary friend?

Imaginary friends allow children to explore a make-believe world that they create all by themselves. In fact, children with make-believe friends might be more imaginative and more likely to enjoy fantasy play and magical stories.

When do children start to have imaginary friends?

What gives? “Children’s imaginations begin developing around 2½ to 3 years of age, marking the start of pretend play, and in 65% of children, that comes with the arrival of an imaginary friend or…

When does an imaginary friend usually go away?

Imaginary friends usually retreat by around age 9 — but some linger, and that’s okay. Most of the time, imaginary friends tend to go away on their own as children become more invested with playing with their (real) peers.

What to do if your child’s imaginary friend is unkind?

If your child’s new friend is unkind or says mean things to them (or others), you will need to address the invisible bully. Although imaginary friends can help children work through a whole host of emotions and situations, they shouldn’t be used as a pawn for your child to get away with saying hurtful comments.

Is it bad to have an imaginary friend?

Having an imaginary friend can help children break away from parents. While an older child who maintains imaginary friendships alongside real life ones is probably emotionally healthy, the stigma of having such “companions” later in life can still cause problems.