Why do children have imaginary friends?
“Oh my God! My child probably has schizophrenia!” Such diagnoses are heard more and more often from some parents who notice their children playing or interacting with imaginary friends. But we are looking ahead and hastening to reassure you. Because science has long had an adequate explanation for this phenomenon.
Today we will talk about why kids have imaginary friends and is it normal for kids to have imaginary friends?
A child with imaginary friends – schizophrenia?
There have been many cases in history where adults/parents have taken the fact that a child has an imaginary friend as a mental disorder, a sign of social, communication deficit, or a certain kind of obsession in general.
It’s understandable. You must agree that when your child talks or moves into the void, it is alarming. Especially, if it happens on a regular basis and for a long time.
The intellect of every child (without certain delays in mental development) actively develops between the ages of 2.5 and 5. In particular, if we are talking about today’s children who are very quickly mastering the digital space. Such flexibility of intellect contributes to the development of creative thinking and creativity.
Are children who create imaginary companions psychologically disturbed?
As you all know, preschoolers are actively developing during the game. This is their leading activity in which they learn to master new social roles, try themselves in the role of an adult. Games are a way of learning certain skills and abilities as well as a tool for developing the child’s creativity (especially when children invent the game, game rules and characters)
Are imaginary friends bad?
You can watch a child come up with a name for his or her soft toy or favorite superhero during a game. Also, these objects/toys can be named after the child’s nearest and dearest. The child interacts with them, plays out scenes, comes up with everyday dialogues and enthusiastically comes up with lines to be polite or learn to ask for something properly. Girls often like to give treats or take care of their imaginary friends, and boys show off their vehicle fleet, show off their toys, and play with their cars.
When everything happens in such a harmless and naive atmosphere then you don’t have to worry.
Anyway – is it ok for a child to have an imaginary friend?
It’s hard to call a young child who lived his childhood without an imaginary companion. According to American scientists, 65% of all children under the age of 7 are friends with imaginary characters. And such friendships are the norm rather than the exception to the rule.
Most importantly, children understand that their imaginary friends (or one friend) don’t exist in reality. Over time, they all disappear and such friendships fade away.
Why do children create imaginary friends?
Imaginary friends are not a sign that no one wants to be a friend with your child (loneliness) or a lack of social skills to interact with other people. One of the benefits of children having imaginary friends is the development or realization of their childhood fantasies.
On the contrary, as Marjorie Taylor, psychologist and author of “Imaginary Friends and the Children Who Make Them” says, such children feel more at ease in society, they are socialized and less shy. They have better empathy and learn behavioral skills more quickly.
Why do children have imaginary friends?
Psychologists agree that imaginary friends appear when a child lacks attention, interaction with peers or experiences in its daily life.
Also, an imaginary friend can appear in a teenager who has experienced a strong emotional shock in life – lost a close friend, the parents’ divorce, or even moving to a new place of residence.
When do imaginary friends become a problem?
If you notice that your child is trying to hide from you the fact that it has an imaginary friend; or when you ask about him, the baby doesn’t tell you anything about him, it may be a sign of distrust and fear of you.
And besides, if a child threatens (to his or her imaginary friend) to take revenge on someone, to beat or insult, it may be a sign of hidden aggression. Then you should see a child psychologist.
As psychologists say, imaginary friends are the cutest and most naive section of child psychology. Such a phenomenon most often has no negative consequences.
If you think that only children have imaginary friends, we recommend you read the autobiography of Agatha Christie, you will be surprised!