Friday, 4 April 2014

Imaginary Friends?


Today I am looking at Imaginary Friends - no not mine, Coreys! Of course I had the mother's worry instantly, like why does he have an imaginary friend? Is he sad or lonely? Is it just him be creative and fun? It is normal, but why is it? Frankly I thought Corey was a little bit young. I have done some research and took to other fellow bloggers on Twitter for some advice and to ease my worries, thought I would share my experience and my research.

Corey's Imaginary Friends

Well it started with his beloved doggy cuddlies which he takes literally most places with him. He has three (dirty doggy, clean doggy and cosy doggy!) tried to get him to chuck away dirty one but it didn't work! We spend hours playing and pretending they talk, basically this is me talking whilst holding the dog and Corey doing the same with another. At first, I thought it was cute however then Corey would do something naughty and doggy would get the blame. But I was okay with all this, I just thought he was learning, being creative and exploring. 7 months ago when his 'map map' (muslin square) had to go which he would take every where, but after a week at his dads he didn't want it anymore - so the doggies made an appearance and sort of replaced it.

Corey with his doggies!

But then one day it got worse, he was saying how Mia was in his bedroom - instantly I freaked?! But Mia is the Pink Power Ranger (which usually I have to pretend to be her!), why she was in his bed as an imaginary friend I do not know. But it's not just Mia, it is also Sky the Pink Helicopter Dog from Paw Patrol. Does he just like pink? Does he just have a crush? I don't know. It has now got to the stage where he is saying he doesn't play as much with his friends at pre-school as he is with Mia or Sky instead.

What Does Research Show?

According to there could be lots of reasons for having imaginary friends, here are some of these:

Wishful Thinking - When it comes to an object of desire, some children fulfil their wish by invention. Children quite commonly invent a family pet or can be heard talking to Spiderman or Snow White in their bedroom.
Break The Boredom - Children with imaginary friends are much less likely to be bored. Make-believe mates demonstrate an ability to be creative with spare time.
Voice Concern - Some children use their imaginary friend to convey a message they feel unable to say themselves, such as: “Parsley the Sheep doesn’t like it when you are cross, Daddy”.
All Mine - An imaginary friend belongs to the person who invents it and no one else. It does not have to be shared with friends or family.
Shy away - Fantasy friends are far from a poor replacement for real friends. Research reveals that children with imaginary friends are less inclined to be shy and are more popular.
Baby blues - Imaginary friends are particularly common among children with newborn siblings. It is thought that the conjured-up companion provides comfort and replaces any lost parental attention.
Naughty friends - Some particularly resourceful children find that an invisible chum can be a handy scapegoat – “It was Bob who spilt the juice on your keyboard, it wasn't me” they protest, pointing at thin air.

Then on they had a few people had come up with some very different opinions, which are:

Kutner (n.d. - reported that 65% of seven-year old children report they have had an imaginary companion at some point in their lives. He further reported: 'Imaginary companions are an integral part of many children's lives. They provide comfort in times of stress, companionship when they're lonely, someone to boss around when they feel powerless, and someone to blame for the broken lamp in the living room. Most important, an imaginary companion is a tool young children use to help them make sense of the adult world'
Taylor, Carlson & Gerow (c2001: p. 190) - hold that: 'Despite some results suggesting that children with imaginary companions might be superior in intelligence, it is not true that all intelligent children create them.'
Pediatrician Benjamin Spock - believed that imaginary friends past age four indicated that something was "lacking" in the child or his environment. Some child development professionals believe that the presence of imaginary friends past early childhood signals a serious psychiatric disorder.

Lastly, I found an amazing article on which I really recommend you take a few moments to read as it pretty much answered all my questions and has made me feel okay with it all. But it says to relax, enjoy and let it the imaginary friend run its course.

My Thoughts On Research

Really not sure if I agree with the intelligent children have them, I think that is silly. I know of course it is a creative way, but I do believe children create them for a reason just depends what that reason may be. As a child I had one which must have been until I was around 8 years old because I felt lonely plus some other reasons from The Super Nanny site. Mine was a witch - I really wanted to be a witch with magical powers! One thing I can't get my head around is why I think talking teddies is normal but something that isn't actually there is strange? All a bit like role play I guess, he pretends to be a mermaid boy in the bath and all sorts of bizarre pretend play he does.

I am not sure what I think frankly even after my research there is nothing wrong with a child having an imaginary friend, but I couldn't help but worry. I just wish I could understand why Corey has one or two but unfortunately I am not a mind reader. I will just have to let it go, wait for this phase to pass.

Overall, should I be worried?

I think not, I realise I am just being a worried mother - the normal for me then basically. We all worry, we all want the best for our children. No harm in being creative, what ever way that may shine through. Corey is a extremely happy and healthy child so that is all that matters :) He is constantly on the move and talking at the moment, there is no doubt in my mind that he is in the slightest sad or lonely - he is always surrounded by others and having chats etc. Some bloggers on Twitter suggested it was time for another baby so Corey has someone to play with!

Did you or do your children have imaginary friends? Who were they and what were they called? :) share your stories in my comments please, would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Love, Gemma xo



Post a Comment


Blog Design by Bonjour Belle Designs