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Imaginary Friends ????

My daughter is 3 1/2 yo & has imaginary friends. Just was curious if there is a certain way to approach the topic of her friends. I am going to hit up google & do some reading up on it but also wanted to get some advice from you ladies here too.

Its a constant topic in this household daily & sometimes she'll have convos on it for HOURS. She has sevearl friends but nobody specific. She'll just go "my friends from mexico are coming today to play with me." Her friends are from Mexico, Canada, England & Egypt oh & sometimes from the clouds. So far those are the only places she has mentioned but she really likes her geography so I am sure they will start to be from many other countries & places too before I know it.

The way she talks about them is that they are always coming but of course they dont. Like we'll be driving somewhere & she'll go "my friends from Egypt are going to be at walmart we're going to see them" then we get to walmart & they arent there & she continues with "my friends from Egypt will come to our house tonight & stay the night with me" this goes on like I said for hours, sometimes an entire day & is discussed every single day for at least a short bit of time.

Just wanted to know if your child has had any imaginary friends & how you delt with it in your household? Thanks ladies.


Asked by Mel30248 at 9:15 PM on Jul. 11, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (10)
  • I'm glad to hear your DD interacts with real children, so that takes out my 1st suggestion.She's 3 1/2? That's an OK time for children to have imaginary friends. Thought if the "my friends from..." game consists beyond the time they're 7 or 8, that's the time to see a psychatrist. But at 3, children should be encouraged to have "friends" that aren't real. As long as these "friends" don't take up all her time, it's OK. Don't encourage her as she gets older, but don't chastise her for having conversations with them. If others make fun of her for it, talk to her about maybe being a little less obvious about her "friends". I'm sorry if I sound like I'm trying to show off, I'm a teacher and I deal with kids from infancy to 10 or 12 years old.

    Answer by nataliekateof2 at 10:56 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Um who the heck voted down nataliekateof2!? Not cool! I found your answer informative & helpful, thanks!

    Comment by Mel30248 (original poster) at 6:34 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • LOL dramaMama I love how you use the friend bob to your advantage too funny I will totally keep that in mind for later on if I need to pull that trick on my daughter! hahahahahahaha

    Comment by Mel30248 (original poster) at 9:45 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • all my kids had imaginary friends. i see nothing wrong with it. i even play along. my youngest is 5 and his "friends" name is bob. he goes everywhere with us. he talks to him and i do to. i remind bob how good friends act and what things are bad. so i try to do the jedi mind trick with my son . when my son doesnt want to eat whats for dinner, bob always loves it. if my son doesnt wanna take a bath, bobs already in it playing in the bubbles...p.s it doesnt always work

    Answer by dramaMama407 at 9:42 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • xxhazeldovexx - she is enrolled in gymnastics with other children & loves it, lives in the same apartment building as her 7 cousins, sees some other cousins on another side of fam 1-2times a week, goes to public library every 2-3wks, hits playgrounds, talks to old friends via skype, sends postcards to other friends that movied across the country, etc lol I dont believe we have a lack of being social here haha we actually just got back yesterday from CT (we live in ME) for a weekend trip hit Old Sturbridge Village on the way home =)

    I am going to purchase her some books though. Her love of geography has been going on for 8months or more so her bday party will be in early Nov (its actually Dec 17) so I am going to buy some books off amazon on kids in other countries, I found a bunch that look great! Thanks for the suggestions!

    Comment by Mel30248 (original poster) at 9:41 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • sounds like a cry of boredom from lack of actual friends.. my daughter does something similar, when we go places she always is asking if there are going to be girls or friends there.. basically it's her way to say she wants to get together with someone her own age to play with. Try perhaps enrolling her in preschool or other programs like dance or something she's interested in for a chance to make some friends and I bet it will stop.

    in the mean time you could take advantage of her love of geography and maybe research with her about how people from these places dress, some things about their cultures, maybe do meals around it as well, it could be a very educational experience for her and fun.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 9:36 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Good for you :)

    Answer by MommyofTwo331 at 9:36 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Just read up some about it on google (gotta love google!). She has plenty of "real" friends & in fact lives in the same building (aprt complex) as her 7 cousins so she interacts with them daily. She also has friends outside of the family. We did however, just moved here so she discusses along with these friends from other countries about her old friends back in our old town that we dont get a chance to visit too often (3hrs away). I am thinking that maybe this is steming from that somewhat & the fact that she is simply at the age to be making up imaginary friends. I support it & think its creative also I am going to purchase her some books about people in other countries too bc I think she will enjoy that & it will fuel her ideas & also help her to learn about other cultures/countries too. At first I was frustrated but now I am accepting it as a long term thing & being sensitive to the issue & talking about it, thanks!

    Comment by Mel30248 (original poster) at 9:32 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • It's completely normal. My daughter is four and she has imaginary friends. It's not a constant thing so we just let it go. Creative, imaginative play is good for them! As long as their friends aren't scaring them or threatening to hurt someone then I wouldn't worry about it. If it becomes too much or you need reassurance, consult a child play therapist.

    I agree with the above poster that finding an outlet with 'real' friends would be beneficial :)

    Answer by MommyofTwo331 at 9:29 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • My kids have occasionally had imaginary friends but nothing long-term or consistent like every day. I'd say it shows a good imagination and maybe she's lonely. Can you take her to a library or park where she can make more "real" friends? I wouldn't be overly concerned, though. My assessment is that most likely, she's just playing.

    Answer by judimary at 9:18 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

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