Your Kid as Imaginary Friends

If you find your kid talking about some imaginary friends, what as your very first reaction? Most likely you are going to analyze the situation under a negative light and assume that your child is suffering from some behavioral problems such as low self-esteem. Your relatives may start cajoling you to spend more time with your child, believing that it is all because of his loneliness and the distant relationship between you and your child which has led to this problem.

Put all the advice from your relatives and friends to one side, and take a deep breath to relax. The situation is not as grave as you are being made to believe. Talking about imaginary friends is seen in nearly 1/3 of the children at some point or the other, usually between the ages of six to ten years. In the simplest way you can understand it as a creative imagination spinning out something that makes the child feel comfortable or accompanied. This imaginary creation can be anything from a person to a teddy bear to a dragon or just about anything.

In the form of an imaginary friend, your child seeks a confidant to whom he can speak his mind out and especially his little secrets which he doesn at want to share with his parents. Now, as for you in the parents  capacity, it is important that you increase the friends circle of your child and not just leave him with his imaginary friend. What we are saying is put him into some school or day care center where he gets to be around with other children of his age.

Most importantly do not react when your child is talking about his imaginary friend, in fact acknowledge this pretend friend and listen and understand whatever the child is telling you about his friend. However, one point of caution here is that whenever your child does wrong and tries to blame the mishap onto his imaginary friend, donat let this happen or this will become a permanent feature. Teach him how to accept and be sorry for whatever wrong he has done.

The crux of the matter is, don at magnify the problem and instead adopt simple measures to handle the situation without emotionally hurting your child and youall see that as he grows up the problem will get solved on its own.

Sidharth Thakur