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Imaginary Friends

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
I don't remember having an imaginary friend, I know when I was younger I used to sleep walk because I remember it and my mum used to tell me. I don't remember when this stopped I just remember it did.

From a child's perspective I guess having them is healthy, it gives them someone to speak to, to have confidence in and someone who they can communicate with when all is lost. Two things however come up that may suggest otherwise:

What if the child never learns the difference between real and imaginary
What if the child continues to think it is real into their teens and even into their adult years

I don't have kids, honestly I find the idea of being a parent terrifying, I can barely look after myself let alone anyone else but if my child did have an imaginary friend I am not sure if I would or would not encourage it. Does from your perspective border upon schizophrenia - if someone was to start talking as an adult this is how it would be seen.

Do you have kids? How do you view it? Did you have something like this? Was it a comfort?
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
If they keep talking to someone that's not there in their teens then you may have a problem that needs to be dealt with.

I don't think imaginary friends are a big deal unless they are talking to this friend all the time. If a child does this excessively then I would say that child needs a real friend because they are probably lonely.
 

Alta

Registered Member
I guess it's healthy for a time because it gives a child someone to talk to and share feelings with. I for one never had one because even at such a young age I new it was rather silly because you don't have a realistic relationship with the imaginary friend. I took up talking to myself because that can actually be really efficient and even make you smarter. I still do it from time to time.
 

Hiei

The Hierophant
I never had an imaginary friend, either. But I did have an older brother that I would play with and talk to. Strangely enough, I used to sleep walk and I still talk in my sleep. But that's another topic.

To answer your questions, though, I don't have any kids, but I think I would just monitor their behavior with their I imaginary friend. Ask them about their friend and such. As a Pagan my first thoughts would be that they have a spirit friend. To that extent, my brother had a twin that didn't make it and he still talks to her to this day. He would play with her when we were little, too.

So I think it could be a sign of something being really wrong, like a mental illness, or it could be something from the spirit world, or it could be the imagination of a child. Especially if the kid is an only child. I really think that it is a case by case thing.
 

OriginalPhil

Registered Member
Sometimes we just need a friend who can understand us. Creating that friend seems to be one of the ways our brain copes with it. We live in a society where talking to Jesus and leaving cookies out for Santa is the norm. It's only normal that kids will use their imagination to create a more friends of their own.

However, when those friends start influencing a child's decisions ("Giggles made me kill the neighbors cat") that's the line where it becomes more of a psychological or behavioral concern.

By the way, if you couldn't already tell, I'm not a professional. Don't make any important decisions based on this post lol.
 

Millz

Better Call Saul
Staff member
V.I.P.
I personally never had one and I don't think it's weird if a kid does have one but like others have said if it continues into their teen years that could be seen as really strange and some kinda mental illness.

That doesn't mean it's the case but you start to wonder if it continues for that long.
 

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
I never had a serious imaginary friend but I think that it's a perfectly normal thing for a young child to do. I think that it's healthy and probably a positive thing for a growing brain/mind, as well. When I'm a Dad I'd probably view it more as a positive.

Haha the closest thing I think I had was a Bart Simpson toy that I'd play with a lot, but it was never the traditional involvement or type that an imaginary friend has. It made me laugh to think of it, though.
 

Falconer

Registered Member
My imaginary friends turned into the characters in the stories I write. They're still around there somewhere. ;P And I like to think I'm relatively sane...
 

ysabel

/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
I don't remember having an imaginary friend, I know when I was younger I used to sleep walk because I remember it and my mum used to tell me. I don't remember when this stopped I just remember it did.

From a child's perspective I guess having them is healthy, it gives them someone to speak to, to have confidence in and someone who they can communicate with when all is lost. Two things however come up that may suggest otherwise:

What if the child never learns the difference between real and imaginary
What if the child continues to think it is real into their teens and even into their adult years

I don't have kids, honestly I find the idea of being a parent terrifying, I can barely look after myself let alone anyone else but if my child did have an imaginary friend I am not sure if I would or would not encourage it. Does from your perspective border upon schizophrenia - if someone was to start talking as an adult this is how it would be seen.

Do you have kids? How do you view it? Did you have something like this? Was it a comfort?
We believed in Santa Claus, right? So imaginary isn't necessarily bad. :lol:

I remember my sister was always talking to someone imaginary and it worried her parents (my mom and stepdad). She also got sick and turns out there was spirit involved or something like that. We "cured" it the supernatural way and she got better and stopped talking to the imaginary friend.

I for one believe in spirits and stuff. So if any of my kids claim to see people and the likes, I wouldn't think they're crazy. So far the ones I've seen them do (mostly the girls) is pretend to have classes when they're pretending to be teachers - it's mostly a need for their playtime. The characters don't follow them outside of playtime, so I figured it's just the normal imagination. Like I said in the beginning, not different from the way we communicate and think of Santa during Christmas.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
I don't think there's anything wrong with having imaginary friends. I didn't have imaginary human friends when I was a child, but I did have animal friends. They were a comfort for me. Once my Mum told me the spirits of animals go to children and I believed her. It was nice. Who knows maybe they were spirits.
 
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