Children from around 3 to 8 years of age often create their own imaginary friends.
This is a natural developmental phase for children which is grown out of a healthy and active imagination. While children are engrossed in a wonderful world of play and fantasy – dreaming of animal friends having picnics on your roof at night or flying dragons and toys coming alive when no one else is around – a child’s imaginary friends is able to help them express their feelings, practise social skills, and understand the developing world around them.
Generally a child’s imaginary friends are based on someone or something they have seen or are reasonably familiar with. That may be a person they know, a storybook character, or a soft toy. Other times it is a complete figment of their imagination, but is typically human. The imaginary friends presence in child’s life can vary from place and time duration as well – it may only exist in certain places and can come into a child’s life and then disappear again for a few months to a few years.
How is it that imaginary friends help children?
The imaginary friend is able to provide support to a child through the following ways:
· To play with them
· Do things the child is yet able to do
· Is special to just the child
· Doesn’t judge or find fault
Their imaginary friend is also able to help them explore parts of their world, but it is through the way that a child talks to their imaginative friend that can provide some insight into how they are feeling within their inner world.
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