As a child, I was always very creative. My imagination would run wild, sending me off to different adventures every day. It was easy to be in my own world, no one was bothering me and I made the rules. I think that is when I “met” or “created” my imaginary friend. I remember her name was SHELBY and she was pretty harmless. Maybe I made her up because I was the only girl of four and maybe wanted a sister but I remember always “being better” than her at every thing I did. It was probably unhealthy and I’m sure a little strange but I eventually grew up without Shelby and left her in my past.
I was never really concerned about Imaginary friends. I honestly never really thought about imaginary friends since they are still so young.
The first time I caught my son Dex standing alone talking to a nonexistent thing was alarming. Maybe since I watch too many horror films and for some reason they always have these creepy children in them, but I was completely freaked. I tried to ignore it but it happened more often when he was actually in front of me. Since he still wasn’t speaking extremely clear, I had issues figuring out what they would talk about. My other son Russ would never look at Dex weird or question who he was talking to. Which made me wonder if maybe he saw this imaginary friend too but didn’t care for it or if this imaginary friend was just Dex’s.
I of course brought it up to my husband. He thought that it was a little strange but said we should wait and see, that it could be harmless. So we decided to wait it out. I also asked my mother and she reminded me about my imaginary friend Shelby. I had completely forgotten I had an imaginary friend since it had been so long since I talked about it.
Instantly I did what most people do. I googled it.
The horror stories were alarming. Stories of imaginary friends that influenced their children into hating their parents, think about murdering, claim they are ghosts, and so on.
Besides the creepy stories, I actually found some interesting articles about imaginary friends.
- Children that have imaginary friends are known to be more advanced in socializing and creativity.
- Children create imaginary friends to have control of their surroundings. This gives your child the opportunity to make up their own circumstances and adventures.
- Often children use their imaginary friends to blame actions that they have done. This also gives them a chance to express emotions they may not feel comfortable expressing. So if your child maybe hated broccoli, they’d probably say their imaginary friend hates it, which is why they hate it too. It helps them express themselves through a different medium.
- These imaginary friends are actually their friends. They feel like there is someone always there to play with them and talk to them. If you are child is an only child this could happen or if they feel they can’t relate to their sibling(s). Like in my case, I felt I couldn’t relate to my brothers.
I shouldn’t have freaked out about Dex having an imaginary friend considering I had one as a child. But it is always good to constantly be aware of what your children are doing and who they are “friends” with. I read stories of children who had imaginary friends that told them to harm other people and do things they wouldn’t normally do!
But those were just stories.