Surely the fact that your child has an imaginary friend will seem very nice to you from the beginning. But what if a child requires a special plate and chair for his friend? When is it time to worry?
Children’s friendships are very important for a child’s healthy social and emotional development. But do all friends have to be real. An imaginary friend is a child’s way of moving through various social situations in a safe way. It doesn’t sound so bad, but how can parents put themselves in such a situation.
Is that normal?
What bothers most parents whose children hang out with imaginary friends is whether it is an indication that something is wrong.
Experts claim that this is the normal developmental phase of most children. Kids invent friends to keep them company when they feel lonely or to comfort them when they are having a hard time. A fictional friend understands children and supports them when their parents, brothers and sisters are not there. They are very important to children because they provide them with security when they have to sleep alone in the dark, and in no way should you belittle or take your child’s new friend for granted. Teasing and talking about it in front of others is by no means an option, because it can cause anxiety in children.
Children’s expression of needs
Children develop a relationship with a fictional friend, animals and other similar figures (toys) as a need for security, love, strength, fun and freedom. Sometimes it is very obvious what a child lacks when we look at his relationship with an imaginary friend. If a child has a soldier, wizard or superhero as a fictional friend, it is a clear indication that the child wants security. If a child has a friend who does not like to follow the rules, it means that he longs for freedom.
When it’s time to worry
Is there a time when parents should worry about their child’s fictional friend? If your child begins to believe that he and his fictional friend are the same person, it may be time to get involved. As a parent, you need to find out what the connection is between your child and his “friend”. Ask the child if his friend is good to him and if they play well. If a child says that his friend is mean or rude to him, it can be an indicator that the child is struggling with a feeling of lack of self-confidence.
Sometimes children imagine bad imaginary friends and it is a good opportunity to teach them how to deal with bad situations and people. This can help the child cope with fears and stress.
Always pay attention to how your children behave and how they “talk” to their imaginary friend, because that way you can find out a lot about your child’s emotional state. Don’t consider it a problem, because the child will let his friend go when he is ready for that, until then, put another plate on the table.
Source: LifePress magazin by lifepressmagazin.com.
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