When my daughter first told me about her imaginary friend I gracefully took it in stride. We made room at the dinner table. Although I drew the line at giving an actual plate. It seems to do the trick to insist that an imaginary friend is ok receiving an invisible plate. So long as said plate contains the same meal as us! The presence of little imaginaries has become a part of daily life in our jungle home.
Was I concerned? Not really, curious yes! I asked about what he/she looked like. And all I got was that there was a red shirt involved. Raising an only child in a rather isolated area I rather expected it. What I was surprised about was how elaborate the play became. Full on conversations and song singing. Requests from said friends happens often. Yes, there is more than one and often a changing rotation, with a decent range of age and even species! I know that she is developing social skills that our lifestyle does poorly on, namely daily interaction with other kids.
There were a few incidents that displeased me greatly. When the imaginary friend was the cause or inspiration for a mess. This got resolved when I firmly stated that my daughter is responsible for her friends. That they needed to go home if they continue. I even needed to make a pretend phone call to one particularly pesky friend’s imaginary mom.
What is a joy to watch is her taking care of her friends, like when they get sick or are hungry. I often catch my girl putting into practice etiquette and politeness skills with her imaginaries that she forgets with us. I see that she is picking up if not always putting into practice values I am instilling. At least I know we are slowly getting somewhere!!
I have been told and I have read that the unseen friends usually vanish when a child attends school and befriends visible tangible children. I am as of yet uncertain as to how our world will allow for this. Or will she keep for longer her companions no one else can see? In being a witness to this form of play I am reassured that she is developing social and cognitive skills. Even though only in her mind, therefore strangely this is part of socialization. She interacts similarly with her animals, and treats them as friends. Her imagination and therefore creativity is vibrant and brimming full of ingenuity. Time will tell and I look forward to hearing all the adventures with the ones I cannot see! 💜
2 thoughts on “Unseen, Unheard and Imaginary”
As a child, I remember telling stories to myself. Just like you, my parents were amused. I out grew it. Your post reminded me of my child hood
Thank you so much for this comment! I am glad to have given you a means to revisit fond memories! Must be one of the sources of your creativity!!