DS (nearly 3) seems to have an imaginary friend - am I a bad parent?

(35 Posts)
EugenesAxe Tue 05-Feb-13 17:32:09

That's it really... he has a sister of 15 months and they play together, but she's still mainly in the 'disrupting his play' rather than 'joining his play' phase as far as he's concerned.

Today he mentioned in the car 'Buppy' who was his 'big friend' & I sort of left it as a one-off comment... but he's just said something about his tea being 'Buppy's tea in the next room'. I do play with him but have a house to run so don't give him my undivided attention... just wondered if this was common or a bad thing that means I'm not really engaging with him enough. I don't think I'm much different from other parents but would be interested in stories.

Totally normal (in our house at least). DS1 had an imaginary best friend Panky for a few years, he used to cling on to the car roof when we went on holiday as there wasn't a car seat big enough, what with him being 40ft tall. He could also fly and say the alphabet backwards but went off to live with his best friend Chim in Germany when DS1 started school. We kind of miss him now but DS2 has just started mentioning his new friend Sig, so looks like more fantastic adventures for us.

EugenesAxe Tue 05-Feb-13 18:19:51

Haha! That sounds excellent... OK I'll stop being all neurotic. My sister had one but she was 8-10 years younger than me and my other sister, so we thought it was understandable.

deleted203 Tue 05-Feb-13 18:21:40

Very, very common. You're not a bad parent, and it's not a bad thing. I always thought it was interesting that they'd use their imagination in this way.

Pancakeflipper Tue 05-Feb-13 18:22:24

Normal in our house. My 4 yr old has various friends who I never see.

I used to have an entire imaginary family. I can still remember their names and they lived in the Lego house I built for them.

Murtette Tue 05-Feb-13 22:01:48

DD has one. Its fab. If she's asking me to play with her and I need to do some washing or something I just suggest she and imaginery friend go and have a tea party or something & off she goes and spends half an hour or so playing with this completely made up friend.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 05-Feb-13 22:04:05

I think it is a sign that the child is very imaginative. It is great.

DS had a little boy that lived in the mirror. He was called Alan. If we were out and about and he caught sight of his reflection, he would say in tones of great surprise "Alan! What are YOU doing here" grin

Shakey1500 Tue 05-Feb-13 22:06:05

Humphrey I nearly woke DS up laughing at that! Classic. grin grin

Murtette Tue 05-Feb-13 22:07:41

I'm also giggling at Humphrey's DS. And where did the name Alan come from? DD's imaginary friend has a much more exotic name.

EugenesAxe Tue 05-Feb-13 22:49:20

Maybe he was watching the groundhog (or whatever it is) on that brilliant animals-dubbed-with-comedians'-voices show. I always forget its name but it's Jason Manford (?) doing the 'Alan! Alan! Al! Al! Alan!'.

All the stories are very amusing I think... what's the name then, Murtette? Unless its a give away.

HoneyDragon Tue 05-Feb-13 22:54:38

Dd (also 3) has her friend "Willy down the road". He doesn't live with us, and we have yet to ascertain which road he actually lives down. But from all accounts he is lovely young man.

MsPickle Tue 05-Feb-13 23:04:15

Ds had a friend but he didn't hang around for long. He did have an incident on a tube escalator though when he didn't listen and get off in time and was dragged under the top step. Thankfully there was a secret tunnel that got him through the ticket barrier and back to us. Phew. The gorilla on the other hand keeps popping up.

sashh Wed 06-Feb-13 07:45:09

I love these.

Every few months someone asks if it is normal to have an imaginary friend and you all have fantastic tales.

I seem to remember Bob the Builder moved in with one MNer, and then moved all his friends in.

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 06-Feb-13 07:50:18

My 3 year old DS has an imaginary dragon called Ed. He's very friendly and all, but it's a bit tricky when he comes into the house as we all keep stepping on his feet (which are rather large).

throckenholt Wed 06-Feb-13 07:53:04

My DS1 had an imaginery friend called noo-noo - I can't for the life of me remember anything else at all about it now (DS is 11 now). My other 2 didn't have imaginary friends.

Either way is perfectly normal. He will grow out of it in time.

HoneyDragon Wed 06-Feb-13 08:28:33

Don't get me started on imaginary dragons! Ds's was called Jason. grin

Gingerbreadpixie Wed 06-Feb-13 13:19:20

I had an imaginary friend around the same age! He was clearly preferable to my "annoying" little brother, 18 months younger.

Totally normal smile

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 06-Feb-13 13:24:27

DS had a little boy that lived in the mirror. He was called Alan.

ROARING at that! I don't even know why! grin

Why Alan FFS?

Aren't kids weird?

thegreylady Wed 06-Feb-13 17:15:13

dgs has an 84 year old sister who is a ballerina!!!!![yes 84-eighty four]
her name is Sophie

thegreylady Wed 06-Feb-13 17:15:38

dgs is 3.11

DoIgetastickerforthat Wed 06-Feb-13 17:26:58

Also loving Alan!

DS 2 had imaginary dragon friends, Rainbow Dragon, Prickly Dragon and Hungry Dragon at that age.

DS 3 (3) thinks he is DonkeyKong and spends most of his time on his haunches and knuckles, beating his chest and saying "mahoohoo". We have to start every sentence with "oo oo, do you want a biscuit, oo ooo" or he won't respond. Children are, as a rule, bonkers.

PolterGoose Wed 06-Feb-13 18:27:53

Ds had 'the girls' which was a group of imaginary girls named after some of the girls at nursery grin

He also went through a period if only answering to 'Pingu' confused

DoItToJulia Wed 06-Feb-13 18:31:47

We lived with Bernie for a long time....when we moved we had to leave him behind for the new family.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 06-Feb-13 18:32:01

It made us laugh too.

Until the day that he dramatically said "I want to go home"
"You ARE home" says I.
"No, this is Alan's home. I want to go to MY home"

And to add a final, scary twist, we then found out that in 1911 there was a young lad living here as a servant whose name was Allen Fisher........

we will ignore the fact that Allen grew up and fought in ww1 and left this house and didn't die in a creepy accident etc etc

wordfactory Wed 06-Feb-13 18:36:29

I had lots of imaginary friends OP. In fact I still do - I just call them characters in my books! A healthy imagination is a gift.

EmpressOfThePuddle Wed 06-Feb-13 18:46:45

DD had Mr Nobody, Mrs I Don't Know and The Inquisible Man when she was at nursery grin
The three of them got up to all sorts and she thought it was terribly unfair when she got into trouble for it.

shebird Wed 06-Feb-13 21:05:47

Totally normal I was told it was a sign of a vivid imagination and a creative mind. DD had a 'friend' Bernie that was a boy wore stripped pyjamas and had red hair. It's a sweet little phase that allows them to act out different situations and enjoy a bit of fantasy.

EugenesAxe Wed 06-Feb-13 21:07:48

Thanks everyone - laughed at "mahoohoo". wordfactory that's really exciting! Any we know?

Humphrey - "I see dead people" confused

OK so wrong emoticon, but it looks a bit like I did when I read your update...

cory Thu 07-Feb-13 22:45:36

OP, did you read the thread on MNers who have an imaginary double life?

I was one of them; I'm 49 and not at all lonely or unhappy.

It's just creativity: like musical people sing and artistic people draw, people with an imagination make things up. Ds used to have his own country, with its own language and everything.

The only thing that surprised and shocked me about that thread was the realisation that there are people out there who do not make up stories: what do they do with their brains?

Tommy Thu 07-Feb-13 22:48:18

DS1 had 2 imaginary friends - a boy called Honey and his sister who was called Ben confused
I'm sure they went just as quickly as they came! Thanks for reminding me and giving me a little chuckle

artifarti Fri 08-Feb-13 12:39:33

DS1 is 4.5 and has an evil imaginary friend called Wozza; he's been around for 3 or so years. He turns up from time to time and causes trouble (i.e. 'Wozza just hit me!') and the other day DS1 told me that the jailmen had had to put him in space because he is so naughty hmm We have worked out that Wozza always seems to turn up when DS1 seems to be a bit stressed about something (e.g. starting school) and I think it must help him to feel in control of something. He also has a nice one called Kacky, but he doesn't come very often. I don't worry about it smile.

junkcollector Fri 08-Feb-13 14:33:27

DS2 had quite a few imaginary friends when he was about 2 or 3. Markum and Mr poo poo were an evil duo who were always saying mean things about people. Nobody liked them. There were various others that appeared from time to time.
The horses were the best though. We rode them on the way to DS1's school and it avoided all the faffing about looking at leaves and dog poo.

Haberdashery Fri 08-Feb-13 14:43:42

Oh god, we had hundreds. The only one I liked was Super Sammy who used to find my hairbrush for me in the mornings. All the rest had endless lists of unfulfillable demands and were right little PITAs.

DD has many imaginary characters that people her world, she also has an alter ego called Red Cat.

mummytime Fri 08-Feb-13 14:53:32

We used to have the Tweenies living with us, and used to have to wait for them to go downstairs first. DD1 had a whole other imaginary family.
Best name was "George-the-bin-roll-up-the-bath".

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