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AIBU to be really spooked by DC's imaginary friend?

(44 Posts)
pooh2 Wed 26-Oct-16 23:27:09

We've just moved house and DS has just started talking about someone called 'Tim'. He talks about him all the time, does drawings for him, sets aside food for him, etc etc. We don't know anyone with this name! I know lots of kids have imaginary friends but I find it really, really creepy. DS is 2 yrs and 8 months and it's only been the last month. Not sure how to react to it :/ we have a history of severe mental illness in our family, so part of me thinks I find it so distressing is because it reminds me of someone being psychotic (one of my biggest fears is that he will get schizophrenia like so many of his relatives); the other part of me thinks he's made friends with a ghost! Is / was anyone else spooked by the lo having an imaginary friend? Thanks x

Tarla Wed 26-Oct-16 23:30:27

It's totally normal for kids to have an imaginary friend or two, especially after something major like a house move or new sibling, etc. At that age DS had an entire menagerie of invisible animals that lived in his pockets.

He'll grow out of it, in the meantime just roll with it.

peaceloveandbiscuits Wed 26-Oct-16 23:30:41

Does he watch Topsy and Tim on CBeebies? Or does he go to nursery or playgroup with a boy called Tim?

RoseGoldHippie Wed 26-Oct-16 23:31:40

Not going to lie to you, I would be completely freaked out by this too! Just try to ignore it --or do some extensive research on the history of the house --smile

YANBU

user1477282676 Wed 26-Oct-16 23:31:45

Totally normal. My DD had "Mr. Nobody"

We still mention him today when something odd happens like a door shutting on it's own..."Mr Nobody's in a bad mood"

grin

RoseGoldHippie Wed 26-Oct-16 23:32:11

Meant to be strikethrough that last bit blush

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Oct-16 23:36:21

It's completely normal.

I didn't encourage nor discourage it with my kids.

But I certainly wasn't 'spooked'.

In fact the less attention you pay, the quicker he'll probably forget about it.

MammaTJ Wed 26-Oct-16 23:37:22

I had an imaginary friend called Ingles, from very young until about 12.

She was my daughter, even when she grew up and I was still a child.

People were not allowed to sit on certain seats. I remember one Christmas leading my extended family a merry dance with my insistence that the sofa in my Aunts house was Ingle's bed and one of the chairs was her chair. Nobody had anywhere to sit!! grin

On one level, I remember absolutely believing she was real. On another, I actually 'knew' she was not.

Try not to worry, while keeping an eye on things, would be my best advice.

Tarla Wed 26-Oct-16 23:39:49

Also once his imaginary friend leaves, don't be surprised if it makes a brief reappearance(s) at times of change. DS moved on from his imaginary friends then when he started reception they briefly reappeared and then did the same again when DS2 was born, neither episode was particularly long and I think it was his way of processing/coping with the change.

FluffyPineapple Wed 26-Oct-16 23:42:00

My 9 year old has an imaginary friend. He first started talking to 'Jonti' when he was 2 years old. He still talks to him and swears Jonti is real and the only one who looks out for him. It freaks me out!

Yamadori Wed 26-Oct-16 23:46:11

My DD had "Mr. Nobody"

Good grief - I wondered where he'd gone when he left us grin

WantToRunAgain Wed 26-Oct-16 23:49:19

My DS had an imaginary friend from about 2 til about 4 - he used to get up to all sorts with him!

Then one day he just disappeared sad.

Totally normal and nothing to do with a "haunted house" or mental illness x

swampster Wed 26-Oct-16 23:49:32

Imaginary friends are ace. I had one when I was little - with a very distinctive name. I used to get teased about her but we really didn't care. She came to me when I was lonely or afraid or upset. When DS1 was about two-and-a-half to three years old, shortly after we had moved house, he SAID HER NAME. My mother was there or I might have thought I had imagined it. I had never spoken to him of her before. My mum and
I were spooked. Looked at each other. I asked him what he had said. He repeated it. I asked: "What is that?" He said, "Just someone who comes to me when I am lonely or afraid." Ten years on that still makes me happy.

user1477282676 Wed 26-Oct-16 23:57:12

Yamadori he's followed us to Australia from the UK!

In the packing cases apparently.

goingmadinthecountry Thu 27-Oct-16 00:04:00

My dd1 had 3 imaginary monkeys who were very naughty at about that age. She was convinced they were real - legged it up the stairs in M and S once to chase the naughtiest one leaving me at the bottom with dd2 in the buggy! She grew out of it by about 4 - is nearly 23 now.

TheLaundryLady Thu 27-Oct-16 00:08:14

It's totally normal nothing to be freaked out by.
My DD had an imaginary magic mushroom called 'Ray' who used to take her on trips shockgrin
He favourite place to go was chocolate land

PigPigTrotters Thu 27-Oct-16 00:08:42

My 5 yr old has an imaginary friend called Jack the Bat (he's not a bat though, that's his name), who is 10 and has a very exciting life.

Last year ds went through a stage of saying he was a soldier and died in a fire, and that he wanted his other mummy - was very freaky at the time, but after a few days it stopped.

OdeToAutumn Thu 27-Oct-16 00:14:54

My son has an imaginary friend. I find the stories he comes out with funny. I think it's actually quite creative and a positive thing that children can use their imaginations in this way.

Lemon12345 Thu 27-Oct-16 00:24:00

Not unreasonable at all, most of these stories have given me goosebumps. Especially the one with the DS saying the name of his mums childhood imaginary friend.
Now I'm freaked out, need a wee, it's midnight and the house is pitch black. Can't put lights on without waking DP and DSister.

GrinchyMcGrincherson Thu 27-Oct-16 00:38:53

Eldest DD had an imaginary pet dinosaur that lived in the garden (not the house because apparently that was just stupid... hmm) middle DD had a pet tiger (who did live in the house) both were short lived although middle DD still loves tigers.

user1473509591 Thu 27-Oct-16 00:45:35

I still remember my imaginary friends, Mr and Mrs Ghost. Used to have proper conversations with them, they stayed with me until I was about 6!

AntiHop Thu 27-Oct-16 00:54:20

I had 3 imaginary friends when I was young. I've never had a psychotic mental illness and there's no such thing as ghosts. I promise it's a normal phase.

Topseyt Thu 27-Oct-16 01:17:23

I had one when I was little. He was called Shorty and had to go everywhere with us.

I would shriek if Shorty wasn't in the car when we were going out as a family and more than once my Dad had to pull back onto the drive and run back into the house himself to get him.

Nobody could sit on a chair because Shorty would be sitting there.

When I was three my sister was born and Shorty disappeared for good. I still remember him though, and I am 50 now.

Oddly, I have no idea what he really looked like.

Peanutandphoenix Thu 27-Oct-16 04:48:06

It's completely normal for a child to have an imanginery friend I think we all did at one stage in our lives I know I did he was called Tom. I think that some imanginery friends are ghost because are very open and perceptive to ghosts.

YoJesse Thu 27-Oct-16 05:31:19

I had an imaginary friend when I was little and ds has one now. Freaky but not an indicator of future mental illness I believe.

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