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Imaginary friends

(10 Posts)
Paula1 Tue 19-Jun-01 13:18:55

My 3yo son has an imaginary friend. He hadn't mentioned him for ages, but yesterday he told me that 'Buin' was in the back of the car and was trying to cut him with scissors. He soon forgot, and didn't mention him again... is this really odd?

Won't be able to check mumsnet for a while, off to Mark Warner Paleros at some ungodly hour tomorrow morning.

Winnie Tue 19-Jun-01 14:53:03

Paula1, my daughter had an imaginary friend from about eighteen months old to about eight or nine years of age. When she was a toddler the imaginary friend was a constant in our lives but almost over night she would not mention him/her (never did work out the gender) for a while. Every so often he/she would be mentioned and played with for a time and then no mention again. I do believe that a good six months had gone by before the last mention of her imaginary friend. Personally, I'd not worry about it. I think it is completely healthy. Just out of curiosity is your son an only child?

Ems Tue 19-Jun-01 16:18:47

Our son has an imaginary friend that arrived at nursery when he was about 4ish. It was when he moved classes and when I imagine playtime was slightly different. So he said was OK because he played with his 'friend'. I always knew when he'd had a 'lonely' day because of the adventures the two of them had been up to!! Didnt seem to bother him in the slightest and didnt worry me at all. Showed a fantastic imagination.

After a while he wasnt mentioned until son started primary and then out he popped again, I dont make an issue out of it and I listen to the adventure. It makes me aware that he's feeling a little insecure and alerts me to his feelings that I may not have been aware of otherwise.

He doesnt get mentioned at home or holidays, only when son needs a friend ..... aaaaah!!!

Kmg Tue 19-Jun-01 17:43:09

My son (almost 4) has had an imaginary friend (Sophie) for over a year now. Sometimes she's really around a lot - like he talks to her walking down the stairs, sometimes we never hear anything about her for weeks at a time. We just leave it in his hands - I don't worry about it in the slightest.

At the moment it's mostly Sophie's friends and relations that get mentioned - Sophie's mum drives a train, Sophie's grandad mends cars, etc. Oh yes, I forgot Sophie drives space rockets a lot too!

PS Winnie he's not an only child - why do you ask?

Binza Tue 19-Jun-01 20:52:36

I think it's brilliant that children can have imaginary friends although it would annoy me to death if they used them to excuse their own misdemeanors (?) which is what my nephew used to do. His always took the rap for all the naughty stuff. I'm not sure if my 2 1/2 yr old has one but he does have a lot of conversations/ arguements with himself. I must admit it has me in stitches when I hear him on the listener going on and on to himself. It certainly wouldn't worry me and as Ems said it shows they've got a good imagination.

Chairmum Tue 19-Jun-01 23:38:03

My elder daughter had a whole raft of imaginary friends. They were quite fun, except when we were shopping because I had to hold the shop door open until all of them had passed through! She grew out of them when she was about seven.

Winnie Wed 20-Jun-01 05:54:31

Kmg, I asked about being an only child because people always said that my dd had an imaginary friend becasue she was an only child. Personally, I always thought this was over simplifying it. It is interesting what is being said about imaginations. My daughter, now eleven, has always had a great imagination. She writes wonderful stories and can usually entertain herself for long periods of time, I wonder if this is significant?

Margy Sat 23-Jun-01 21:16:19

My daughter had an imaginary mother. Even told us where she lived (opposite the CO-OP) and what quilt covers she had on the beds. It all had to be dealt with one Sunday when she put on her shoes and wanted me to open the front door so that she could go and visit her!She even told me which way she was going to go. We had 2 other imaginary friends who were characters from a sticker book and we had some very involved conversations about how they all got to work, what they wore and their social life!!!!!!!!!!!!Not bad for 3! Now that she is 4 there's no mention of them.

Cam Wed 27-Jun-01 19:20:08

My 4 year old daughter has an imaginary horse! She attends a very good private school (currently in the last term of their kindergarten) and the teachers there encourage it madly saying it is a sign of intelligence! The worst bit about it for me is not the imaginary feeding with the imaginary oats or imaginary brushing etc which I have to do, but that it is named after me (my Christian name). Everyone seems to find this particularly hilarious.

Paula1 Thu 28-Jun-01 12:21:51

Thanks for this, I'll stop worrying. 'Buin' has not been mentioned at all while we were on holiday, but my son did tell me the day before we went that he was in the back of the car trying to cut him with scissors!!!

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