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Imaginery friend for ds 5, what do I do?

(33 Posts)
breeze Thu 13-Jan-05 08:24:30

I just wanted advice really as my ds 5, as he has started talking to and about his imaginery 'brother' he has given him a name and talks to him now and again, while I was in the bath this morning he bought his brother in as well and introduced us, I didn't know what to do, I dont know wether to ignore the friend, or talk to it, as I dont want to encourage it.

I know that its not uncommon for children to have them, just wanted some advice and insight as to why they have one.

TIA

nailpolish Thu 13-Jan-05 08:29:30

why would you not want to encourage it?

breeze Thu 13-Jan-05 08:41:28

In case by enchoraging it, thats not the best thing to do.

nailpolish Thu 13-Jan-05 08:43:13

ive never really thought about this, but if dd had an imaginary friend, i would go along with it. ill be reading this thread with interest, as i wouldnt be surprised if she did. she has a wild imagination

breeze Thu 13-Jan-05 08:47:50

They do dont they, I just had visions on Sally in corrie going on at her dd's imaginery friend and I think Sally even killed her in the end (imaginery friend and not dd).

I clearly don't want to upset him by saying there is no-one there, just looking for the best advice to deal with it.

aloha Thu 13-Jan-05 08:53:06

I'd treat it like any other imaginary game - eg "Oh, hello, how are you? - What is he up to now?" etc. Just not make a huge deal. Actually, probably even "Oh, that's nice dear" would be fine too. I don't think it's worrying at all.

Stripymouse Thu 13-Jan-05 09:04:10

My DD1 (3 and a half) has a constant stream of imaginary friends - very fickle. Most are from Disney movies and she will say stuff like "mummy, can Aladdin and me play upstairs.." or "don’t sit there, you are sitting on Stitch!" Bit odd at first but now got used to it. I reckon it is just her creative imagination letting loose and just innocent open play, not concerned at all. If your child had other worrying behavioural symptoms or found socialising with anyone else really difficult and so possibly very lonely, I would be concerned enough to contact someone, but if it is just play and imagination I would let it go.
Anyone seen the movie Drop Dead Fred? - my DD even looks like her at the beginning of the movie when she is a little girl

nailpolish Thu 13-Jan-05 09:05:20

oh i love that film! very funny

breeze Thu 13-Jan-05 09:10:00

Hi, nothing has happened and he seems to always be talking about new friends and old that he plays with at school. I think most of his friends has brothers or sisters, and perhaps he has just invented himself one at home.

makealist Thu 13-Jan-05 09:17:22

has he been watching the new cartoon out at the moment? I think its called "Baxter's house for imaginary friends" It might of put the idea in his head about imaginary friends. Has anybody else watched this programme, I have and must admit i quite enjoy it!

breeze Thu 13-Jan-05 09:27:05

I will have to check with his nan as he spends one night a week round there. His 'brother' is called smithy if that rings any bells.

colditzmum Thu 13-Jan-05 09:33:34

I was an only child until I was 5, and I had a constant stream of imaginary friends. I thinks kids who do this are just practicing their social skills

4kids Thu 13-Jan-05 09:37:50

My ds had a imaginery frnd at 5 called sarah & she lived in the local woolworths store just went along with it they soon grow out of it.

galapagosgianttortoiseshell Thu 13-Jan-05 09:39:05

my ds has imaginary parents! think it's ok!

Prettybird Thu 13-Jan-05 10:06:05

Ds is 4 and has Woody, Buzz (from Toy Story), Stuart (Little) and George (Little) as friends. They come and go and sometimes play with each other. We just "play" along and don't make a big deal about it it.

It shows that some of our lessons are getting though, as he often insists on holding Stuart's hand when we are crossing the road!

Marina Thu 13-Jan-05 10:15:08

I think they are a sign of an active imagination, and as others have said, a useful way of rehearsing social skills and situations. Ds has had an invisible (please note not imaginary or non-existent ) pal since the age of three. This friend arrived on the scene shortly after our second child was stillborn so we think he may be the little brother ds wanted and misses still, despite being very fond of his little sis. For that reason we have always accommodated Randall (another Disney friend) without actively encouraging ds about him.
I read a really good article by Raj Persaud a while back on this subject - he agreed with all of us that the best thing is not to deny or ridicule these friends, or make a big issue of them.

monkeygirl Thu 13-Jan-05 10:33:06

My dd who is 4 in May also has a whole host of imaginary friend who come and go. At the moment it's Scooby, Shaggy, Fred and Daphne (not Velma!) and Muju (sp?) from Mulan who follow us all around and play with her. I don't ask about them but dh and I do have to 'voice' them occasionally. I think they are both an outlet for her vivid imagination and act as a deflection tatic for when something goes wrong (they get the blame if something gets broken or she does something naughty!)

breeze Thu 13-Jan-05 10:36:53

Thanks all,

I did have to chuckle this morning when DS was talking to his friend and was saying things like, after you've finished breakfast make sure you take your plate out as that make mummy happy etc etc.

Thanks Marina for sharing your story with me, I am sorry to hear of your loss.

Marina Thu 13-Jan-05 10:39:56

Thanks Breeze - it has its origins in a time of great sadness bur Randall has also given us some cracking laughs in the past two years like yours!
Any news on those results yet? Have been thinking of you.

Newbarnsleygirl Thu 13-Jan-05 10:57:31

I can never remember but my mum says that my imaginery friend/s were Duran Duran! Apparently they came everywhere with me and I would tell my mum not to sit in certain places because Duran Duran would be sat there! I would go along with it, I think it's just a normal part of growing up. Is he your only child. I was an only child and that's why my mum thought I had made imaginery friends.

breeze Thu 13-Jan-05 11:00:53

marina, not yet, I am phoning every few days, so hopefulyl will hear something soon, thanks

starlover Thu 13-Jan-05 11:57:09

my brother used to have an imaginary friend called kissifer! (ok, it was supposed to be christopher but he was quite young!)
kissifer had to have a place set at the table and no-one was allowed to eat until he had his dinner.
He grew out of it eventually and just stopped mentioning him.
poor kissifer!

Angeliz Thu 13-Jan-05 12:02:07

My dd has had an imaginary freind for as long as i can remember, (she's 3.11). He's called David and apparently sometimnes he's sitting right next to me when i'm driving!!
He gets the blame for lots of things and when dd is especially upset over something it usually turns out it's because David het her, (It's her get out clause).
I don't worry about it, he's become a little less frequent no, i'd just go with the flow.

Angeliz Thu 13-Jan-05 12:02:32

hit her!!! sigh at my constant typos!

bundle Thu 13-Jan-05 12:07:13

we have sophie and darling, one of them is a baby and the other is the naughty one. they're rather good company, actually. and we have an imaginary grandma too, who lives in a pink house and drives a pink car (she works in tv, sometimes in radio...just like dd1's dad/mum!)

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