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imaginary friends!!

(30 Posts)
onwardandupwards Thu 13-Oct-11 18:16:19

my son who is going through tests for PDA/ASD/ADHD has had a imaginary friend called the naughty elf who gets the blame for everything. this elf arrived when my son was just over 3 and doctors said he would grow out of it however my son is nearly 7 and the elf is still here in fact only this evening my son told me the elf told him to throw his dinner on the floor.any advice welcomed!!!

madwomanintheattic Thu 13-Oct-11 18:27:04

dd2 lived with entire cast of balamory for some time. however, miss hoolie abandoned her one night and she was inconsolable for a week.

imaginary friends are v interesting in terms of coping strategies for sn kids. what did you do when he said the elf told him to throw the food on the floor?

the elf would have been banished to his room in my house. grin (along with his real friend wink. dual punishment.

does he have the understanding to be using it to explain an element of his personality that he can't control? does he know the elf is imaginary? with dd2 i think that's why subconsciously miss h disappeared - she knew really that it wasn't going to cut it any more... but she still genuinely grieved iyswim...

PipinJo Thu 13-Oct-11 18:53:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

onwardandupwards Thu 13-Oct-11 19:00:30

i just cleaned the mess up and that was the end of it. cant put him in his room as he would have total meltdown that will last for hrs and he becomes very aggressive.Im all out of ideas!!

madwomanintheattic Thu 13-Oct-11 20:54:10

ds1 has a meltdown if i send him to his room as well. tbh i still use it as a consequence for certain behaviours as i know how much he understands. it's grim and has repercussions for hours, but i do feel that i need to get across that some things are not acceptable.

you have to tailor your response to his understanding, rather than trying to keep him happy, i think. i would suggest he knew full well that throwing food on the floor was not acceptable behaviour, which is why the elf got the blame. grin

(no idea whether consciously or unconsciously of course)

what consequences do you use? computer time? no ds? no tv?

onwardandupwards Thu 13-Oct-11 21:06:27

took away his tv and he really wasnt bothered, he put his ds in the wheelie bin as he got cross with it, the only thing he really cares about is his bear and i feel really bad taking that away.nothing fazes this boy!!

coff33pot Thu 13-Oct-11 23:11:52

I totally sympathise with you. This morning DS poored his entire drinks water bottle down the front of his uniform neck. Plainly said it was itchy and my "friend" told me to do it to stop the itching confused

onwardandupwards Fri 14-Oct-11 17:44:40

Today the naughty elf is tired and wants to watch a dvd with a blanket. Really cannot tell any more if my ds really knows this elf is imaninary. The elf eats with us,goes to school with my ds and wont leave (hes been here 3 1/2 years) at this rate he will be going to my ds prom! how long do they stay???

PipinJo Fri 14-Oct-11 17:48:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

madwomanintheattic Fri 14-Oct-11 17:56:41

well, if the elf is having a lovely time getting to do what he wants, i suspect he isn't going to be in a hurry to leave. grin

madwomanintheattic Fri 14-Oct-11 17:58:02

i'd be saying 'oh, ok.' tucking the elf up on the sofa with a blankie, and then saying 'right, ds, it's time to go to the shops' and putting him in the car.

madwomanintheattic Fri 14-Oct-11 18:00:28

you don't have to say 'the elf is a figment of your imagination'. but you do have to make it very clear that ds and the elf are different people. and sometimes have to do different things. like go to the shops or not throw food on the floor.

once the imaginary friend is no use, they usually disappear of their own accord.

there's nothing wrong with imaginary friends (of my 3, only dd2 had them) but if they are excusing poor behaviour, you do need to step in.

PipinJo Fri 14-Oct-11 18:02:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

onwardandupwards Fri 14-Oct-11 18:05:23

My ds is at his nannas he tucked the elf in bed and put a dvd on for him b4 ds left! have tried everything, my ds even wrote to santa and asked him to take the elf to the north pole and turn him into a nice elf, he sets traps to catch him. ds is on the waiting list to see someone.

madwomanintheattic Fri 14-Oct-11 18:30:13

he's very clever, isn't he? ds, not the elf. grin

onwardandupwards Fri 14-Oct-11 20:23:44

yes he is. might serve the elf an eviction notice!!!

madwomanintheattic Fri 14-Oct-11 20:28:49

get it signed by the council. wink

onwardandupwards Fri 14-Oct-11 20:42:07

Wish it was that easy! Have been told ds is on a waiting list and will be seen in about 6 months.

coff33pot Fri 14-Oct-11 21:38:54

This is a VERY long shot but...............as DS is away could you write a notelet and draw some christmasy things on it saying its from Father Christmas to the elf requesting his help now its soon to be christmas and he has all the wrapping up to do? Then one from the elf saying his goodbyes as he has to go on holiday for a while to help father christmas but will write each week?

Would he buy that? You could just drop a note at the foot of the letterbox or a postcard of his escapades once in a while to keep him going till it fizzles maybe.

onwardandupwards Fri 14-Oct-11 21:49:43

That is a fantastic idea, I am going to do that tonight as ds is sleeping at his Nannas and i think he might just belive it. What a fab idea thank u!

coff33pot Fri 14-Oct-11 22:02:11

I hope it works. I only thought of it because I did this with dd when she was little and wouldnt part with her dummy. We wrote a letter with glitter on from the fairies saying that as dd was such a big girl we needed her help as they knew of a little baby that needed a dummy as she was crying in the night. She was asked to leave it under a tree in the garden in a little bag. And she did it and was left a reward for it but we then sent a thank you note and then two letters from the babys mummy and the baby saying her dummy was being looked after.

He might not be impressed but if its there in black and white he may buy it and if he does a "naughty" and says its the elf you can at least refer to the letter and give him the consequence lol but also leave a note next morning for the elf from his holidays to keep the thing going. Good luck smile

onwardandupwards Fri 14-Oct-11 22:09:18

will do that tonight so when he comes home tomorrow he will get the letter and hopefully santa will keep the elf, unless he gets a lift back on christmas eve.....

coff33pot Fri 14-Oct-11 22:39:39

AH! but he might get his wish on becoming the good elf then grin

onwardandupwards Fri 14-Oct-11 22:43:03

you have no idea how excited i am at the thought of being elf free!!!!

coff33pot Fri 14-Oct-11 22:46:35

Well then if he is still going on about his little mate xmas eve do a little box with a gift in and a note from Father Christmas that he has sent Elf to "how to be good school" and he thanks him for looking after his elf and will keep him posted on his "good deeds he has done" The skys the limit! grin

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