Many children, by the age of three, play pretend games and interact with their toys, stuffed animals,
and dolls as if they were alive but even earlier than the age of seven many children take imaginative play
a step further and create and invisible friend. Invisible friends can be human, animal or fantasy creatures
and may appear individually or in groups. It is usually a first born or only child that have an imaginary
friend. Boys tend to invent male imaginary friends while girls will have either a male or female friend.
Even some adults have carried their imaginary friend from childhood into their adult life (for instance,
my own father with his elf friend, Roger the Lodger). No wonder I write music, stories and have created
a company with an imaginary format in many Baby Power Forever Kids classes.
Friend or Foe?
Here are some of the benefits of your child having an imaginary friend sited by Parents and Child Health.
Imaginary friends can be helping your child in many ways:
As playmates providing companionship
They allow the child to play creative games and try out different ways of doing things
They are a way for children to practice getting along with others
They are a way for a child to safely test out different actions and feelings. eg fear or anger
They allow a child to be in charge and control someone else at a time in her/his life when most people seem to be controlling her/him.
They allow children to have a private life that adults are not part of.
They can help children deal with strong feelings such as fears or anger, by having a fearful friend or being angry with her/his friend.
They can help children if things in their lives are stressful. For example a child who is always cross with her friend may be in a situation where she feels that the adults in her life are alwayscross with her/him.
Children that are very “good” may have a friend who is very “naughty” and does some of the things the child would like to do.
They can avoid getting into trouble with their parents because when something is wrong “the friend did it”.
What can you do?
You can talk to your child’s imaginary friend by allowing your child to invite you to play with them. Let
your child take the lead and do not add to the story of the friend. If your child, for instance, does not
want to go to bed you can invite her friend to join your child and both go to bed. Or if the little bunny or
the friend spills the milk, you can invite the friend to help clean it up.
What did my mother do when “Roger the Lodger” (who was an elf) kept jumping on her fork when we
were having dinner and my father would take his fork and brush Roger off as well as my mother’s food.
Needless to say, dinner time was long and fun, although my mother did not think it was funny. Even
today, if something goes wrong or we lost something we say “Roger was here”.
Hence Baby Power Forever Kids was born- thanks “Dad and Roger”