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Imaginary Friend; Is It a Problem?

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IMAGINARY FRIEND; IS IT A PROBLEM?

IMAGINARY FRIEND; IS IT A PROBLEM?

It is quite common among children to have imaginary friends, with whom they talk, play, and even fight. It is also usual parental concerns regarding this issue, and the multiple visits to pediatricians, for fear that your child is suffering from some kind of disorder that could affect her future. Children at the age of 2 to 3 years old often begin to develop skills such as imagination, and it is at this stage when they begin to know their imaginary friends, almost establishing a parallel life to theirs. According to many experts, having unreal companions will not bring problems to our kids in their development. Actually, this fictitious world of fairies, princesses, and superheroes helps them grow and develop their emotions and creativity. Through these imaginary friends, children release positive and negative feelings, projecting. for instance, his conflicts with the diaper. The nonexistent relationships can strike up conversations and friendships that may help kids to understand better what´s right and wrong, and can even help them to broaden social skills. For example, children can start sharing their toys or clothes, blaming their fantastic friend for their mistakes ... etc. Parents should not participate in this world, but neither should repress nor reprimand the child for this game because it could create a conflict for the child and can make her to keep her imaginary friends from the parents. Hiding this parallel reality from parents can become a real problem, since the parents could no longer know whether their child's constant companion is a good or bad character, or what concerns and fears their child has. The role of parents is to motivate the child to play, not only with unreal friends, but also with other children, to relate and spend quality time. The imaginary friend could become a concern if this fantasy world limits the child on his daily routine or if he does not want to have real friends to play and interact; but it may be a warning sign of a psychiatric problem. The parents should simply encourage the child to other activities, experts say. Sports or team activities are usually very beneficial. In the worst case, it could be necessary to search the fears or causes for which the child does not want to leave that fantastic world. This stage in the life of many children ends at 7 or 8 years old, exactly when the child has well developed the functions of language, logic and memory. Children who don´t have siblings and who live or relate, in the first years of life most of the time with adults, are more likely to develop this fantasy world; in order to fill that lack of relationships with other children. Children that enhance their creativity from small, and form a parallel reality filled with imagination and fantasy, are more likely to engage in artistic activities in the future. Imagination is a valuable and unique tool to each human being. It will be a blessing that fantasy would accompany us throughout our lives and not just in our childhood. Without doubts, having the imagination of a child, we could make a better world. “Every child is a world and our world has millions of children” As said Rushdie, S. (Date Unknown) “The language and imagination cannot be imprisoned”
As said Hitchcock, A. (Date Unknown) “There is something more important than logic: the imagination”.
As said Einstein, A. (Date Unknown) “In moments of crisis only imagination is more important than knowledge”. WC: 587

REFERENCES
Brott, M. (Date unknown). Imaginary Friends: Should You Be Concerned, on Family Resource.com. Retrieved on November 6th, 2013, from http://www.familyresource.com/parenting/character- development/imaginary-friends-should-you-be-concerned.
Elias, M. (December 19th, 2004). 'Pretend' friends, real benefits, on UsaToday.com. Last reviewed on December 19th, 2004, from, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2004-12-19-real-play- usat_x.htm.
Goodnow, C (December 6th, 2004). Researchers take on imaginary playmates -- for real, on Seattledpi.com. Retrieved on November 6th, 2013, from, http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/article/Researchers-take-on-imaginary- playmates-for-1161361.php.
Proverbia, (Date unknown) from, http://www.proverbia.net/citastema.asp?tematica=367

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