Children with imaginary friends are far from abnormal. In fact, imaginary friends are being found to assist children in development and provide happy feelings.
In most cases, imaginary friends help children alleviate boredom, feelings of loneliness or unhappiness, and can assist them during difficult times. Most imaginary friends are also entertaining for children, and “act” fun and kind.
For the study, children between the ages of 5 and 11 were interviewed about their experiences with their imaginary friends.
In most cases, imaginary friends turned out to be a positive habit for children. Being readily available, providing entertainment, and as a source for listening, imaginary friends were generally positive. However, in some cases, children used their ‘friends’ as a way to explain their frustrations or troubles, which some believe may make them more likely to keep problems inside as they get older.
Parents should not be alarmed if their child is talking to an invisible person. It is a normal part of development. Most children understand their friends are imaginary and unreal, but still special and important to them.