Does Your Child Have An Imaginary Friend?

Guest Post by Yvonne Perry

If your child interacts with an invisible playmate, he or she is not alone or crazy. By the age of seven more than 60 percent of children have had at least one imaginary friend. Although not seen by grownups, the friend may be personified in a doll or stuffed animal. Some of these friends may reside constantly with your child while others simply drop by once in a while for a visit.

Sometimes an imaginary friend gets blamed for things that the child did. For example, my son’s imaginary friend named Peter got blamed for not picking up his wet towel and swimsuit after a visit to my mom’s pool one summer. It was actually my son who didn’t pick up his towel and swimsuit. Peter somehow missed getting in our car when we left Mom’s that day. I must have said something to discourage my son because when I refused to go back and pick up Peter, my son never mentioned his friend again. If I had it to do over, I would have turned around and drove back to Mom’s to get my son’s friend. When he was about five years old, my son’s son, Sidney, had sword battles with a group of playmates he called the Onks.

Is the invisible playmate contrived in the child’s mind or is having an imaginary friend a trait of a child who is interacting with the spirit realm? I’m inclined to believe that it is a sign that the child is in touch with his or her inner guidance.

When I was a child I had a little yellow duck. My duck sat next to me at the table, took rides on my bike, listened to all my secrets, and went  everywhere I went. I left the duck in my grandmother’s lap when I was about five or six years old. I forgot about him until I was 40 years old. When I was going through a very difficult time in 1999, I dreamed of my little yellow duck. In the dream, my duck asked me if he could come back and I said yes. The next time I saw my grandmother I asked her if she still had my duck. I expected that she might have completely forgotten about him, but to my surprise she said, “Yes, I still have him. I’ve been waiting for you to come back to get him.” I thought she was just playing along with me as she pretended to transfer him to me, but things in my life changed after that incident. I found that the voice of my internal guidance was turned up a notch. I began hearing wise and logical advice in my head that led me to make decisions that were remarkably healing for me. Looking back on my imaginary friend, I now realize that my yellow duck was one of my spirit guides.

Some children speak in an unknown language with their imaginary friends. My step-granddaughter had an Asian-sounding language that she used before she learned to speak English. She called me Ho-Ho, and while I wasn’t sure whether she was equating me with Santa, I sensed that she and I had been together in a past life in which we shared this language.

If your child has an imaginary friend, there is no reason to be upset. Whether or not your child’s playmate is a spirit guide, it is a natural and positive experience for your child to enjoy these invisible friendships.  They give a child confidence when in a frightening or unfamiliar situation, such as the first day of kindergarten. As Sidney demonstrates in “You Can Be” and “A Powerful Potion” (stories in The Sid Series), children try out different roles of authority with their imaginary friend and may become the teacher, mother, father, doctor, or zoo keeper!

It’s fun to observe a child interacting with an imaginary friend. Listen to their conversations. They may be telling you something about themselves or working out a problem or stressful situation. Always encourage your child’s developing imagination and never discount the possibility that your child may be receiving inner guidance that will serve him well all his life.

Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer and editor, award-winning bestselling author, podcast host, blogger extraordinaire, newsletter publisher, Internet marketing guru, and an outstanding keynote speaker. She is a graduate of American Institute of Holistic Theology where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Metaphysics. She is the author of The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children   


Posted on November 20, 2009, in Children/Juvenile, Featured Authors, Parenting, Short Stories, Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Thank you for getting up so early today and posting my article! It is a delight to network with you.Yvonne

  2. Wishing you the best of luck on your blog tour, Yvonne! I have personally read Yvonne’s book and think it is one of the best! It touches on subjects of death, imaginery friends, spirituality and differences just to name a few, and does it in a gentle, heart felt way. Yvonne’s way of sharing her experiences with her grandson, Sid, is a gift to all parents and grandparents. What a treasure and beautifu llearning experience this book is for all!~Barbara TechelAuthor of Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll DogOfficial Mascot for National Disabled Pets Day

  3. Barbara, thank you for that sweet endorsement of The Sid Series. I appreciate your love and support as I travel the Internet. Your BFF,Yvonne

  4. Yvonne,Wishing you much success with your book tour. Wanted to stop by for the first day!This is an interesting article. It is important to listen to children when they’re at play or with an imaginary friend – you can learn a lot about what’s going on inside of them.Karen Cioffi

  5. Yvonne, and Irene–well done.Imaginary friends. Such a rich topic. I recall mine. We had many good conversations and tea parties.

  6. Just want to say I loved being part of this tour and I’d love to stay connected with fellow, caring bloggers like you Irene. Many on this tour of know how important I think tours are for letting us share what we have written with others. And I’m especially eager to share Yvonne’s amazing story.Best,Carolyn Howard-JohnsonAuthor of the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter,

  7. You guys are awesome folks to network with. Thank you for your wonderful support and the lovely comments.

  8. Your contribution to expanding our objective awareness is appreciated Yvonne.Love,Hal

  9. I believe that having an imaginary friend shows just that, imagination; and imagination is a wonderful trait for any child to have. I have read Yvonne’s book and highly recommend it.

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