Imaginary friend

A curious phenomenon arises in some children between the ages of two and eight years old: many boys and girls start having imaginary friends. They don't have to be invisible entities either; they can also be stuffed animals and dolls that children have given a personality.

But why are they created? Some experts say it is due to a child's need to express and communicate their feelings; others believe it is a result of the development of children's imagination; and there are also those who think that these "friends" are born to satisfy a personal need.

Given our position, we don't want to influence the opinion of the parents; but we do want to draw your attention to a few studies on this issue. One of them was carried out at the La Trobe University in Melbourne and after a survey of 330 of its students, it concluded that those who had imaginary friends showed a greater aptitude for communication, a higher level of empathy and were more creative. The other study was carried about by the University of Manchester and, after a survey of children between three and 6 years old, concluded that those who had imaginary friends had a wider vocabulary and were more experienced communicators.

Creative and communicative skills have always been associated to more sensitive personalities. Does this mean that imaginary friends foster creativity or that children with a creative personality construct these imaginary friends? This is a question yet to be studied. We just want to emphasize that, with the data that has been collected, there is nothing wrong with our children having imaginary friends.

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