Imaginary Friend
Mother & Baby India|November 2021
Imaginary friends can be ‘responsible’ for all sorts of mischief. But should you worry about your tot’s new best pal, or is it a harmless stage of her development? We find out…

Have you noticed another little addition to your household – one who loves Noddy and ice cream, but who tends to throw the crayons all over the floor and hates broccoli? If so, your tot may have acquired an imaginary friend.

According to leading UK-based child psychologist Dr Richard Woolfson, author of Why Do Kids Do That, many children have invisible buddies— and they’re a perfectly normal part of development. “Research suggests at least a quarter of children under eight have an imaginary friend at some stage,” he says. “They tend to appear when your tot’s about three.”

Take Jai, three, the youngest of four children. “He often plays with his friend Jumbo, who’s an elephant. We hear Jai chatting to him, and when Jumbo’s not around, Jai’s on the phone talking to him,” says mum Madhavi Bakri from Pune. “But it’s frustrating if Jai won’t do what I ask him because he’s busy with Jumbo,” she says.

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