Joanne Gallacher
By Joanne Gallacher

Imaginary friends, does not having one mean I have no imagination?

Imaginary friends in children

Just lately I’ve been getting rather concerned that neither my boys or myself have ever had an imaginary friend - And I wonder… does it mean we lack imagination? (Ponders worryingly...)

A quick Google search and I now feel the pressure of failing as a parent (yet again, how refreshing!) as they supposedly help with confidence, verbal skills and role-play. Great!

Imaginary friends

I think some of the reasons for creating these friends have not applied to my boys, so they have yet to find the need for one.  Some children like someone to boss about, but they seem quite happy to use me for that purpose.

If I visualise really hard I could create a Super Nanny figure for myself, to guide me through the parenting day.  For those blank moments when I just run out of ideas on how to approach a situation, like when my youngest was face down on the pavement having the meltdown of all meltdowns.

My imaginary friend would whip out a reward chart, some colourful stickers and a list of rules and just know what to do… Or would they?

In my fairytale life, the boys would have Augustus and Bernadette as their imaginary friends and they’d have impeccable table manners, no backchat and good social graces (no nose picking, hair pulling, hitting action!).  They would serve as great role models for them and inspire them to be model citizens. I wish!

If I had been more calculating I should have tried to get the boys to believe we had two imaginary cats, rather than getting the two we do have, that would have saved a fortune on vet bills and food.

On reflection, perhaps life would become dull and boring if life was too serene. You’d also become very judge mental about how everybody else parents their children, knowing that the best way is your way - how horrid!

Plus, I might actually start to miss their rowdy behaviour or our smelly cats.  And knowing my luck if they did finally imagine a friend they would be even more feral than themselves… a Tasmanian devil of a child, running around in a whirl of hyper charged activity!!!

Of course we all have our moments of grace and poise, but I’m sure even the Queen has had an unruly child at some point. The benefit to being the Queen though is that you can just send them to the tower. Ha ha - I think the modern day version is probably the naughty step or the corner of the room. Ha ha…

This post was written by guest blogger Karen Langridge, proud mummy of two little boys, hopeless cook and lover of cake she also loves sharing her mummy experiences with others.

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Your comments 5

  1. 25 imaginery friends for your son I love it!  You should write a chronicle about them Gemma smile

    Off to learn the nose waggling technique Jenny!

    Thank you Lisa, they are quite busy lots of after school clubs and the like smile x

    Added by Karen Langridge 14th February 2012 - 22:25
  2. Haha! My little girl has an imaginary friend which seems to come & go. Not sure where she is at the moment…..apparantly its just the fairy that visits frequently now, lol! Usually each time she does something naughty! wink  “I cant believe my fairy did that mummy!”

    Added by Claire. T 14th February 2012 - 22:05
  3. Hey Jenny - It has to said, that if any of your children do something they cherish dear to their heart. Like football training, swimming or the like, the thought of them losing this reward for bad behaviour often does the trick.

    However, most parents don’t follow through the action if the child does not behave and if you do this once, they remember that the (Donkey and the carrot trick) is a smokescreen that you don’t follow through on. Yes, kids are very intuitive and instantly pick up on what does and doesn’t work.

    In regards to imaginary friends, I don’t believe it means you have no imagination - just that your kids are too busy to have one. Big hugs Lisa. X

    Added by Lisa Jones 13th February 2012 - 14:16
  4. I wish I had an imaginary friend every time my daughter ignores me when I’m telling her to get dressed in the morning.

    My imaginary friend would have super powers though, the kind that makes my daughter do as I say when I waggle my nose. A bit like Bewitched, that would be fun too.
    Picture the scene, so you don’t want to eat your breakfast, (Waggle of nose) oh well done daughter you ate it all.

    See, you can do it when you put your NOSE to it sweetheart. Ha ha, I think the the non-magic way is - Eat your breakfast or there’s no horse riding this weekend. Then stand back as your daughter gains a full appetite in a matter of moments. Ha ha x

    Added by Jenny 13th February 2012 - 13:58
  5. I’ve not laughed so much in ages Karen. So funny!

    I think some kids do and some kids don’t, I have a little boy who’s a bit of a dreamer and he had about 25 imaginary friends. To be honest it was hard keeping up with him.

    My daughter on the other hand had no imaginary friends. Probably because she spends her time imagining me, my husband and son jumping to her every command. She definitely thinks she’s the queen of the house. Ha ha x

    Added by Gemma 13th February 2012 - 13:50

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