As opposed to the old ways of thinking, when parents viewed imaginary friends as a warning sign that their child would become socially inept, we now know that the prevailing wisdom is not necessarily true. Instead of being seen as a way to withdraw from the world and deal with stress, imaginary friends are seen as a chance for children to boost their social skills.
A recent study that was conducted by La Trobe University in Melbourne discovered that children who are between the ages of three to six benefit greatly from the presence of an imaginary friend. Playing in this way is wonderful for a child's creativity, as well as their language skills. It has been proven that these children use far more complex sentence structures than their counterparts, have a vast and varied vocabulary and encounter less problems getting along with their classmates.
The explanation for this phenomenon is actually quite simple. A child who has an imaginary friend develops crucial experience in taking up both sides of a hypothetical conversation. They can play a variety of different roles, think in an abstract manner, and come up with original ideas rather easily.
The areas of the brain that allow for imaginary friends are the regions that tap into some of our most advanced thinking. Studies show that any sort of imaginary play is great for a child's overall development, which is why parents shouldn't become hung up on made-up friends. Children need healthy amounts of creativity and encouragement to reach their true potential and their guardians should provide them with the space that they need to explore. Discouraging a child from having imaginary friends may only serve to impede their social and personal growth.
Don't micromanage a child's schedule as a means of keeping them from having imaginary friends. They need the support of their parents when it comes to directing their own play. So be sure to take a step back and watch the show. When your child is using their mental capacity to invent an imaginary friend, they are laying the groundwork for the continued building of brainpower!