Thursday, December 24, 2009
Does Your Child Have An Imaginary Friend?
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.
Posted by Yvonne Perry at 7:57 AM