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Thread: Did you have an imaginary friend as a child?

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    Did you have an imaginary friend as a child?

    I recently became aware of the fact that imaginary friends are extremely common among children. An article in Psychology Today reports that 77% of the kids interviewed had an imaginary friend. A British study found that 65% of 7-year-old children have had an imaginary companion at some point in their lives.

    I read a bit on the subject and academic research mentions that imaginary friends may help children develop their social skills such as cooperation and improve their theory of mind. Many of the kids with imaginary friends had them to fight boredom and loneliness, and apparently such friends were more common among single or first-born children. Boys and girls are equally likely to have an imaginary companion.

    All this came a bit as a shock to me as I have never had an imaginary friend and I don't remember any of my childhood friends having had any (maybe they kept it a secret). The concept seems so outlandish to me that I can't believe that about 2/3 or 3/4 of kids have/had one. I was a first born and did suffer a lot from loneliness as a child as I felt too different from other kids, but it never crossed my mind to invent a friend when I could just play with my toys and pretend that little soldiers, Star Wars figurines or Lego were real (which is not at all the same thing as imagining I am playing with those toys with an imaginary human of my age).

    What was your experiences as kids? If you had an imaginary friend, what did it bring to you emotionally?
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    I never had a imaginary friend

    My younger son had an Imaginary friend , but he sleep walked, it only appeared when he sleepwalked........and lost his "friend" when he stopped sleep walking .................I never sleepwalked ( as stated by parents )
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    I remember talking to someone while playing when I was a kid, but I was aware that there's no one with me. I don't think that was an "imaginary friend" though as they tend to change depending on what I was playing.

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