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The Benefits Of Imaginary Friends

Decent Essays
“Mom, can you give Helicoptrin some more spaghetti? She’s really hungry after flying all the way here.” Everyone knows that imaginary friends are some children’s playmates that aren’t real and cannot be seen, but what does that exactly mean, and why do some children have them and some do not? According to Marjorie Taylor, a developmental psychologist, “an imaginary companion is a friend whom a child has created, talks about or interacts with on a regular basis.” Most children’s imaginary friend experiences are positive. The imaginary friends are kind and nice, and the children like them. This wasn’t always the case. In the past, it was believed that “imaginary companions were harmful or evil, and were a sign of a social deficit, demonic possession, or mental illness.” (Young, 2016) Another theory from the past was that imaginary friends were of a spiritual nature. Some even believed them to be guardian angels that were there to give support or comfort to adults but got passed down to children. (Kara, 2017) Over many years and through many theories, people have been intrigued about why some young people develop imaginary friends, how common of an occurrence it is and what might be some factors that come into play with children who develop imaginary companions. I will go into an in-depth explanation in the paragraphs to follow.
The first question that many people want to know, especially when a child in their own life develops one, is how common are imaginary friends?
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