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Children who have fantasy friends are more socially aware. They can put themselves in other people's shoes better than peers who don't have imaginary friends.
Children with imaginary friends tend to talk more about personalities than visual clues when describing real friends, suggesting that they focus more on the minds of others than their looks. Children with invisible playmates are also more creative than others.
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Parents often wonder how they should approach their children's imaginary friend.
Most children with imaginary friends understand the difference between their own fantasy and reality. The best thing then is to accept the imaginary playmate and join in with the child.
In the early 19th century, psychologists feared that imaginary friends could be a sign of emotional unstability or psychological problems in children.
But over the last two decades, scientists have learned that invisible friends are really a sign of positive developmental progress.
Studies found that 65% of children play with invisible playmates. Children typically start inventing imaginary friends at age three to five.
Children make up imaginary friends to relieve loneliness, especially firstborn or only children. A...
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