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Jebus
01-27-2010, 12:19 AM
The Wikipedia entry on imaginary friends really freaked me out.


Imaginary friends often have elaborate personalities and behaviors. Although they may seem very real to their creators, studies have shown that children understand that their imaginary friends are not real.

Some children report that their "imaginary friends" manifest themselves physically and are indistinguishable from real people, while others say that they see their friends only in their heads.

I'm trying to grasp how they're visualized by the child. Does one actually see the friend with their eyes? Are kids aware that whatever the imaginary friend says is actually though up by themselves? Do they actually put the effort into thinking of the friend's "speech" or is it just a voice in their head that automatically talks back to them?

Then there's this from another website.

Sometimes the friends are forgotten, sometimes they're sent on a distant and permanent trip, and other times they "die" in a horrible accident.

So can anyone explain the through process behind their imaginary friend?

Paint_It_Black
01-27-2010, 01:27 AM
I've got nothing to share really, but this thread made me think of this article I read the other day. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100125/hl_nm/us_children_voices

Harleyquiiinn
01-27-2010, 01:35 AM
And that reminded me of this:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8netc_calvin-e-haroldo-final_fun

WARNING: DO NOT watch if you like Calvin & Hobbes. I still hate the person who showed me that video...

Oh and also, I had an imaginary friend when I was a kid. It was my polar bear Basile. We would fight the monsters and ghosts at night... I still have the bear but he's not talking to me anymore :(

But seriously, I was completely aware that it wasn't real but I was scared of the dark AND had a lot of trouble sleeping so Basile would make me feel better...

Jebus
01-27-2010, 01:58 AM
I've got nothing to share really, but this thread made me think of this article I read the other day. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100125/hl_nm/us_children_voices
You hear about kids seeing things like monsters under their beds, but parents always dismiss it as overactive imaginations. I wonder if all kids are actually crazy up to a certain age and simply repress any memories of those things as they get older.


Oh and also, I had an imaginary friend when I was a kid. It was my polar bear Basile. We would fight the monsters and ghosts at night... I still have the bear but he's not talking to me anymore
I wouldn't count stuffed animals as imaginary friends. I mean, I had a few and gave them personalities when I played with my brother, but it's not really the same as imagining one from scratch and interacting with them.

Rag Doll
01-27-2010, 05:32 AM
I had one I named Kelly until I started kindergarten. I don't really remember tons about the whole thing or what I thought at the time. I know I would blame "her" whenever I did something to get my mom mad at me and I totally thought that my mom would believe me. I don't remember actually visualizing "her" ever. Eventually, I just stopped talking to her. I definitely created her because when I was a kid I was an only child and I didn't really have any interaction with kids my own age until I started school when I was 5, so I needed something until then.

Offspring-Junkie
01-27-2010, 09:42 AM
Yeah, I had one. He looked like me, was as tall as me and I had seen him every day until I was grown up. Wait, it was my twin.

SweetTatyana
01-27-2010, 09:44 AM
did? ... or "does" ?

Offspring-Junkie
01-27-2010, 09:46 AM
He's still alive, but he doesn't look like a copy of me anymore. And I don't talk to him daily. My imaginary friend WAS my twin brother. Satisfied?

dff_punk
01-27-2010, 09:47 AM
I think this TV show deals heavily with the subject. Might be helpful.

http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Foster-s-foster-27s-home-for-imaginary-friends-258995_800_600.jpg

Paint_It_Black
01-27-2010, 10:21 AM
You hear about kids seeing things like monsters under their beds, but parents always dismiss it as overactive imaginations. I wonder if all kids are actually crazy up to a certain age and simply repress any memories of those things as they get older.

Certainly possible. And really, we try to make kids crazy. We actively encourage a belief in things that don't exist. I seriously find Santa, the tooth fairy etc. to be rather disturbing conspiracies. If I have children I am quite tempted to go for full rationality from the start.

I am also quite curious whether there is any correlation between incidents of heightened imagination (imaginary friends, voices, whatever) and the level of religion in the home and school. Because from the perspective of total rationality God is the ultimate imaginary friend.

Two of my friends believe they saw demons when they were kids, or at least they remember believing it at the time. And they were both raised in very religious homes. In my opinion, a connection there is very likely. At the very least their religion undoubtedly defined the experience. I'm sure that they would at least have reacted differently if they had not viewed the experience through the lens of religion.

wheelchairman
01-27-2010, 12:43 PM
Eh if they werren't Christian they probably would've saw something like ghosts or another stupid thing.

It's like the hallucinations during sleep paralysis have changed over the years, in the middle ages (before they knew what it was) it was assumed to be demons or vampires, in the 50's up until today it's 'aliens'. :cool:

Point being, it's an overactive imagination imo (I ain't a doctor either). Or whatever it is, it sounds harmless if they leave pretty normal lives etc.

p.s. kids love the tooth fairy and santa, what's the beef Richard?

killer_queen
01-27-2010, 03:41 PM
I never had any of those imaginary friends and the kids who have them scare the hell out of me. I usually stay away from them.


Certainly possible. And really, we try to make kids crazy. We actively encourage a belief in things that don't exist. I seriously find Santa, the tooth fairy etc. to be rather disturbing conspiracies. If I have children I am quite tempted to go for full rationality from the start.
And what a boring parent you will be. How could believing in something that doesn't exist could be bad for children? If the kid is smart enough (and I'm assuming that he will be, at least a little, since he would be your child) he could just figure out that they doesn't exist when he comes to a certain age. Ruining their imagination would do no good for children's minds, I believe.

WebDudette
01-27-2010, 04:13 PM
I'm also really tempted to just come out an tell my kids Santa doesn't exist. I really am, I'm just concerned it'll prevent them from developing a good imagination.

As far as imaginary friends, I had one, his name was Jason, he was a ghost like Casper. I always thought it was an absurd thing to have, but I did it just for the sake of doing it. Because it seemed like something I was supposed to do. Kind of like when I would try to make my food look just like it did in cartoons or something. Anyway, I never saw him or anything, I barely even talked to him or acknowledged his 'existence'.

dexter12296566
01-27-2010, 05:38 PM
Well my brother always had a "friend" named Peter which he claimed was as big as an elephant and when I moved to my current house years ago I saw Betsy and Jake which I still believe I saw though i dont often see them anymore

chicapowerpunk
01-27-2010, 05:41 PM
I think it's good to have an imaginary friend if you're alone, without friends or brother, but people use it as obsession, may be psychological...:D;)

Tired_Of_You
01-27-2010, 05:45 PM
I never had any of those imaginary friends and the kids who have them scare the hell out of me. I usually stay away from them.


And what a boring parent you will be. How could believing in something that doesn't exist could be bad for children? If the kid is smart enough (and I'm assuming that he will be, at least a little, since he would be your child) he could just figure out that they doesn't exist when he comes to a certain age. Ruining their imagination would do no good for children's minds, I believe.

I know you were not answering me, but I'm not sure how it would prevent them being imaginative/having imagination? I don't see the link between not making your children believe in Santa Claus and other invention of the like and imagination. After all, there are tons of others characters (books, tv, movies, stories, etc.) that can be prensented to them. Moreover, Santa is a relatively new invention that is not present worldwide. Now, the kid could feel alone, say in kindergaden where everyone believe in that stuff, but even then, I got told pretty early on at school that it didn't exist... oh and I think I remember being frustrated at my parents for telling me about Santa and the Tooth Fairy, but I don't know if it's relevent.

Lizardus
01-27-2010, 06:03 PM
p.s. kids love the tooth fairy and santa, what's the beef Richard?

He didn't get the 12 boxes of uranium 238 he asked when he was a kid, only a box full of socks.

Jebus
01-27-2010, 10:56 PM
Not believing in Santa won't hinder their imagination, but it'll certainly hinder their imagination from going wild during Christmas, which is pure evil quite frankly. Anyway, I always though Santa was a good of exercise of critical though. You start picking up clues as you grow up until you finally figure it out. Unless that jerk Timmy spills the beans before you had a chance.

sKratch
01-27-2010, 11:15 PM
I only played with stuffed animals etc., and I'm pretty sure I knew I was playing pretend.

WebDudette
01-28-2010, 12:16 AM
I used to have full on wrestling matches with my stuffed animals, one of them being a whale bigger than me. I'd also announce everything by myself 'Oh, going for the flying suplex! Amazing!'. Sometimes when I pinned them, they would throw me off and vise-versa.

Paint_It_Black
01-28-2010, 07:48 AM
If the kid is smart enough (and I'm assuming that he will be, at least a little, since he would be your child)

Thanks for the compliment?


I know you were not answering me, but I'm not sure how it would prevent them being imaginative/having imagination?

Agreed.


Not believing in Santa won't hinder their imagination, but it'll certainly hinder their imagination from going wild during Christmas, which is pure evil quite frankly.

Possibly. But I don't think it has to if you do it right. As a kid I remember being wildly excited about simply not having to go to school, and the presents, and the roaring fireplace, and the food. I didn't much care about the Santa thing, ever.


Anyway, I always though Santa was a good of exercise of critical though. You start picking up clues as you grow up until you finally figure it out.

That's a valid point. I'm not too worried about it though. When I have kids I'm going to emphasize education right from the start.



p.s. kids love the tooth fairy and santa, what's the beef Richard?

I'm not entirely sure. I just feel vaguely uneasy about it. I don't want to lie to my children. Parents lie to their children for fun, like in these examples. And for comfort, like when they want to know where their dead cat went. But I feel this leads to an inevitable disappointment when they finally realize that life isn't magic. I want my kids to know that they get presents at Christmas because they are just plain lucky enough to have been born into a family that loves them and can afford to give them gifts. I want them to have to accept that Fluffy just died. Maybe I would be spoiling something in their childhood, but I feel like I'd be giving them a headstart on adulthood. I feel like many parents tell their kids fun or convenient lies mostly for their own enjoyment or because it's easier. I don't want to do that. I want to prepare them for life as quickly as possible. I'll probably end up fucking them up somehow, as pretty much all parents do, but I'm going to at least do it with a solid plan and the best of intentions for them.

Lizardus
01-28-2010, 10:29 AM
I feel sorry for the unfortunate toddler that asks you where babies come from.

Cock Joke
01-28-2010, 05:58 PM
They aren't imaginary!!!

wheelchairman
01-29-2010, 06:11 AM
I'm not entirely sure. I just feel vaguely uneasy about it. I don't want to lie to my children. Parents lie to their children for fun, like in these examples. And for comfort, like when they want to know where their dead cat went. But I feel this leads to an inevitable disappointment when they finally realize that life isn't magic. I want my kids to know that they get presents at Christmas because they are just plain lucky enough to have been born into a family that loves them and can afford to give them gifts. I want them to have to accept that Fluffy just died. Maybe I would be spoiling something in their childhood, but I feel like I'd be giving them a headstart on adulthood. I feel like many parents tell their kids fun or convenient lies mostly for their own enjoyment or because it's easier. I don't want to do that. I want to prepare them for life as quickly as possible. I'll probably end up fucking them up somehow, as pretty much all parents do, but I'm going to at least do it with a solid plan and the best of intentions for them.
You want your kids to have less of a childhood and an early headstart on life? That would be like the opposite of my priorities with kids.

Krojd
01-29-2010, 06:39 AM
And that reminded me of this:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8netc_calvin-e-haroldo-final_fun


Calvin, your parents dont believe... we have to kill them!

I've seen this video before, but this part?! I laughed so hard...again

Paint_It_Black
01-29-2010, 08:48 AM
You want your kids to have less of a childhood and an early headstart on life? That would be like the opposite of my priorities with kids.

I guess we should rethink our plans to procreate together.

But seriously, I'm certainly not intending to suck all of the fun out of childhood, though I get that I may have come off that way. To put it in a nutshell, I aim to be the kind of parent that I wish I would have had myself. I can't think of a better plan than that.