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"My child has an imaginary friend. Is this normal?"

Yes it is! In fact, about half of children between ages two and seven have an imaginary friend at one time or another. Children's creative minds invent imaginary friends for any number of reasons. They can be a form of entertainment for children, allowing them to try out new roles while play-acting with their "friend". They can also be used by children to cleverly "get off the hook" when they do something wrong, claiming that the imaginary friend was responsible. Or sometimes as a way to get the attention of others - it's difficult to ignore that extra place setting at the dinner table! Appreciate the creative effort that goes into these imaginings, and discourage others from teasing or laughing at your child because of their "friend". If your child is having difficulty relating to other children, and seems to be relying exclusively on the pretend friend for companionship, you may want to seek advice on helping your child socialize with peers.

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