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July 25, 2005, 7:21 am CDT

Imaginary Friends - Help?

My daughter Valerie will be 3 years old in a few weeks. For the past few months, she has pretended to have an imaginary friend - with a twist.  You see, instead of having an imaginary friend, Valerie IS the imaginary friend. She says she is "Timmy" and that "Valerie" is someplace else - usually in the forest picking flowers and sometimes on her lap or sitting with her in the car. This is disturbing to me, as I don't know if she's being unusually creative or just kind psychotic in this behavior. Is she casting off her own identify for some reason? And how can I get her to be herself again?
July 25, 2005, 8:38 am CDT

General Advice

My sister who is younger than me, used to have imaginary friends also. She was about 3-4 years old at the time. Their names were "Frankie" and "Johnny". One was red and the other was green. She would constantly talk to these "invisible" people and play with them. She would aske them questions and according to her, they would answere her back. It was phase she went through. My toddlers ages 4 and 5 do the same thing at times. It is only their own imagination being creative. One thing that helped to get my sister from having imanginary friends was that my mom took her to play with other "real" kids. Eventually her invisible friends went somewhere else. I think it is just a phase they go through and they are just being creative in their imagination. My sister was the baby of the family and she had no one to play with so she made up her own friends. Hope this helps some.

Thanks for your reply... the only thing is, your sister had friends that were different people than herself.


Valerie has cast off her own identity and is pretending to be another person. That's what's freaking me out. I mean, it's to the point where she's never "herself". If you call her Valerie, she gets angry and yells "NO I'M TIMMY".  Last night, she was crying at the restaurant because she said "Valerie" was left in the car. I mean, she had a 15 minute hissy fit. 


Maybe having regular playdates can help with this, and also getting her into preschool. Thanks. I'm hoping it's just a phase.




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