Imaginary Companions and the Children Who Create Them


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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Many parents delight in their child's imaginary companion as evidence of a lively imagination and creative mind. At the same time, parents sometimes wonder if the imaginary companion might be a sign that something is wrong. Does having a pretend friend mean that the child is in emotional distress?

That he or she has difficulty communicating with other children? In this fas Many parents delight in their child's imaginary companion as evidence of a lively imagination and creative mind.

Imaginary Companions and the Children Who Create Them

In this fascinating book, Marjorie Taylor provides an informed look at current thinking about pretend friends, dispelling many myths about them. In the past a child with an imaginary companion might have been considered peculiar, shy, or even troubled, but according to Taylor the reality is much more positive--and interesting. Not only are imaginary companions surprisingly common, the children who have them tend to be less shy than other children.

They also are better able to focus their attention and to see things from another person's perspective. In addition to describing imaginary companions and the reasons children create them, Taylor discusses other aspects of children's fantasy lives, such as their belief in Santa, their dreams, and their uncertainty about the reality of TV characters. Adults who remember their own childhood pretend friends will be interested in the chapter on the relationship between imaginary companions in childhood and adult forms of fantasy.

Taylor also addresses practical concerns, providing many useful suggestions for parents. For example, she describes how children often express their own feelings by attributing them to their imaginary companion. If you have a child who creates imaginary creatures, or if you work with pre-schoolers, you will find this book very helpful in understanding the roles that imaginary companions play in children's emotional lives. Paperback , pages.

Editorial Reviews

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Apr 14, Erin rated it really liked it Shelves: When I started reading this book, I did a quick poll of my friends to see who else had imaginary friends when they were kids. I was actually really surprised to find out that very few of them did! Fantasy was such a big part of my childhood, and even now I will daydream myself into my favorite books and movies from time to time. Finding that I was the odd one out made me even more curious about the research presented in this book. Starting with the negative The writing got a little repetitive When I started reading this book, I did a quick poll of my friends to see who else had imaginary friends when they were kids.

The Imaginary Companions Created by Children Who Have Lived in Foster Care

The writing got a little repetitive at points, as the author would go back and reiterate points already made. In a relatively short book, it seemed like a little much. My reaction to this book was mostly positive, however. I work in research so it was really cool to read about the studies that have been done on this topic, so different from the realm in which I work! I also thought that overall the author did a good job presenting her work.

The chapters built on one another and covered some points that I would have never thought to cover. Oct 12, Andrea rated it really liked it Shelves: A well-researched book on children's fantasy lives, particulary imaginary companions.

Imaginary Companions and the Children Who Create Them

Taylor tackles common questions like if the behavior is normal, what characteristics these children have, and if they can differentiate fantasy from reality. There were several case studies of children's imaginary companions, which was really amusing to read about.

With Friends Like These

Child referring to a pile of blocks falling over: Many parents delight in their child's imaginary companion as evidence of a lively imagination and creative mind. Journal of Personality Assessment. Rather than being trivial or troubling, these companions can help children cultivate valuable skills—social, emotional, and creative—that have the potential to serve them well in their lives as adults. Choose your country or region Close.

I also particularly liked one of the final chapters comparing children's interactions with their imaginary friends to the perception fiction writers A well-researched book on children's fantasy lives, particulary imaginary companions. I also particularly liked one of the final chapters comparing children's interactions with their imaginary friends to the perception fiction writers sometimes have of their characters surprising them and controlling their own actions to what children. Nov 19, Stephen Palmer rated it really liked it Shelves: Marjorie Taylor, a psychologist by training, looks at the phenomenon of imaginary companions from a broad perspective, and right from the beginning she picks away at the cultural idea that a child with an imaginary companion must necessarily be a loner, alone, or have some underlying mental condition.

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She is blunt about the world of media - film especially - getting the phenomenon of imaginary companions wrong. In fact, as her thorough research shows, children with imaginary companions are slightly better at navigating the social world than those without. Imaginary companions are common, a sign of a normal and active, albeit relatively unformed imagination. There are many reasons why children create imaginary companions, all dealt with in depth here. An interesting digression is the gender difference between girls who tend to create independent companions and boys who tend to impersonate their own creations.

Subsequent chapters deal with the phenomenon in older children and in adults, with a particularly revealing section on the nature of adult creation - eg. Properly researched and referenced, this is a terrific book, both academic and thorough, but also easy to read for the non-academic reader, who might be interested in memories of their own childhood or who can see their own children creating imaginary companions. Jun 14, Dana rated it really liked it. What I loved most about this book was the fact that it pointed out that a child having an imaginary friend is not a negative thing.

The Relation Between Imaginary Companions and Coping

Many parents delight in their child's imaginary companion as evidence of a lively imagination and creative mind. At the same time, parents. Many parents delight in their child's imaginary companion as evidence of a lively imagination and creative mind. In this fascinating book, Marjorie Taylor provides an informed look at current thinking about pretend friends, dispelling many myths about them. Not only are imaginary.

In fact, it went to lengths to support the idea that some children just create. Nothing is wrong with them. Nothing is extremely special about them. They just create because they can. Marjorie Taylor pointed out the one thing that I think we often forget; let children be children. At the same time, parents sometimes wonder if the imaginary companion might be a sign that something is wrong.

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Does having a pretend friend mean that the child is in emotional distress? That he or she has difficulty communicating with other children? In this fascinating book, Marjorie Taylor provides an informed look at current thinking about pretend friends, dispelling many myths about them. In the past a child with an imaginary companion might have been considered peculiar, shy, or even troubled, but according to Taylor the reality is much more positive--and interesting. Not only are imaginary companions surprisingly common, the children who have them tend to be less shy than other children.

They also are better able to focus their attention and to see things from another person's perspective. In addition to describing imaginary companions and the reasons children create them, Taylor discusses other aspects of children's fantasy lives, such as their belief in Santa, their dreams, and their uncertainty about the reality of TV characters.

Adults who remember their own childhood pretend friends will be interested in the chapter on the relationship between imaginary companions in childhood and adult forms of fantasy. Taylor also addresses practical concerns, providing many useful suggestions for parents. For example, she describes how children often express their own feelings by attributing them to their imaginary companion.

If you have a child who creates imaginary creatures, or if you work with pre-schoolers, you will find this book very helpful in understanding the roles that imaginary companions play in children's emotional lives. What Are Imaginary Companions Like?