Why do kids invent invisible friends? Did you ever have one? Can you remember what it was like? A study done at the University of Oregon said about 37% of kids create an invisible friend. Doing so can actually help them feel less alone and become braver, better communicators with real people. But what age is too old? When should you sit your kid down and tell them that they need to stop playing pretend and realize that their invisible friend is only in their imagination? According to ancient Greece, no age was too old. The word genius comes from the Arabic word for jinn or genie. This is a concept that came from pagan animism and ancestor worship. The genius of a family was the protecting, guiding, inspiring supernatural spirit who looked after a family. This means that people were not geniuses, but had a genius that was sort of a guardian angel to them.
So let’s try it. Create your own invisible friend. Mine is named Dion.
Taylor, M. (1999). Imaginary companions and the children who create them. New York: Oxford University Press.