Saturday, October 20, 2012

Imaginary Playmates

Did you ever had an imaginary playmate in childhood? Some children's brains do create one, although they may not talk about it to avoid being punished or shamed. The reality principle--even knowing the difference between imagining and pretending versus what is tangible and concrete--appears to kick in some time after the age of four. I had one and thought to call up his memory picture when I was just asked again about how to "make a child stop lying about a pretend friend."  Little John Deerfoot, my imaginary First Nation friend, was the recipient of a great deal of my childhood chatter about life. I was home schooled (alone) for K - Grade Five. He was my seat-mate in that one-student school.  Even today as I write this, he is as clear is my mind as if he was standing right in front of me, with his jet black hair, beaded headband, single feather stuck in the back, and buff deer-skin clothing. With lots of fringe!   I suggested the parent let it go, perhaps making a comment now and then about the difference between seeing and touching a person in real life and just visualizing the person  in the mind's eye. The power of imagination is a mental faculty built into the brain (likely in the right frontal lobe). If it has been developed, imagination can help you to plan, envision, create, innovate, invent, set and achieve goals, and so on. 

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