Rus Articles Journal

The imagined friends, or Carlson`s Syndrome of

Adults are arranged surprisingly boringly. They believe that they see or, as a last resort, that they read in clever books without pictures. And when you tell them about what is actually, they do not trust, swear or with uneasily - tender persons suggest to go on a visit to “the kind uncle to the children`s psychiatrist“.

the Child lives in is made other magic world: in the world where Carlson is as real as “domomuchitelnitsa“ of Froken Bock where the mitten can become a devoted puppy, and the Cheshire cat is able to disappear, leaving only a smile.

the Imagined friends appear at children ordinary at the age of 3 - 5 years. This absolutely normal phenomenon caused by development of imagination and creative abilities.

the Imagined friends are different: the toy which the child allocates with human qualities, the illusive friend to whom the kid demands to put the additional device during food and to tuck in a blanket for the night... The friend can be adult and strong, in the manner of the Superman, or defenseless and needing care and guardianship as a puppy from the animated film “Mitten“, or just the age-mate - the child, quite banal “Ear ring“ or “Natashkaya“. The imagined friend people, almost in half of cases he - an animal are not obligatory at all.

does not have

sense having faced this “problem“ to run to the expert - just your child is allocated with very live imagination. And it is not bad at all. The imagined friend - fine diagnostic material for parents. Watching it, it is possible to learn a lot of things from this what you did not even suspect about the kid, both problems of the child, and a family in general are reflected in these games.

Problem: pressure and hyper guardianship

Often the child is under pressure from parents. And not always it is expressed in bans and punishments, often excessive guardianship can drive more purely than any violence into a corner, not to leave the place for own “I“ the child. And then the kid runs to the world of the imagined friends which can develop according to two scenarios.

Scenario first: in the intimate secret world everything that is impossible with parents is possible for the child: to get a dog, to walk on roofs, there is a jam spoons etc. Scenario second: the child assumes a role of the parent and behaves similarly - limits and suppresses the phantom friends who in this case will be ridiculous and helpless. By the way, it is an excellent way for parents to take a detached view of themselves and to draw conclusions: perhaps, the child needs understanding much more, than the smoothed-out arrows on trousers or the handkerchief sparkling a whiteness.

Problem: sense of guilt

Neurotic fault happens not only at adults, but also at children. And to weaken tension children steep to the thought-up world with the thought-up friends. Scenarios are very similar to those, as with “pressure“. With only that difference that here the punishment modality appears, and as in the form of the punishment (the child can punish the imagined friend or tell how that was punished), and in the form of happy rescue from it (had to punish, but there was something fantastic and managed).

Problem: shortage of impressions

If appears a set of florid plots about adventures, the fantastic worlds, travel etc. in stories of the child about his friend - it can be a symptom of shortage of real impressions.

Even to the adult it is heavy to p to live in routine: the house - work - the house to cook soup, to pour in soup in the child, to drop out in a deposit, having put an alarm clock at six in the morning because tomorrow again for work... In one or two months of such life we climb on a wall, we begin to swallow of antidepressants, to complain to friends, to look for the psychoanalyst. But the adult has more opportunity to diversify the life: it is possible to ask the grandmother to sit in the evening with the child and to jerk on a visit or club, it is possible to escape in a break at work to communicate to the girlfriend or to get into the Internet and to be fed with impressions virtual. The child of all this cannot, he completely depends on us, and his life not less routine: an alarm clock, kindergarten, the same toys, a dinner, “Good night kids“ with the same Luntik who became boring in a year, and then on a pot and in a bed. It is good still if for the night mother reads about fine adventures and interesting life mumitroly, the Kid with Carlson, the girl Pippi - Dlinnyychulok... And for the next day again kindergarten... And the only place where it is not so boring, - the world of imaginations where with loyal friends it is possible to endure something new other than a dullness of everyday life.


how long you last time where - nibud with the child went, except the bare yard with three birches and a half of the broken swing? And new impressions as air are necessary for the child! And once on Sunday it has obviously not enough.

Some exit are the kindergartens working according to new special programs in which the set of “events“, significant for children is put. But also there are some “but“. For example, these gardens more than paid (can become complexity for unemployed mothers), and demand presence of parents on many actions that can become complexity for mothers working. And not all children maintain loading from a large number of impressions (too well, as we know, too badly).

Problem: shortage of communication

Most often the imagined friend appears when the child feels lonely. For example, in a family there is the second child and all attention of parents is concentrated on the baby or when parents are a little disseminated and busy with the thoughts more, than children (the ideal representative of this kind of the parent - mother from the animated film “Mitten“ - kind, good, but eternally buried in the book and the thoughts). And still there are just timid children, it is difficult for them to meet with peers.

Here the recommendation can be only one - more communication: just communication with the child, communication together with other children and their parents, the help to the child in finding of common language with age-mates.

Problem: replacement

As a rule, the child loses the secret desires with the imagined friends. It is the most transparent and easily “readable“ option. If the friend of your child comes to protect him (most often it is some analog of Batman, the Spiderman or, at the worst, Peter Pen which will take away it from here immediately), so to the child badly, it needs protection, pressure decrease. If the defender “promises“ also to punish offenders, it is the forced-out aggression and it is necessary to reflect well - whether it is time to address the psychologist?

both simpler and easily solved problems Happen. For example, it is very simple to replace the imagined dog with a real live puppy (if at the child an allergy to wool, eventually, it is possible to choose “bald“ breed or a poodle).

“Also have nothing to shift the blame on some Carlson!“

the worst option - if the child hides from you the imagined friends. It speaks about mistrust and fear. Though there are options when you just did not notice the imagined friend: well who could think that the sweetest Pashka from kindergarten appearing in all stories of your kid, in reality a plastic crocodile with the torn-off paw?

How to behave with the imagined friend of your child? The most important - to forbid nothing. In some degree it is possible even to accompany the child: to put the excess device at dinner for his friend, to listen to all stories and to be interested in health and affairs of next “Carlson“. However it is important to draw line between the imagination and reality - the child has to be responsible for the acts, but not dump everything on the imagined friends: it is good that to you “Masha“ on a visit came, but homework should be done all the same, a chandelier, of course, broke “Carlson“, but in a corner, all the same, there will be you.


the Imagined friends it is liquidated by itself by 7 - 9 years. If it did not happen, then it makes sense to address the psychologist. But do not allow charlatans who try to make the diagnosis to the child and to register one thousand and one psychotropic drug.

Should understand

that if you address the psychologist with the child`s problems, then you as the source of children`s problems most often originates in parental misses should work, first of all.