By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Many children have invisible friends which can be comforting for kids but a source of stress for parents. Parents wonder whether the friend is going to go away, or if they’re going to forget about it. They start thinking about it as a big issue.

They should not worry. There is nothing wrong with having an invisible friend. It’s actually a normal phase of development and it shows that imagination is actually working well.

If your child has an invisible friend, don’t discourage the use of imagination. Let them know they are using their imagination and make it clear to them there is a reality. It’s quite normal for a child to play cars or dolls with an invisible friend when they are alone.

Ironically, this is a valuable stage in socialization.

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