18 answers

My Almost Three Year Old Daughter Is Always Pretending to Be Someone Else.

Hi Moms,

My sweet daughter is always pretending to be someone else. She is always in character. Whether it is a fairy, a princess, ballerina, a character from a book or one of her friends. Today we meet a little girl at whole foods and my daughter pretended she was her the rest of the evening. She does have an amazing imagination and I want to foster it. I just do not know if it is too much or if I should be worried.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I don't have advice, but have a 3 year old son who for the last week has been "living in someone else's house". Apparently we are just staying here and a little girl (with his same name and all his same stuff) is letting him stay in her room. :)

It's a bit hard to deal with, but I'm trying to let him explore this. It's starting to wane a little bit, so I'm hoping he'll soon move on to something else. I think it is normal behavior at this age.

I remember another little boy in my older son's preschool at age 3 who would be a different prince (disney) every week. He wouldn't respond if you didn't call him by his prince name. :)

She'll out grow it and maybe she'll be an amazing writer or artist some day.

J.

3 moms found this helpful

I love that about 3 year olds. One of my daughters was Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) for a while. She refused to answer to anything else. It was so cute. She got over it. All of my girls (5) have done this. It's totally normal, and fun too. Don't be worried, just play along. It's not a bad thing.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I don't have advice, but have a 3 year old son who for the last week has been "living in someone else's house". Apparently we are just staying here and a little girl (with his same name and all his same stuff) is letting him stay in her room. :)

It's a bit hard to deal with, but I'm trying to let him explore this. It's starting to wane a little bit, so I'm hoping he'll soon move on to something else. I think it is normal behavior at this age.

I remember another little boy in my older son's preschool at age 3 who would be a different prince (disney) every week. He wouldn't respond if you didn't call him by his prince name. :)

She'll out grow it and maybe she'll be an amazing writer or artist some day.

J.

3 moms found this helpful

Completely normal. This is showing you that your child is extremely intelligent, very secure in her own self and of course very creative. Foster this time. Help her with costumes, that she can put together.

Make sure you video tape this. I wish we had with our daughter. She was the same way and we just let her go as long as possible. When this part stops, you will really miss it. Imagine that have created, mimic other characters and people.. Pretty amazing..

2 moms found this helpful

My 3 year old was batman today. Complete with cape. My 4 year old was an oviraptor for the first half of the day and something called a "meep" for the rest of the day. No clue what that's about. I guess what I'm saying is, it's normal. I'll actually be sad when they grow out of it and stop wearing outlandish outfits.

2 moms found this helpful

That is a typical 3 year old. She "magical" just like my son. When he was 4 years old, he played basketball. Spiderman was his favorite movie and he would run down the basketball court changing from Peter Parker into Spiderman, right in the middle of the game. He's 6 now, and has grown out of that stage. Enjoy your "magical" little girl :)

2 moms found this helpful

This is sooooo normal!! Be grateful that your daughter has a wonderful sense of imagination. I would find a dance or youth theater group and watch her go. My daughter did a dance class when she was three and the teacher had many different costumes, it was something new each week. I'm sure Austin would have the same type of classes.

Charge up the batteries in your camera and enjoy your little girl!

2 moms found this helpful

I love that about 3 year olds. One of my daughters was Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) for a while. She refused to answer to anything else. It was so cute. She got over it. All of my girls (5) have done this. It's totally normal, and fun too. Don't be worried, just play along. It's not a bad thing.

2 moms found this helpful

It's a 3yo thing. My son does it ALL the time.

2 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't be worried. Both of mine did this.
Mine got so into it with theirs they wouldn't respond to anything but the name of who ever it was that they were pretending to be.
They are now 8 and 5 and both have WONDERFUL imaginations still.

2 moms found this helpful

I hope it is completely normal...my daughter is a princess, a cat, a dog, or a dinosaur depending on her mood. We have a family of dinosaurs that hang out in our second bathroom...sometimes I get scolded for stepping on one of the baby 'saurs.

My ex-husband has chosen not to participate, so she's made up a daddy too...somewhat based on fact (he has a cowboy hat), but plenty of made-up details. Like he has a cat that died--he's never had a cat, she's never been to his house...and we had a fish that died.

She holds long conversations on a phone and tells me what to say to the person on the other end.

So, yes, I hope its normal.

2 moms found this helpful

Our daughter has always been this way - same thing exactly. Very active imagination. she's one of three kids but her older brothers are much older so she's growing up as an only child. This is part of it.
She's now 12 and in therapy! LOL!! The school thought she shouldn't be so imaginative. I disagree - I think she's bright and funny and just loves who she is. The therapist is not finding anything disagreeable about this She thinks she'd make a great actress some day. My understanding is that Katherine Hebrun - one of the greatest - had quite an active, imagination and always was in charactor.
Don't worry - the therapy came up because her father left us and they just want to make sure she's handling it correctly. All the pretending is just a question that the teachers had.
Enjoy her spirit! She sounds like a perfect gift!
D.

1 mom found this helpful

Tell her that we're going to take time to be ourselves today. I don't think there is anything wrong with her having such a creative mind. You can just affirm for her continually that people want to know who she really is and that is every bit as exciting as the pretend characters she portrays.

1 mom found this helpful

i love the three yr old age! looking forward to it for my own kids :D

1 mom found this helpful

"pretend" play is healthy and it is developmentally appropriate and NORMAL.
Don't worry. All kids do that. Boys or girls.
And the more creative a child and the more self-assured they are, they pretend play well. Nurture her "talents" or interests. Otherwise, she may subvert her inclinations and interests and that would be worse.

Both my kids, are active pretend players and very outside the box. I am proud of them and play with them too, about it. Its fun and healthy... and that is the way kids "learn" about their world.

Here is also a great link about other kinds of pretend play:
http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=679

All the best,
Susan

1 mom found this helpful

At this age, it doesn't sound like you should be worried. It seems as though your daughter is very observant and likes people. She must like stories, maybe she'll be a great reader/writer. My son (5) for the past...well it seems since he could talk, loves telling stories. He'll tell you as much as he can remember about what happened, his dream, or his thought. It's just who he is.
If you feel she is creating play mates for herself, then maybe try to increase some play time with some children her age. (My son's imaginary friend disappeared after the neighbor moved in and the birth of my second)

1 mom found this helpful

I think it is completely normal. Most of the toys on the market are geared for kids to use there imagination. She sounds like she might be in the talented and gifted program when she gets in school. She already thinks outside the box! I'll bet she's a great story teller! I would encourage her creativity. It could be part of her future. She might be a song writer, author or something where she can be creative.

1 mom found this helpful

Very very very normal!

1 mom found this helpful

Why foster it its normal kid behavior. I used to play dukes of hazard all the time. If you foster their imagination it could hurt them later. Not mentally but my oldest son has always had a wild imagination I never tried to foster it and he writes stories now. If I had fostered it he wouldn't have turned in to a story writer. I am hoping he uses this imagination to become a book writer. I am encouraging him to do it because you can't without this type of imagination. And his stories are actually very good. I am hoping he becomes a famous author due to his imagination. I guess I will have to wait and see.

If she starts writing encourage it but don't make her do it. My son is 20 and says he has to do it when hes in the mood cause if hes not in the mood he cant think of anything to write. Sometimes he writes only whats on his mind about 15 minutes other times he can write for 45 minutes straight. just depends on what hits him. sometimes he just gets on a roll and can't stop.

1 mom found this helpful

I would not be worried at all. This is normal (maybe not to this extent) at this age and perfectly fine. She is just figuring out who she is.

1 mom found this helpful

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