Imaginary Sister

Updated on February 25, 2012
M.S. asks from Minneapolis, MN
6 answers

Hi, all. My four year old has an imaginary family (big sister, baby sister and baby brother, but big sister is most consistent). I know this is normal and thus far we have just gone along with it. I know it will eventually extinguish itself, but in the meantime, little friends at preschool, who know darn well she has no siblings, are telling her she doesn't have a sister, which makes her passionately defend her sister's existence. I'm not quite sure how to handle it. Like I said, I know this stuff will go away on its own but I don't want her being made fun of, either (and I don't think her friends are being malicious--just truthful!). Should I discourage her from talking about her "sister" in public? Or just let her figure it out over time?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers


answers from Austin on

No, let her speak about her sister if she wants. It is not embarrassing her. Just remind her, that she is the only one that can see her sister, so it will confuse other people, but that is ok.

You are correct it is very normal.

And yes, go along with it.. My mom used to put a small plate of food for my friend "Jimmy". She also had to bathe him and kiss him goodnight. And then one day, she placed a plate for Jimmy and I told her "Jimmy went home." He did not need a plate of food anymore!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

No, let her figure it out. I have a feeling she will deal with it just fine.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

my daughter has an imaginary friend maddison shes a fly... yes a fly... what i tell her is that when she goes to school maddison needs to stay home or go to fly school.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Can you explain to her daughter that imaginary friends and family are very hard for other children to relate to? She might want to feel sorry for them that they don't have an imagination like hers. But it will help her to understand them. (In fact, there actually may be some other children with make-believe friends, but they're keeping their mouths shut!)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Oh, we had "Jim" for years. Jim lived under the water (we live on the Gulf of Mexico), his parents were killed in an explosion, and he lived with his Grandmother, unless he was staying at our house :) He could breathe underwater, make bombs, and jump really far and high - amongst other notable achievements.

Ugh, I really didn't like Jim - He was rather obnoxious - but he was a very creative result of my then 4 year old son's imagination. I literally had to set an extra place at the table on the nights that Jim joined us for dinner - thank heaven he didn't need actual food on his plate - seems our real world food made him sick to the stomach. LOL

Jim stayed with us into age 7. Though by 1st grade my son didn't talk about him to his friends.

My long way around the bushes to say that your daughter will out grow her imaginary family. She will also, eventually, learn not to "brag" about the "imaginaries" (or should I say menagerie?) to her school mates once she gets a little older.

Imaginary friends do make for fun stories to tell back to our children when they are teenagers. My son still remembers Jim - and he is 15 now...gosh, knows how old Jim is.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

It is very common in children that age. When my son was about age four, called his, "my pretend friend". Seems that it only lasted around a few months, maybe about a year at most. He was very aware the "pretend friend" was not visible to anyone else, but existed to him only. It will be amusing to ask if he remembers that part of his childhood, especially now that he has a nearly 3 year old, something to look forward too....

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions