Fantasy in the Lives of Children and Adults
Even when the bird is walking we know that it has wings. --Victor Hugo
NORMALLY developing children start to show clear evidence of their growing imaginations when they begin to pretend in the second year of life. For some, pretend play quickly becomes one of the dominant activities of their waking hours. How wonderful that this capacity is available so early on to help children process life events, achieve mastery of their emotions, enrich their social understanding, and develop their communication abilities.
Imaginary companions are only one of many forms that fantasy production takes during these early years, but I think they are quite special. First of all, the breathtaking diversity of imaginary companions bears witness to the richness of children's fantasy lives. Imaginary friends come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, genders, and species. They also have many different nationalities. In our work, we have identified cases of imaginary companions created by children in the United States, Canada, England, New Zealand, Italy, Israel, Hong Kong, and Japan. In ongoing research, Deborah Legorreta is finding many cases of imaginary companions created by children in Mexico City. Large scale studies investigating cross-cultural differences and similarities have yet to be done, but it is safe to say that imaginary companions circle the globe.
The variety of forms taken by imaginary companions defies the attempts of researchers to make generalizations about what imaginary
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Publication information: Book title: Imaginary Companions and the Children Who Create Them. Contributors: Marjorie Taylor - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 156.
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