Is the Imaginary Friend Dying Because of Too Much Screen Time?

According to a recent report, children aren’t as likely as they previously were to have imaginary companions, and screen time may be to blame.

The once-prolific and widely-known imaginary buddy appears to be in danger of being extinct. Based on a recent poll of 1,000 nursery and child care professionals in Britain, less than half of the employees reported that children in their care had imaginary friends, and 72 percent of respondents claimed that there are fewer children with imaginary friends today than there were five years ago.

Technology is the most likely culprit in the disappearance of the imagined pals. According to the survey by Daynurseries.co.uk, an increase in screen time results in a decline in imaginative play and imaginary friends, according to 63% of the respondents.

Children are no longer allowed to get bored since parents tend to fill their days with activities and screens.

 

When youngsters are left to their own devices, they are forced to be creative and explore a fun fantasy world. 

Parents must quit micromanaging their children and let them play and fantasize so that they can grow up to be creative, resilient, and think beyond the box.

When kids expect to be amused in some way, whether it’s via tablet or television, I believe that their capacity to use their imaginations to create imaginary companions, develop language and stories, and the like is harmed due to this need for entertainment these days.

While children can establish imaginary pals at any age, according to a recent poll, the most typical age for these imaginary playmates is four. When experts began to think that children with imaginary friends would have a mental illness or a hard time distinguishing between their imagination and reality in the middle of the 20th century, parents were encouraged to dissuade their children from playing with imaginary friends. In 2019, we knew it was the other way around. Kids can practice social engagement, problem-solving, and healthy, risk-free emotional exploration through the use of imaginary pals.

It appears that screen time impacts the incidence of imaginary companions in young children, but this effect seems to be limited to those between the ages of 1 and 4. 

A study found that preschoolers who spend less than two hours a day in front of devices are 3.5 times more likely to have an imaginary friend than those who spend more than two hours a day in front of screens. As children grow older, the gap between them and their peers narrows.

It’s recommended that parents who want to increase the probability that their child may make a new (fake) friend cut down on their child’s screen time to no more than two hours per day and encourage them to keep themselves entertained, even if that means they could get bored.

Helpful related articles: How to Use Positive Discipline, Stop the Screaming with Discipline TipsA Solution to Your Discipline Issues Has Been Found!