Your child may pretend to be a Mommy, a doctor, a princess or an astronaut. She may make up long, involved stories to go with this kind of play. This is normal and healthy.
However, it’s important that your child also understands the difference between pretend and real. Here are some ways to encourage her to think about that:
• Ask questions when reading fantasy books or watching fantasy TV shows. For example, “Do kids really fly? Do animals really speak to each other using the same language people use?” If your child isn’t sure, explain that someone made these ideas up for fun. “In real life, kids can’t fly unless they get into an
• Talk to her when she is at play, using words such as “pretend” and “imagination.” For example, “It’s fun to pretend to be a tiger, isn’t it? Are you making believe that you are prowling through the jungle?”
Sources: June R. Oberlander, Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready, 2000 (Bio-Alpha, Incorporated, P.O. Box 7190, Fairfax Station, VA 22039), ISBN: 0-9622322-03, paperback, 337 pp., $19.95 and The Parents Answer Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Child’s Physical, Emotional, and Cognitive Development, Health and Safety, 1998, (St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010, 1-800-221-7945.)
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