It’s healthy for kids to pretend to be someone else

If I was a child development expert, I would say that Flea is exceptionally imaginative.

She’s a bit weird, basically. In a good way.

I’ve already written about the time Flea decided she was a boy called Aiden. FOR NINE MONTHS. Yes, I had almost a year of not being able to call my child by her own name. She would cry if I forgot and called her a ‘good girl’. People in the small town where we live would regularly ask after my ‘little boy’.

This phase seemed to start about the time Flea turned two, and lasted two or three years. Lately, Flea’s mostly been pretending to be a dog.

This sort of pretend play is really normal and shows that your child is:

  • beginning to understand the perspectives of others and how they’re different to their own
  • adopting roles that allow them to behave in different ways ‘safely’
  • exploring their creativity and having fun!
  • preparing for possible future scenarios.

This weekend, though, we’ve had a change of heart. No longer is my four year old a dog called Sizzles. She is now someone else entirely:

“Mummy, I am a boy in a red hat and a green t-shirt and I am called Alfie,” she declared over the breakfast table.


Throughout the morning I would get regular reminders, “Mummy, will you remember which boy I am?”


However, because I am an evil parent, I obviously forgot this vital information and over the day I slipped several times, referring to Flea as Flea.

Like a trooper, Flea didn’t say much, but as I closed her bedroom door after putting her to bed that night, I noticed she had taken matters into her own hands, rearranging the letters on her door:


I think it’s going to be a long year.

Has your child ever pretended to be someone else, or even an animal? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Weirdness loves company, after all.

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