Children are blessed with a fertile sense of imagination. They conjure up things in a fabricated manner. The fairy tales we tell them, the mythological characters are all influenced in their mind. They love the heroes from Indian stories and often attempt to demolish the evil. It was quite shocking for a friend of mine whose daughter kept telling her that a giraffe is sitting on the sofa. My friend was petrified and actually thought something is wrong.
Such things are quite common among children who are under five and especially when it is a case of a single child. The real reason could be anything from a creative bent of mind to loneliness. Despite play group, long hours in school and exposure to entertainment, children feel a bit alone in their private space and time. There is no great treatment required for the same.
Ask the kid to draw the imaginary friend and also explain that it is a dream. Tell them that dreams are important but reality is for them to understand. They often ask where God is and why he does not show up. For difficult questions, creative answers are required. Get them to paint their friend and also color it up for fun. You will see that sooner this myth is expelled as kids get exposed to any kind of activity.
Sports or art forms are a wonderful way to channelise this creativity. Though moderate watching of television is ok it is important for parents to bond with children and also engage in role play. Give them time to understand their own self and also let them express their fears. Do guide caregivers or nannies to play a bit with them through role play when the child is feeling left out.
There is no substitute to the company of same-age friends for your child. They immediately bond with unknown people and also are willing to interact in a play house or a park. This is just one of the processes of growth the child goes through where he or she seeks your support.