Having imaginary friends is a great part of childhood especially for kids who have yet to have siblings, and according to a recent study on ScienceDaily.com, 88 percent of parents say that they're okay with it.

The study, which was led by Dr. Karen Majors and presented at the Annual Professional Event of the British Psychological Society's Division of Educational and Child Psychology, analyzed 265 questionnaires from parents whose kids regularly interacted with imaginary friends.

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Many of those surveyed said that imaginary friends usually act as playmates, and as a gauge of parental reaction towards unruly behavior. Some parents have also noted that imaginary friends help their children process and cope with several events and issues that include both major and minor lifestyle shifts.

So if you see your child having fun with his make-believe playmate, it's best to let him be. As Dr. Majors concludes, "Imaginary friends provide an outlet for children's imagination and story making, facilitating games, fun and companionship. These versatile friends also enable them to cope with new life events like moving house or going on holiday. These findings remind us just how imaginative children are, which is something we should be pleased about."

(Photo by Chris_Parfitt via Flickr Creative Commons)

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