My three-year-old daughter was lonely when we moved across the country. She was very concerned about making friends. On the first day in town we went to the utility company to have service started in our rent house. She walked up to a total stranger on the street, a businessman in a suit. She tugged his coat and asked, "Would you be my friend?"
That friend-finding technique failed so she tried step two. She invented one.
The first time that I learned of the extra person in the house was one day as I made lunch. My daughter insisted that I assemble an extra peanut butter sandwich for her friend. This sandwich had to be on a plate and include a napkin and a cup of juice. I was amused until I sat down at the table and my daughter growled, "You're sitting on him!"
This routine went on for several weeks. I asked my daughter lots of questions about her friend because I found it amusing. The friend had a name, favorite color and of course would only talk to my daughter. (I would have been worried of course if he did talk to me.) He would often tell her that he wanted extra cookies and juice. Hmmm!
My mother-in-law sent a newspaper article that claimed that children with invisible friends usually were lonely and of high inteligience. Okay, lonely I bought but the second part I would hold onto as a future hope.
Perhaps the high inteligience would mean a high income in the future and she could cover my gym membership at some point. If she didn't give this friend up soon I was going to need help working off all of those extra pbj's I was eating after lunch.