My daughter, 2½, is putting bad Megan in time-out and then she'll get bad Megan out of time-out and bring her to me in her hands. It seems like she is separating the good Megan and the bad Megan. Is this something I should worry about, and will this lead to imaginary friends? I don't want to tell her it's wrong without knowing if it could harm her.
It sounds as though she has internalized your own style and technique of discipline, and to me, it appears to be a very good technique. I think she identifies very closely with “good and bad Megan.” When she puts Megan in time-out, she is probably working through her feelings about something she did that resulted in being in time-out. And when she takes her out and then brings her to you, I think she wants you to tell her that what Megan did wasn’t so bad, and that she should hug and reassure her that she is really a good girl. In doing so, she is asking for reassurance about herself. I wouldn’t worry about it at all. In fact, I think it’s very creative and wholesome. And I don’t think it will lead to imaginary friends. Symbolic play of this sort with toys is actually a good deterrent to fantasies about imaginary friends.
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