In my observation single kids have a higher tendency to indulge in role playing and making up imaginary characters and games. Inclination to do so could stem from the fact that they do not have siblings to play with and may not be adequately engaged outside of school. In comparison kids who have siblings or those who live in a joint family are likely to be involved within themselves though they too would be making up games and characters.
I do see this with my son indulging in creating characters and, at times, a complete script of his favorite cartoon / fictional character is developed and enacted. A similar trait I have noticed in kids who have sibling but the age difference between them is significantly high.
Amount of time parents and family members spend with the child and the level of engagement directly impacts the propensity to role play.
As parents, it will always be our endeavor to spend / maximize the time we spend with our children and keep them creatively engaged but at times there are days when this cannot happen.
So the larger question here is that as parents shall we ignore or discourage such role playing? At what age are they likely to outgrow this?
Possibility of being subject to bullying or being the butt of jokes can happen anywhere.
What is important is to recognize when your child is possibly being bullied and how as parents are we tackling the situation?
Peers at schools or in playgrounds can unknowingly pick on children basis a particular streak or mannerism and make fun of them. Size is possibly one of the most common one’s where heavy weights are subject to fun and ridicule on account of their size. At times there are references and comparisons made to bigger mammals just to rub home a point and torment the kid in the process. Most critical in such situations is to ensure that the communication channels at home with your kid are open and that as parents we are alert to physical manifestation of the stress that the kid maybe be undergoing.
Loss of appetite, mood swings, and crankiness are some of the most common manifestations. Unwillingness to go to school is a sure shot red flag and needs immediate probing and handling in a calm and composed manner.
Regularly keeping time aside for the child when you encourage them to talk about their day, time spent in school and about their friends will only ensure that the child confides and trusts in you. This will also ensure that one received advance notice any bulling which may be happening and will lay the ground for the parents to counsel and guide the child on how to tackle the situation.
If not tackled it can dent the confidence of the child severely and affect their overall development and growth. In severe cases it may also warrant an escalation to the school authorities or with the parents of the bully.