9 New Movies You Need to Check Out This Fall

Hey guys, we have a podcast now! I started Agents of FILM with some fellow movie writers, and this is our first episode. Hope you guys like it.

If you prefer audio, then you can download the audio podcast here.

Otherwise, you can watch the full episode here: [for the main segment, skip ahead to 18:24]

Cool things we mentioned:


The Agents of FILM will return next Monday. Follow on Twitter @JonNegroni to stay updated.


Should Kids Have Imaginary Friends?

I don’t have kids (shocker). But I do have nieces and nephews, and the concept of having imaginary friends is something I’ve always been really interested in.

The problem is that when I am interested in something, I think  I know a bunch of things about it, but that’s usually not the case. Luckily, I host a Podcast about Mental Health, so I was able to interview someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.

imaginary friends

I talked to Ken Blanchard, a Licensed Professional Counselor based in Forest, Virginia. He was gracious enough to deal with my odd rambling and nonsensical questions. I’ll even go far enough to say that there is a ton of valuable information presented.

Click here to listen to the show, or keep reading for the cliff notes. You can also download/subscribe on iTunes by searching “Thriveworks Podcast.”

The interview below is paraphrased and much shorter than the actual conversation. Questions are skipped. Hearts are broken. Words are spoken.

Jon: Do you believe it’s healthy for a child to have an imaginary friend?

Ken: Absolutely, I believe it’s health. In the past, there was a negative outlook on it and people thought children would have a tough time knowing the difference between fantasy and reality. Research has proven otherwise.

Jon: How prevalent is this?

Ken: About 50%. Mostly preschool aged kids, but it’s not uncommon for children to have imaginary friends until they’re 9.

Jon: Really?

Ken. Yup. (paraphrase) It helps kids cope with struggles that they’re going through.

Jon: Is it a healthy coping mechanism?

Ken: Yes, and it’s extremely beneficial. It’s a sign of imagination, creativity and advanced communication. It helps prepare them for real friendships down the road, and the general rule of thumb is that the imaginary friend will fade away as the child starts gaining real friends. I encourage parents not to freak out or be alarmed that the child has an imaginary friend. Don’t shame the child.

Jon: What does your imaginary friend say about you?

Ken: If the child has an imaginary friend through a stuffed animal, then that says the child is being parental toward their friend. Having an imaginary friend who is invisible means that the child likes friends being on equal footing. You can really learn a lot about your child through how they interact with the friend. If your child is afraid of the dark, for example, that tells you that they are afraid of the dark.

Also, it gives the child power, which they’re not used to having. As a parent, you can join in the play a little bit, but let them call the shots. Ask questions and you’ll learn more about the child.

JonWeird anecdote.

Ken: Yup.

Jon: So children use imaginary friends to practice having real friends? Like role-playing?

Ken: Exactly.

Jon: What if they use the imaginary friend to shift blame of something they’ve done? I’m sure I’ve done that. If the parent has been playing along…

Ken: It’s important for the parent to stay in the reality of it. You still hold the child accountable by saying “you were in it together.” Or you can just ignore the friend.

Jon: Does that work because the child knows the imaginary friend isn’t real?

Ken: Yes, and very few children actually believe the imaginary friend is real. They know it’s pretend for the most part.

Jon: So unless this is a kid in a horror movie, we’re good.

KenNo response.

Well, that’s the short version of the interview. I promise that the audio is far more professional, and I obviously omitted plenty. So, what do you think? Be sure to voice your opinion in the comments, whether you agree with Ken or not!

Thanks for reading! You can subscribe to this blog by email via the prompt on the left sidebar. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@JonNegroni). I’ll follow you back if you say something witty and awesome.

Are Women Funnier Than Men?


I wasn’t sure, so I spoke with Liza Donnelly, a cartoonist for the New Yorker on the Thriveworks Podcast.

Her new book is called “Women on Men,” and she was gracious enough to answer some of my ridiculous questions about how humor can (hopefully) help men and women understand each other better.

You can listen to the whole episode above, or you can just subscribe to the Thriveworks Podcast on iTunes, which you should absolutely do because I host it and want you to love it. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading! You can subscribe to this blog by email via the prompt on the left sidebar. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@JonNegroni). I’ll follow you back if you say something witty and awesome.

Give with no Intention of Receiving

I was listening to a podcast featuring Chris Brogan yesterday that coincided perfectly with the Donald Trump story regarding the idea of giving to charity. It seems like the stars aligned this week because the company I work for is also pushing content related to “Giving with an Agenda,” and why that can be harmful.

Anyways, Chris Brogan said something on this podcast that really resonated with me. He was discussing ways in which we can effectively create relationships online through Twitter, our blogs, and anything else. He mentioned how we are used to be bombarded by sales, which everything ultimately comes down to. It seems like every conversation we have online or in life boils down to, “What can this person do for me?”

Brogan pointed out a simple truth. When you give with no intention of receiving, that is, you give without an agenda, people respond. Relationships and intimacy are formed between two entities. Giving without expecting a return may not always be easy to display, but when someone is convinced that you are genuinely trying to help them, they are much more likely to trust you.

I’ve experienced this myself just by writing this blog. I make no money from this and expect nothing in return from the people who gain value from reading this. That is why this blog has gained a following. It’s not because I’m some genius writer (although you’re definitely allowed to think that) because I make mistakes all the time. The point is that you will find much more success in branding something when your mission is trust, and real trust has to be earned.


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