to not play?(27 Posts)
I have a 2.2 year old dd and I am a sahp. I hate play. I'm crap at it. She has plenty of toys, a kitchen, we go out to the park, she plays in the garden etc but I feel terribly guilty because I never actually sit on the floor and play. Don't get me wrong, I interact with her all day chatting and helping her if she wants to stand her toys up or something like that. I colour if she wants to do that but I just feel like a bit of a crap mum. We have the tv on in the background pretty much all day (I know, I know I'm awful). I just am out of ideas as to what to do.
I'm learning to drive and have my test very soon so I'm hoping that once I've passed it will be easier as we can get out and do more fun stuff...
She is quite a cuddly child and will happily just sit on my lap watching movies but I try not to do this too often. She is also quote clingy, I struggle to get anything done as she just demands cuddles as soon as I stand up to do anything.
I didn't and don't play. I did and do read and sing though.
Could you read her some books each day and sing to her? Rhyme type songs with knee bouncing or clapping?
She needs time playing with you (and any other adults in the house). Join in with what she is doing with her toys and talk about it. You can't be 'crap' at play if you follow her lead. Don't ask her questions, just comment on what she is doing with the toys. Try 5 minutes at a time and build up to a bit longer over time.
And turn the TV off while you do it. 2 year olds can't concentrate on 2 things at once.
Books and singing also really important
Sitting on the floor playing tea parties or duplo or whatever else her imagination has in mind is the best bit!
Turn the tele off and get out of the house as much as possible. I'm not much of a 'play' mum either. I found it helpful to head out to rhyme times and story times at libraries and playgroups.
Running about in the park or simply going to one for a picnic is also a pretty nice activity to do together.
It's tough because they learn through play and exploration of their world and I don't think the television makes a good substitute for that although it can add to it (and buy you some moments of downtime).
I don't / didn't play either. I will read / colour / paint and play in the park / swimming / baking or play a board game or help with a puzzle.
I don't do the make believe stuff, can't stand it. Anyway I think it's good for them t o learn to occupy themselves to an extent.
First off you're not a crap mum. Different things come easily to different people.
I do think you should make a real effort to spend some real time 'playing' with your daughter though, it is brilliant for her emotional and social development.
15 mins at a time a few times a day is all she needs. For example, this morning I 'played' with one of the childminding children in the front garden. We took some plastic dolls out and their box of clothes (snap on plastic clothes). I took it in turns to pick up a doll and ask what the doll needed. 2.4 year old child would say 'shoes' or 'hat' or 'dress' and i would say 'well done! why don't you go and get her X from the clothes box'. She would happily oblige, toddle off and do so. When she brought the item back, she would snap it into place on the doll, I would make the doll 'thank her' by using a high pitched voice and then give 2.4 year old child a kiss on the cheek (using the doll). I would then ask what item of clothing dolly needed next and so on. Occasionally, I would make the doll ask for a specific colour or type of clothing, and make sure to be really grateful and congratulatory when said child did what I asked. She loved the game and it was great quality time for us both to spend together. Although we were 'playing' together. I didn't have to make things up or pretend to be really interested by drinking my 50th pretend meal made for me. I find that difficult sometimes, not to mention boring!
Also, at the same time as playing this game I was sat next to my flower bed pulling out weeds when she wasn't looking so that she wouldn't offer to -pull up all my flowers- help
My DM never played with me. I vividly remember the only time she "played" by getting on the other side of a seesaw.
As a result, I try to play with DS (3) at least once a day, but it is an effort and I have to force myself.
If you don't mind painting, what about other craft stuff like play Dough? I don't think there is anything wrong in watching telly every day, as long as there is also some kind of activity as well that uses their brain/imagination/hands/co ordination . I'm not very good at sitting down playing with kids toys, it's boring. We mostly do dancing to music on the radio not telly, play dough, cooking - mostly just chopping up fruit to make smoothies!, paddling pool and garden games,drawing painting and visiting the park or the duck pond. We play hide and seek and make forts out of blankets and play catch or chase in the garden. But we also have plenty of down time watching movies, playing iPad apps or reading books. At bath time we discuss what a lovely day we have had and I ask him about what we did, I'm consious of the fact that I don't want it just to be 'watched telly', though sometimes that is the majority of the day now there is a new baby on the scene! As long as there is also something else to report I'm happy.
We do 'do' stuff a lot. Like we swim once a week, go to the park at least every other day... I guess I just need to make more effort with the playing. She has Lego and stuff which I guess is the easiest thing to play with... Its hard to find a balance isn't it between playing and doing all the bits you have to do around the house as a sahp.
Tbh when my eldest was 2 and now I have another 2 year old I tend to play with them more when we are out like at the park, soft play etc. Indoors I generally let them stimulate themselves. They have plenty of toys a play kitchen access to arts and crafts etc. I leave the TV on to and ds ignores it if he is into something. I do obviously join in with a board game with the eldest and sometimes 2 year old passes me a phone to answer or cooks me a meal from his kitchen but honestly I mostly sit back to indoors.
Its hard to find a balance isn't it between playing and doing all the bits you have to do around the house as a sahp.
Not really. i was always conscious that one day DC wouldn't want me playing with them, so prioritised them over housework. The dust can wait, especially when they're little!
My mum didn't play with me - she did read to me and do drawing and painting with me, and would set me up with an activity. No harm done!
Its not so much the playing as giving her your undivided attention sometimes. Days out, playgroups etc are great but I find its often a way for me to switch off a bit while dd does an activity or plays with other children.
You're right. I do notice she is much more defiant and does things she knows she shouldn't when I've had a morning doing admin or housework or something.
As mentioned by you and others, there are other things you can do apart from "playing". I hated it too but consider cooking, swimming, chatting, going to the park etc as enough.
With regard to the TV, IMO you should turn it off. Only turn it on for specific programmes and films. Awful for a little one to have constant noise in the background. I'm sure she wont miss it.
Think how hard it is to think straight if two people are talking to you at the same time. Turn off the TV and just have it on for set programmes. It doesn't matter if these are a few times a day, but at the end of the programme the TV goes off. When it's gone off, talk about the programme that was on.
Could you send her to a playgroup where she'll have others to play with?
Yes as soon as I've passed my driving test I plan on sending her to playgroup maybe 2 mornings a week, so she gets to play with other children her age. I know the tv is bad.. I'm weak with it. She's the complete boss of it as well, telling me what she wants to watch and screaming if I don't put it on. I'm a bit ashamed at myself for letting it get this bad.
I'm interested to read replies to this as I hardly play with DS who just turned two because he's so much happier playing on his own. If I start to join in he just gets angry and snatchy etc, I try to play with things alongside him rather than help him with what he's doing so he doesn't get annoyed but then he snatches the toys off me or throws them about then I'm telling him off and he's upset and I'm stressed out. It's all much nicer and calmer it I leave him. And i'd like him to be able to play on his own and amuse himself so when I need to leave him to it I know I can ie doing dinner or if we had dc2 feeding them etc
We do go to a playgroup once a week, and a soft play group once a week, and go for walks in the woods, play in the park, feed the ducks, we draw and paint and try to bake and we read. But when indoors and not doing those things I just leave him to it and he's happy. And I'm happy. If he came over to me with a toy or book then I'd play until I know he doesn't want me to anymore.
And i'd like him to be able to play on his own and amuse himself so when I need to leave him to it I know I can ie doing dinner or if we had dc2 feeding them etc
He's likely to become clingy if/when you have another child, not want to play alone. Just to warn you.
I didn't play with my Dd because I didn't know how. I couldn't play as a child either but we did and still do lots of crafty things and bake and a whole host of other things that I can do that she enjoys. My mum and my partner took on the role of playmate instead so she didn't lose out on imaginative games.
<whispers> dd3 is the boss of the tv here too...
We don't play together much in the afternoons, although I lie down in DD's playpen (she is 14 months old) and thank her for bringing shapes and toys to me. I also tell her what the toys are called and sounds they make or colours they are. However, we do go to a playgroup every morning and most of them are ones that force you to be interactive with the child rather than sitting around drinking tea and eating biscuits. These groups mean we so songs and rhymes together, as well as counting games etc.
I also hardly ever have the tv on and DD does go to the park in the evenings or weekends when DH is home from work. I'm just struggling to do much with her at the moment as I am in my third trimester of pregnancy and have PGP. DH does bathtime and she has loads of toys, crayons and a drum that she lovely playing with. Then we have quiet reading time, so she does get our undivided attention as well.
I've got a 2.1yr old and feel (and have felt since she was very young) that I'm a bit crap at playing- her Dad and Grandparents and Aunt are much better. I'm good at reading to her and chatting though and now she can talk we chat away together a lot which I know is helpful for her development and I'm also very creative so good at arty stuff and that kind of thing. Don't beat yourself up, we've all got different skills.
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