Im having a hard time atm working out how to handle play with my daughter, she is 3 and a half. I love playing with her but as a single mum its just the two of us a lot and I have become her best friend.
That sounds lovely but there are some problems arising. She is becoming very demanding and quite stroppy. At a recent event she was at her singing teachers even noticed how mega confident, but demanding she is. She is loving and sweet but also wants me to play 24/7.
Second problem is the guilt I feel when i cant play, as have stuff to do, or I just dont want to, Im a grown up and a few hours is enough Tevery ay pretending to be a dog or a monster or whatever character she would like me to be.
I feel guilty as she is an only child so i do play a lot, but i know if i was still with her dad or a partner there would be less of my time focused purely on her. Its making her behaviour quite dramatic, but i dont know if thats due to me spending too much time playing with her or its just a natural part of her nature, or she is missing out on having a sibling or 2 parent unit where she would be forced to entertain herself more.
DS went through a very demanding phase at about the same age. It was hard - it's always been just the 2 of us so he's been used to having my full attention. He found it hard (& still does but to a much lesser extent) when my attention was on something/ someone else - if I answered the phone, he'd talk very loudly to me whilst I was trying to speak to the person on the phone.
It was just a phase... a long one, but just a phase. I think you need to do lots of reassuring but encouraging your DD to do something by herself for 5 mins, so she gets used to doing an activity or spending time without your input.
DS was also quite dramatic - he now goes to theatre school
On the plus side, people always comment on DS - how polite, kind, independent, caring, grown up he is. And that's down to me [proud]
Can you do more to set up play dates for her? Or set her up with some paints, pens, etc so that she can then spend a bit of time creating things and not requiring 100% of your attention? That's a bit of a compromise between playing and just saying "go and amuse yourself". Though I do think there's nothing wrong in expecting them to play on their own some of the time. Even with two kids they don't always play together - especially if one is very young.
I very rarely play with either of my kids really - it's not something that comes naturally. I'd sooner look after a friend's kid for the afternoon so they have someone to play with.
That said, my DD is also a very confident but demanding child. I think that is just the way she is. DS is nothing like that and I've parented him much the same.