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To think a 4yo should be able to play by herself for 15min?!

(21 Posts)
LiegeAndLief Sat 22-Feb-14 10:16:26

I love dd dearly but she is driving me insane. She wants to be with someone constantly. She has a 7 yo brother and is always having strops over the fact he doesn't want to play with her - he does sometimes, but equally sometimes doesn't want to, which I think is fair enough and I don't make him.

So her next best thing is playing with me, or, failing that, helping me with whatever I am doing. Which is also fine. But she wants to do it ALL THE TIME. I have just been in the shower. Before I went in I got out some playmobil and set up the house and the playground, started a little game, put some paper and colouring pencils right outside the bathroom and she STILL stood and wailed loudly outside the shower curtain for the duration. She is four and a half!

What can I do? She has loads of toys and books and things that are easily accessible. She just doesn't want any of it.

SingMoreWhenYoureWinning Sat 22-Feb-14 10:17:23

Has this just come on? Or has she always been like it?

EatShitDerek Sat 22-Feb-14 10:19:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LiegeAndLief Sat 22-Feb-14 10:22:01

She has always been like it to a certain extent but I think it's getting worse. I do often tell her I can't play right now, which she is usually fairly happy with, she just says "ok I'll help you then".

SingMoreWhenYoureWinning Sat 22-Feb-14 10:24:26

Have you tried giving her a challenge? Such as 'I'll be busy for ten minutes, your job is to make a car out of lego, draw me and daddy a picture each before I get back' type of thing?

cory Sat 22-Feb-14 10:27:19

I had one like that. Used to drive me up the wall. Now she is either out with her friends all the time, or writing essays, or fast asleep. If I want the pleasure of 5 minutes conversation I have to be carefully fitted into the diary.

This, too, shall pass...

But I do remember the complete mental exhaustion.

Have some brew and cake

ProfPlumSpeaking Sat 22-Feb-14 10:27:38

He, he, I can see how that would drive you mad but she does sound awfully sweet smile

Can you perhaps find something that she can always genuinely help you with that will keep her occupied. My Grandmother used to get me to polish the silver (would take hours) which I realise is rather outdated now but maybe there is an equivalent? Sweep the kitchen really carefully into all the corners and using a dustpan and brush? Plump the cushions? Fold the washing? Wipe the table? Lay the table for the next meal (even if hours away) Soon she could be really useful.... or bored enough to stop asking.

Slothful Sat 22-Feb-14 10:28:35

My DD was the same, which I found hard to deal with as DS always played independently. We still spend quite a lit of time together now and she is a teenager.

DS was/is a bit like this but will play alone, usually TBH with a screen. But he seems to have a constant drive/need for company, very difficult.

PlaydoughGirl Sat 22-Feb-14 10:32:58

My 4yo DD is the same, and so is my 6yo DS. They will play (i.e. fight constantly requiring continuous parental input) together, but never by themselves. It is seriously draining. And they both want to join in with whatever I am doing, which then means that they fight over who is helping me the most, and it's all not fun. Half-term has been exhausting!

I even set up a rewards chart for both of them - they got a sticker for 10 mins play alone in their room, and a present for every 7 stickers. After 4 months, my son had about 15 stickers, my daughter about 22. Even the prospect of rewards was not enticing enough! And I was perfectly prepared to give them 7 stickers a day if they played on their own - but 15 occasions over 120 days is pretty dismal.

theeternalstudent Sat 22-Feb-14 10:33:43

My DD is just like this. Won't play by herself. She has a beautiful bedroom full of toys but just won't play in it unless I'm in there playing with her.
I do say to her that I can't play just now because I have to do X, Y and Z but in the end I just feel so guilty that it doesn't last long.

Hard work though 'init!

PlaydoughGirl Sat 22-Feb-14 10:35:07

I forgot to say, mine like to be near me so much that they will both massage my feet & rub moisturiser onto my legs rather than play by themselves. I ask them to do that when I am tired of being The Source Of All Entertainment. Or I give them markers and they can draw 'tattoos' on my legs while I read a book. I feel guilty, but there is only so much direct interaction I can tolerate as an introvert myself.

LiegeAndLief Sat 22-Feb-14 10:35:18

The good thing is that she is genuinely quite helpful. Sadly we have no silver grin but she can peel a carrot (not mastered potatoes), lay the table, put the washing machine on, Hoover crumbs with the little hand held one...

Challenge is a good idea, I use it quite successfully on the walk to school, should try it in the house.

I'm glad I'm not the only one! It's just a bit relentless... Like having a noisy and demanding shadow.

LiegeAndLief Sat 22-Feb-14 10:56:54

Playdough girl that is genius. Also makes me feel a little better as I don't think even dd is that desperate to be next to me!

She has some kind of strange cuddle sensor though. I was just giving ds a cuddle as he's not feeling very well and she was there in seconds jumping in shouting "every cuddle needs a <dd's name>!". Dh and I call her the cuddle interceptor as every time we get within a couple of inches of each other she seems to be between us.

deakymom Sat 22-Feb-14 21:03:10

i bought mine a mobigo leappad another pad thingy and a ds as long as he has batteries he is fine and i can pee (with the baby)

dietcokeandwine Sat 22-Feb-14 21:27:37

Have a 4yo DS exactly the same. He is adorable but good God there are days when he does my head in! I also have an older DS who was always great at playing independently so DS2 has been a bit of an eye opener.

I have two cop

dietcokeandwine Sat 22-Feb-14 21:28:45

Two coping strategies.

One: preschool four days a week
Two: the iPhone. He gets half an hour on it when I feel I really need a bit of time out. It's the only time he is quiet!

trampstamp Sat 22-Feb-14 21:29:05

Tell her to find the gold tiny flower in the garden used to work a treat with mine he would spend hours looking lol

quirrelquarrel Sat 22-Feb-14 21:39:31

Will no one think of the extroverts! wink

Introverts get pretty well stuck up for on here. Lots of introvert-friendly MNing to be done. Not so much for people who want to be with other people all the time (not my cup of tea)....so books and being by herself don't do it for her as much as being with people does. That's okay. Annoying for you but it doesn't mean that there's something that needs to be fixed here, unless the way she's doing it is rude or unpleasant in some way (e.g. the strops).

quirrelquarrel Sat 22-Feb-14 21:40:35

tramp that would have fascinated me, genius!

would probably fascinate me now grin

CockBollocks Sat 22-Feb-14 21:47:55

In one of my many less than perfect moments this week, dd was driving me mad doing as you say.

So I asked her to "please just go somewhere else, away from me" she replies "where to? Would I have to live there? How far would it be? Would I need to go by car, cos then you would have to drive me"

Arrrgh - I feel you pain. Suppose we need to remember that a few years down the road they won't want us hanging around them, enjoy it while it lasts.

Easier said than done!

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