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AIBU to let my son play by himself

(21 Posts)
StarlingMurmuration Sat 13-Jun-15 13:21:53

I have a seven month old DS who is often quite happy to play with his toys on the living room floor by himself, sometimes for up to an hour. AIBU to let him? I'm always in the same room as him, just tidying or reading. If he starts complaining, I get down on the floor and entertain him.

I ask because I'm worried it'll affect his language development, but I've also read it's a good thing if they can occupy themselves sometimes.

mygrandchildrenrock Sat 13-Jun-15 13:28:09

You ANBU at all, children learning to entertain themselves is a good thing.
I did worry though, for a moment, and thought you had an older son who was masturbating!

Fedupofplaystation Sat 13-Jun-15 13:33:38

My pfb was never left to entertain herself. It was bloody hard going and she's now a very high maintenance 3 year old. Don't know which came first though as she was high maintenance and screamed if we weren't playing with her, which meant we played more, so she came to expect more playing.

DD2 has little choice but to entertain herself as I am often dealing with DD1. She seems a very content baby, more so than DD1.

So, from my experience YANBU.

StarlingMurmuration Sat 13-Jun-15 13:34:31

Hahaha! Yes, play BY himself, not play WITH himself!

That's reassuring, thanks. My mum and brother aren't around any more, and DS is my first, so I don't always have more experienced people to ask.

DustBunnyFarmer Sat 13-Jun-15 13:36:27

It's great if they can keep themselves amused. As long as he's getting plenty of stimulation at other times, it won't affect his development.

Thymeout Sat 13-Jun-15 13:47:28

I think playing by himself is great. I wouldn't worry about his language skills either. While he's quiet, he's not doing nothing. He's thinking! Less time for that if you're engaging him in conversation all the time.

blueBooby Sat 13-Jun-15 13:55:29

I leave my dd to play alone and I worry about it too so glad to hear other people say it's fine! I do think it's good to let them learn to keep themselves entertained for a bit and it also gives you a bit of a break.

I've read online 'you should talk to your baby all day long about what you're doing etc' and think how can people do that?! For a start I'm not actually 'doing' anything constantly! Should I read my book out loud or narrate if I'm watching TV? I've got over that now though and don't worry so much. I know I spend plenty of time with her reading to her, playing and talking. I'm sure you're doing the same with your DS.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 13-Jun-15 13:59:13

It's not only fine if they can entertain themselves it's a godsend! Especially when they get a bit older, and they play quietly in their rooms for an hour in the morning instead of bouncing on your head at 6 am demanding you play with them.

DustBunnyFarmer Sat 13-Jun-15 14:02:31

Ds1 was like this as a baby and toddler. When DS2 arrived, he kept him entertained. They are now 9 & 7 and can be relied on to make their own fun on wet weekends and INSET days. It's such a boon and they think of really imaginative games and activities. It would be a shame to snuff out your son's latent curiousity and exploration by directing his activities. I also strongly suspect the ability to concentrate and direct your own learning is useful at school. My boys teachers have all commented on their ability to concentrate and get work done amidst distractions and noise.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sat 13-Jun-15 14:04:27

I was worried about this too, with DS 9 months old. Although I'm in the same room, often chatting. As I'm pregnant with DC2 I was hoping it's a good thing as there'll be times I have to sort out DC2 and leave DS to it.

ToysRLuv Sat 13-Jun-15 14:25:59

I envy you. DS is nearly 6 and still can't do this if not on his tablet, watching tv etc.. As a baby and toddler would scream blue murder and cry if you did not entertain him every minute of the day. I had absolutely no choice in the matter. Enjoy!

littlegreen66 Sat 13-Jun-15 21:12:25

My DS used to play on his own by choice from about the same age (having previously been a colicky screamer!). He started talking at 10 months, in sentences by 18 months and he's now an articulate and resourceful 24 year old with an English degree. So I wouldn't worry. At least not about him playing on his own. smile

Writerwannabe83 Sat 13-Jun-15 21:23:28

My 14 month is brilliant at entertaining himself and playing on his own. He comes over to me with books and toys when he wants my attention or wants to play with me, but equally he seems very happy to just play by himself if that's what he fancies.

lomega Sat 13-Jun-15 21:54:11

I always feel really guilty (as does DH) that DS (18mos) will play by himself so much. He will literally play on the carpet with his cars, or watch Peppa on our tablet, or sing/read books aloud to himself (so cute ahah) for hours. All the while I get on with cleaning! I feel like I should be doing something with him and entertaining him but if you 'cramp' his style too much he goes all squealy and doesn't like to be touched. When he decides he wants us though, he'll crawl or walk up to DH or I and pretty much climb our leg with a whinge until we cuddle him!

So no yanbu OP, sometimes children like their own time and space, I think it's good for them to have the capacity to entertain themselves as parents surely cannot be around 24/7 at their beck and call. My friend has 2 kids that were constantly entertained when very little and now they simply cannot occupy themselves, as soon as you go around her house they're at the front door demanding you play with them. If you have a cuppa or want any adult conversation the children dominate it until they are the focus and they're being entertained. It does my head in!!!

Foreverconfused Sat 13-Jun-15 21:59:11

I used to feel guilty when son was an only child and he'd play by himself whilst I did a few household bits. However , I have kids with excellent imaginations now where they've been left to play with themselves and know that it gets made up by them being showered with attention when their grandparents come round (nearly everyday ) ,dad comes home or even from me when I've done my bits.

Athenaviolet Sat 13-Jun-15 21:59:17

Sounds like good parenting to me!

Clobbered Sat 13-Jun-15 22:05:14

Lucky you, to have a little one who is happy to amuse himself. My eldest was like this from a very young age, and has remained very 'self-contained' as he grew up. Always had fearsome powers of concentration too!

Frenchmustard7 Sat 13-Jun-15 22:13:27

Mine both play on their own and also at other times have lots of attention. We like to read lots. We don't interact constantly though and our children are a similar balance chattyness wise to us. They are bright and confident but not in my face all the time pestering.

1Morewineplease Sat 13-Jun-15 22:16:56

I think that as long as you interject at times by asking him questions about his "work" and not just ignore him completely then it's absolutely fine!

Coffeeinthepark Sat 13-Jun-15 22:30:58

I find it incredible to think there are parents who expect to interact with their children all the time. I have always left mine to entertain themselves wherever possible and figure they get plenty of interaction when doing stories, eating, out and about. All 3 are growing up confident and independent. I think self sufficiency is very important and there is plenty of stimulation around without an adult needing to interpret everything for you - don't worry, enjoy it. You could use the time to cook something lovely and nutritious and parent well in that respect to ease any lingering guilt

Salmotrutta Sat 13-Jun-15 23:45:49

You are doing nothing wrong OP!

I know a couple of people (acquaintances) who have constantly "entertained" their children with the result that those same children now "get bored" very easily and don't seem to have any skills to amuse themselves.

And because their parents jumped to provide "activities" and "entertainment" the children are demanding, rude and dissatisfied.

Of course you should spend a bit of time chatting to, and playing with, your children but not constantly! That just results in children who can't understand that the world doesn't revolve around them...

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