...to not play with my daughter's toys with her?(83 Posts)
My girl is nearly 5. She got a doll's house and bits to go with it at Christmas. It was my idea, despite knowing she will want someone to play with her. I'm not surprised she wants me to pretend play with her and I have done so a few times.
The problem is she is very controlling and she has a bad speech problem. This translates into telling me how I should pretend play, and then using false voices for her characters which I cannot understand. She gets frustrated if I bodge on and pretend I heard her and tells me off because I wasn't playing along properly. I get irritated and tell her I'm done, then she has a tantrum on the floor about it.
To be absolutely honest, I HATE playing with kids toys and I also hate that I hate it. I hate that I cannot do a false voice or accent because of my fag ash lil throat and I hate that I just cannot be bothered with any of her toys.
I am happy to have tickle fights or other physical interaction and face to face time. I am happy to read a book to her or teach her short words or learn the names of things. I will throw or kick a ball around with her when outside. I will do quite a few things and be happy about it, but I hate playing with her doll's house, anything that's horribly noisy like a terrible quality microphone or chirpy bird things or any whistles etc.
After just a few minutes of every game she gets out she gets bored and wanders off leaving me with the mess. I call her back to help me tidy up and she does it, but now I don't want to come over and do a puzzle with her when I know she'll be up again before finishing.
I swing between irritable and guilty constantly and it does wear me down. She also suffers, obviously.
My parents never played with my toys with me when I was a kid but I don't remember it bothering me. I'm hoping my daughter will also forget. I'm afraid she'll have some kind of deep rooted problem which will become apparent as a teenager or something.
I'm after reassurance that I'm not the only one who has zero desire to play with kids toys and also that my child won't suffer because of it.
I don't know any of the other kids at her daycare or their parents so nobody visits to play with her.
It is hard to play with that age children when they have definite ideas about how it should be done. Can you start playing, give her 5 mins with you then say "I'm just going to go and do ......" then go and do something else for 10 mins. Come back after that time and just sit with her, if she then wants you to play again, say " what about a story?" Hopefully she will feel that she is getting your attention without you having to 'play' so much.
Argh, I had this with DS1. I despaired at the words "play with me" because they were inevitably followed by a tantrum at me getting the game wrong. I think he was about 4-5 when he was at this point, and has grown out of it as his social skills and role play skills have improved. DS2 is also capable of role playing too so they can play off each other which tends to be more successful.
I recently read something about this kind of play not being particularly beneficial as either the adult dominates or is too passive, and there isn't the same development of social skill as there is working it out with a peer.
I'm much better doing something practical, or outdoors!
Could you set an amount of time i.e.: I'm going to play with you for 5 mins then do the washing , you carry on with the game?
I'd d what a pp suggested and start her off then find something to do. I could never do pretend play for long either tbh. Does she have siblings? If not maybe try to arrange some playdates.
If she's quite controlling with her play you playing with her for short periods will be useful though so you can model both of you taking turns to use your ideas in the game.
It is a very draining part of parenting but valuable too so well done for working with it. Set a time limit perhaps when your nerves are screaming. Adults do have to do other things. That is life. Sometimes we have to say "no darling not now". Thank Christ we have an obliging cat who likes lapping out of plastic teacups.
You are definitely not alone! I can't bear it, but like you I do other things (like playing board games, craft, play doh etc) and then like pp I set my DD up and then quietly disappear and check in every now and then how she is getting on. Have to say this has got easier as she has got older she is now 8.
Why would you have children if you didn't want to play with them? Play is an absolute essential for speech, socialisation, wellbeing and education. It's part of your role as a parent to help her learn through play. All the more so if she has speech problems and needs to learn not to be so bossy.
Bit harsh crumbs. Of course parents are going to enjoy some types of play more than others. I loved reading to my kids, baking, singing songs, doing art, making/playing with playdoh, going to the park, going on walks and bike rides, doing facepainting - the list goes on. Repeatedly crashing cars together or playing with dolls weren't my favourites. However you are interacting with your kids you will be helping their speech/social skills. No need to try and make someone feel bad for playing with a dolls house not being top on their list of fun things to do!
I adore playing with my son. My dad always did when I was a child. Mother didn't. We have a playmobil dolls house and could sit there for hours.
It's important for her to have someone to play with. If you can't manage it then try and make an effort with her friends at daycare or invite cousins over etc. Being very controlling and stroppy is normal at that age, but they learn not to be by playing with others. She'll struggle to play nicely with others later if she doesn't get a chance to practise now.
It's ok for you to stand up to her a little bit when you're playing with her. You don't have to follow all her rules, in fact it's better if you don't.
Your last paragraph is the problem. Make an effort to get to know other parents and get friends at the day care.
Ask the staff who her friends are and ask if they'll pass on a note with your number to their parents.
Speak to other parents at birthday parties.
Engage with local parents in the park and get to know them.
So familiar, I remember DSS always wanting me to play pretend games with him, although I wanted to want to do it and make him happy, it was pretty boring after 5-10m and I really had to force myself.
Like you, Im pretty sure my parents never played this way with me, although I remember my grandmother (who I saw only a few times a year) did, and I loved it. Inbetween that though, I played loads of pretend games on my own (only child).
I don't think you should haul yourself over the coals for this, especially if you're playing and engaging with her in so many other ways.
That said, I am a very guilt-feeling person and I would probably do a certain amount of this kind of play every so often, but no more. Or would that just increase her desire for you to pretend play with her even more?
I have to say, now that DSS is 11 and loves playing board games and multiplayer computer games, I enjoy playing with him so much more!
Dh and I still have traumatic memories of our eldest when he was slightly younger than 5. He wanted to play the same pretending game with his Duplo characters for hours on end. We only have to mention it (it had a name) for each other to shudder at the memory. As first time parents, we indulged him, but it was SO boring!
His younger brother thrived on benign neglect.
I have a 3 year old who loves playing construction sites but I really can't stand it for more than about 15 minutes if he's lucky! Sitting on the ground for hours at a time at 30 weeks pregnant is not my favourite thing at the minute!
3 kids in and more or less the only games I played with them were on a console.
Dull dull dull.
They seemed to manage and yanno, learn to entertain themselves. No wonder kids cant occupy themselves these days going on some of these comments.
i dont think adults can play with children. but i liked to do making stuff ..like making puppets etc
Of course adults can play with children
What a strange comment
My biggest problem with playing some games with DS when he was younger was that he spent half an hour making up rules, conveying these to me (whilst constantly changing his mind about the rules) for a game that lasted 5 minutes = yes it was a bit weary. I wouldn't mind but at my age my memory goes after 5 mins so i usually forgot most of the rules
Of course adults can play with children.
I always win the sword fights
In terms of imaginative play it's much more beneficial for kids to play with peers than parents who tend to let them make all the rules and completely direct the play. Shorts burst of imaginative play with adults alongside plenty of reading, singing, time outdoors etc is absolutely fine for development providing they are socialising with peers regularly (I assume the 5 yo is in school?).
But rosettes all round to the parents who play Barbie all day and love it!
You're not unreasonable to find it dull OP, but you would be very unreasonable to stop playing with her. Dolls houses is something she loves right now, so spend 10 minutes a day joining in with her. Let her be the boss and tell you what to do (only during play!) - obviously you don't have to tolerate any shouting etc. She will learn so much from playing with you like this. Talk to her about what you are doing together and don't ask her any questions to test her. See it as fun time (for her) not teaching time
Thank goodness I'm not the only one!
DD is 4 and I wouldn't mind playing too much, but she scripts it so much. 'Pretend you see a girl in a beautiful dress' and if I don't say 'oh, look at that girl in the beautiful dress' then she gets stroppy about it.
My compromise is to do about 2 lines, I try and ad lib after I've done the prescribed bit (oh, look at your beautiful dress, do you like my dress? My mum bought it for me, do you want to come to my mum's house?).
Then I disappear to get a drink, wash up, go to the toilet, watch paint dry....
I also am happy to build lego, playdoh, crafts, baking, drawing etc, it's just the pretend play part.
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