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To think this is not normal "play"?

(33 Posts)
EachToTheirBone Sat 15-Apr-17 12:34:05

DS is 7 ; we've just had his friend around for the morning - the same age.

Frankly I'm exhausted from sorting out their squabbles.

DS and his friend are good friends but this is the first time they've actually been at my home together.

They spent a long time setting up DS knights and warriors etc . All going well .

When it was actually time to play with them - ie. DS wanted to move the knights in to battle , his friend became very annoyed and insisted they can't be moved confused

He also wouldn't let DS move any of the arms / legs of the figures and became quite annoyed when DS insisted he wanted to play and move them.

There was no compromise at all and DS obviously became quite frustrated.

The boy eventually agreed to have his share of the figures static and DS was allowed to move his figures but there were so many rules about what could and couldn't be done , even I was exasperated!

This boy is lovely and polite but I'm a bit shocked at this .

My DS is any only child but I don't think this kind of "play" is normal.

I did mention to his mum that he became a little bit upset when playing but was generally ok and she didn't seem surprised but also didn't say anything confused

I'd love to have him back to play but I think we will leave the knights in the box !

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Sat 15-Apr-17 12:36:16

Is the friend an only child?

5moreminutes Sat 15-Apr-17 12:38:10

No that isn't normal play.

I guess he's be better off with a jigsaw or Lego technic or some other project rather than freeform imaginative play ... some children just don't "get" imaginative play for whatever reason, though most do ime.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 15-Apr-17 12:39:12

When they start arguing like this over a game it's usually a sign that they need a change of activity like sticking out of earshot in the garden or taking to the park.

OlennasWimple Sat 15-Apr-17 12:40:14

Not abnormal - I know quite a few kids who like the whole setting up side of playing with toys, and plenty more who like the moving around aspect. It's just different playing styles, that's all

FATEdestiny Sat 15-Apr-17 12:40:22

Sounds all very normal to me.

Also sounds like you are failing completely to see the other point of view: There was no compromise at all and DS obviously became quite frustrated. I would imagine the other boy was equally as frustrated at having spent ages positioning the figures perfectly, that his friend wanted to undo all their hard work.

Witchend Sat 15-Apr-17 12:42:31

I think it's fairly normal. Some children like rules at that age, and if he's been playing like that with family/friends he will see it as wrong or even cheatingnot to follow the rules.

About that age we had a major disagreement over a board game that they both played at home and each regarded the other with shock because they saw it as cheating. Wr eventually compromised by playing one game of each.
Couple of years later they'd have worked it out without help, and it would have probably involved their own rules.

FATEdestiny Sat 15-Apr-17 12:43:20

My children, with a load of mates, can spend several hours building a den. Very elaborate, large designs with several "rooms".

Once built, they get bored playing in it after 10 minutes. Even though it's taken the best part of a whole day to build and perfect.

The pleasure is in the making, the end result.

cochineal7 Sat 15-Apr-17 12:44:33

I used to set up, elaborately, and my brother would then play with it. Worked for us for years.

EachToTheirBone Sat 15-Apr-17 12:44:52

Not an only child - he has a younger brother .

It was the intensity of his annoyance I was shocked at - he was really upset !

popperdoodles Sat 15-Apr-17 12:44:55

'play' isn't instinctive for all children and some enjoy using toys in different ways. For my youngest dc it was all about sorting out the figures and setting up an intricate scene with his playmobil for example. He would rarely act out a long scene but could spend all day getting it all just right.

CassandraAusten Sat 15-Apr-17 12:47:11

I find the same with lego, OP. Some children want to build things and then play with them; for others, the building is in itself the game. Both are normal, just different. As Jilted said, if they're getting frustrated I would suggest a change of game, maybe something physical instead.

EachToTheirBone Sat 15-Apr-17 12:48:13

It seems that it's normal then - I'll just get the pens and paper out next time blush

AmysTiara Sat 15-Apr-17 12:49:01

I think it's pretty normal. Plenty of kids spend ages setting things up and don't want it getting ruined

Yika Sat 15-Apr-17 12:50:15

Quite normal here - my DD can end up getting fixated on doing things her way at playdates and is very sensitive to anything that might seem unfair. I manage our playdates fairly carefully as a result - if things seem to be going awry when children left to their own devices, I change the activity (and often get involved myself) - e.g. set up an outdoor activity activity, do a craft with them, play a board game, move on to snack time ... Some children are more flexible than others I guess.

Yika Sat 15-Apr-17 12:50:47

NB not saying I wish playdates weren't different sometimes... We persevere though...

WorraLiberty Sat 15-Apr-17 12:52:39

I think you're overthinking it!

Catch him on another day and he may be completely different.

LucyFuckingPevensie Sat 15-Apr-17 12:54:20

Maybe he is just having a bad day. My dts have been stroppy emotional at times as have their friends. Doesn't mean they're always like it.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 15-Apr-17 12:57:29

You are not planning what they are doing are you?? They are 7, surely you just let them get on with it?

BackforGood Sat 15-Apr-17 12:59:48

It's just different ways of playing, as others have said.

StrawberryMouse Sat 15-Apr-17 13:04:12

My ds was quite highly strung at that age and would have fairly ott emotional reactions to things he didn't like. Luckily it was just a phase and he grew out of it after a while. Some children are just a bit more sensitive I think.

Trifleorbust Sat 15-Apr-17 13:04:18

Definitely normal. He was trying to achieve something. Kids don't compromise naturally - it is a learned skill.

MummyBearToTeddy Sat 15-Apr-17 13:05:34

I think it's just different ways of doing things. As a child I liked sorting the lego into colours and order but not much interest in playing with it. My DS however likes to build intricate cars and towers and couldn't care less about keeping them in order. My DB used to play where he would line all his cars up in a "traffic jam" and that was the entire game!

Maybe try something else if he comes round again and like you say keep the knights in the box.

keeplooking Sat 15-Apr-17 13:14:25

Maybe he gets frustrated at home when he sets things up, and his younger sibling comes along and messes about with it, as younger siblings often do, so he wanted everything to 'stay put' for a bit?

VintagePerfumista Sat 15-Apr-17 13:15:06

Very very normal at that age, especially when other people's houses are concerned.

I remember back in the hellish days of having to supervise play that I'd be thinking a) why the fuck do I do this? b) this is a total disaster and this child will go home saying mine is evil

Often the host child tries to boss the visitor child round at that age as well. My only child (for the anecdotal record hmm) was frequently bullied to the point of being thumped by her (non only child) "best" friend who would simply refuse to play at all when they were at her house (there would be the "you can't touch that it's mine" or "you can only play with these things" traumas)

Luckily in a few years you can just chuck them onto the street or shut them in a bedroom and throw biscuits in every so often.

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