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Ignoring kids sometimes

(61 Posts)
DaisyRaine90 Mon 06-Nov-17 11:50:56

To think that ignoring my kids sometimes is actually good for them?

Eg. Letting them have (supervised) tummy time but not getting involved at all (the baby) or letting my daughter play on her own in her room for 1-2 hours at a time

Or having adult conversations and telling DD not to interrupt to tell me about her game because the adults are talking so to go “explore in the garden”

I do lots of activities with them but also sometimes just leave them to it.

AIBU to think this is good for them? Or is it just good for me as in selfish and taking a break?

I will sing rounds of twinkle twinkle and help with puzzles but sometimes I’m on the sofa with the phone and a coffee for a half hour or so in the day too.

I think it’s making them independent. Am I deluded?

elQuintoConyo Mon 06-Nov-17 11:57:10

It's no different to 'you play while i wash the dishes/put the washing out'. I'll often start off playing with ds, set things up, then toddle off to leave him to it - 9/10 he doesn't realise i've gone for half an hour!

But when he does ask 'come look at the prison i just built' (out of a chair and a stack of dvds, he loves playing cops and robbers), then i'll come and play some more. He has always had time on his own. He is now 6yo and plays wonderfully on his own.

I agree on the adult conversation, to a point. But i don't ignore him with my phone and coffee for half an hour - i'll sneak off to the biscuit cupboard in the kitchen and MN from there grin

brasty Mon 06-Nov-17 11:58:28

I agree with you OP. Otherwise you end up with a child who does not know how to play by themselves or amuse themselves.

clearsommespace Mon 06-Nov-17 12:03:24

But elQuinto is BU for having a biscuit cupboard big enough to hide in!

DaisyRaine90 Mon 06-Nov-17 12:06:44

I’m like the opposite of a helicopter parent at home mostly, but do put in lots of time with activities, homework, reading, baby sign language etc.

I don’t ignore them when on my phone just put it down as soon as they speak or squark at all 😊 I tend to have it nearby but not in my hand

I don’t let them have much TV time at all either. I spent my childhood climbing trees and playing make believe and not doing many structures activities:

I’m trying to find the balance.

My niece and nephew don’t really know how to imaginary play as they go from one activity to another, school, homework, music practice and when they do get recreation time it’s swimming, cycling, TV, books or kindles.

They have every toy you can imagine but never get a chance to play, whereas I keep the toy levels down so that the ones they have become loved and establish little characters.

I am more likely to buy my daughter a set of plastic tubs to play with than a baby born doll. And she’ll sit their organising things and playing shop or jewellery boxes or whatever.

I think it’s magic. I love to catch her playing when I walk into a room.

When I cook or clean I get the kids involved. DD helps with chores and chopping. The babies usually in a carrier, being sung too or on a hip x

DaisyRaine90 Mon 06-Nov-17 12:08:05



I also have a walk in pantry but I am U because I don’t keep biscuits in it unless I have guests round as I don’t eat them and DP is a greedy git

brasty Mon 06-Nov-17 12:08:39

I sometimes see tiny kids trying to play, and a parent constantly interfering and changing the nature of play happening.

VladmirsPoutine Mon 06-Nov-17 12:10:02

I wouldn't necessarily even call it ignoring. I think it's important for children to realise they can't command every second of attention they crave - illness and whatever aside. I think it's just sensible.

EatTheChocolateTeapot Mon 06-Nov-17 12:11:37

Congratulations, you win parenting.

brasty Mon 06-Nov-17 12:13:48

Daisy That sounds lovely

DaisyRaine90 Mon 06-Nov-17 12:14:43

I’ve had so many family members tell me I’m wrong about the interrupting thing

The way I see it they can wait one moment until you finish a sentence not interrupt mid flow as it’s rude

Also, if you’ve just spent an hour building Duplo castles sometimes you need to have some adult time for a bit

They are mostly teachers too. Surely they know the value of play? I don’t know 🤷‍♀️ apparently I expect too much of them (activities, homework etc.) but also ignore them too much (prioritise adult conversation and use social media)

I don’t think we can ever win can we ? X

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Mon 06-Nov-17 12:15:28


Parents, or probably more accurately mothers didn't have time for lots of 1:1 play until recently as household chores were more manual and time consuming and their attention had to be split amongst more family members.

It's very frustrating trying to teach a room full of children when you have several children with a constant need for attention and validation over little things that they have sorted, and you can't spread yourself around enough when there's quiet ones that also need your support.

Sometimes if I'm having adult chat, it's simpler to let DC have a quick say and get it off their chest, other times I remind them that they've had their turn already and the can have another turn when I'm ready or able to give them my attention.

brasty Mon 06-Nov-17 12:16:44

Daisy I think some parents expect too little of their children. Children are often more capable than adults give them credit for.

DaisyRaine90 Mon 06-Nov-17 12:24:40

They are certainly more self sufficient than we give them credit for! DD 4 would be fine for about 3 days left on her own. She can work the shower, dress herself, make cereal and sandwiches, brush her own teeth (ish), turn the tv onto CBeebies (and between sky and manual 😂), put the radio on, settle herself to sleep and generally look after herself. She would be bored and lonely but every jigsaw in the house would be done and she might even have managed the dishwasher and washing machine.

In a zombie apocalypse she would be a ok.

I think she’d mix the formula up wrong, change nappies badly, not burp and generally be bad at caring for the baby alone so he’s definitely not so self sufficient! And she’s definitely not up to babysitting yet 😂

I am a bit lazy when I’m not doing a fixed activities tbh but I don’t lose sleep over it. I do struggle with imaginative play myself sometimes now and energy levels with physical stuff, but I chat rubbish to them for hours 😂

brasty Mon 06-Nov-17 12:27:22

Glad she would survive a zombie apocalypse, even if she is not quite up to babysitting yet!

DaisyRaine90 Mon 06-Nov-17 12:32:36

I think about apocalyptic scenarios far more often than is healthy, I have the panty to prove it. It’s a hoard for sure 😂 I even have a spare tin opener!!

DaisyRaine90 Mon 06-Nov-17 12:33:54

It’s my second favourite scenario game with DP after what we’d do after winning the euro millions 😂

DaisyRaine90 Mon 06-Nov-17 12:34:14

Pantry not panty 😂

PurpleYam Mon 06-Nov-17 12:35:28

It's called Benign Neglect, and is IMO an essential part of growing up.

You are therefore being a Good Parent 🥇


PurpleYam Mon 06-Nov-17 12:36:46

Wish I had a pantry.

BarbarianMum Mon 06-Nov-17 12:36:56

I think its fine if they'll do it but not all children will play independently, no matter what you do. And then there were those like my db who would find interesting and dangerous things to occupy himself with (dismantling tv, building a working flamethrower) when not watched like a hawk.

DaisyRaine90 Mon 06-Nov-17 12:37:05

Thanks purpleyam

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a right to sit down and should always be “doing” something

It doesn’t help that DP is always hoovering under my feet whenever I try to sit down 😂 I am not looking forward to taking the housework on once babies older.

So much so I’m going to work and getting a cleaner

WellThisIsShit Mon 06-Nov-17 12:37:06

I think zombie apocalypse survival goes down if there are two or more children of similiar ages together. I swear my son loses all common sense and memory as soon as he is with a friend.

For children, a 3 day zombie apocalypse is best experienced alone smile

brasty Mon 06-Nov-17 12:37:41

Well I am glad you are taking her surviving a zombie apocalypse so seriously grin

More seriously I think it is easier to teach them independence skills when young when they want to be independent, than to try to do it when they are teenagers.

brasty Mon 06-Nov-17 12:38:25

Daisy There is no reason why you should always be doing something.

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