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To not want to play with my kids?

(36 Posts)
farmertom Mon 15-Jun-20 09:19:14

I have a two and a half year old who requires almost constant attention.
He has only just started to play independently and this only last for 10/15 mins MAX.
I have friends with kids the same age and they don't seem to play with them. Their kids just get on with it. I also have a baby.

I just find it so mind numbing and constant now.

How many people do play with their kids? Does anyone enjoy it?
I feel guilty for feeling this way.

Also it seems some kids just play better by themselves and others can't? Or am I just a crappy parent who's created a dependent toddler who relies on me for all his entertainment 😭

OP’s posts: |
farmertom Mon 15-Jun-20 09:20:19

Just thinking, a few generations ago parents most definitely didn't play with their kids, well if they did it was rare, and those kids aren't emotionally stunted or messed up and not close to their parents...

OP’s posts: |
RedLipsAndRosyCheeks Mon 15-Jun-20 09:21:41

I don't play much with my DC at home.

I'm very good at going for walks and getting wet/muddy, jumping in puddles splashing in streams etc but playing at home is boring!

Dairymilkmuncher Mon 15-Jun-20 09:30:17

I really don't think many parents at all enjoy spending hours on end playing with their children smile

I find the key to independent play is to have easily accessible and well organised toy sets. Doesn't have to be toys could be any loose part. Playing with something for a few minutes side by side and then they carry on without you while you have a coffee in peace. iPads are brilliant too!

Right now most parents will be fed up with zero baby groups, soft plays, nurseries or schools open so you're absolutely not on your own and getting outside every day for a big walk really helps little ones and their parents.

Spinakker Mon 15-Jun-20 09:31:36

Years ago kids were playing out in the street with other children. It is difficult with the oldest child. I have 3 boys and I remember my oldest wouldn't play much on his own and would need my attention alot. When he was 2 I had a baby as well and I know how hard it is. We put him in pre school 2 days a week which really helped give me a break. Could it be your friends children have other siblings and are used to playing with them ? I know it's hard but it really is part of parenting unfortunately. Especially if you're not part of a bigger family with other relatives who can give them attention. Now my boys are older i dont have to play with them much, they all play togerher. If i were you Id break the times down into 15 minute slots. In an hour can you sit down with him for 5 minutes doing something with him with your full attention then leave him for another 10 minutes to play by himself? Then do a new activity for 5 mins and another 10 minutes by himself. Even if you could do that twice in one hour that would help. Or simply set a time for 10 minutes play time with him then leave him for a bit. Toddlers flit from one activity to a next so he probably won't focus for that long. I know it's really hard at this time. Toddler groups and soft plays would usually be open and playgrounds so it's alot tougher than usual. Getting outside is always good too but I know so difficult with a new baby. It will get easier x

midnightstar66 Mon 15-Jun-20 09:33:51

Some dc are definitely naturally better at it than others. As are some parents. I'm happy to play a board game, do a jigsaw or play with blocks/Lego. I love going out and when dc were small we spent so much time out and about but pretend/role play - just nope, dc have learned to do that by themselves!

Camomila Mon 15-Jun-20 09:41:55

I tend to help DS1 set up the toy, play for a bit (half an hour, even though its boring as he's missing nursery), and then say 'right, I'm off to do the dishes/laundry' and leave him to it, for usually another half an hour or more.
He's 4 though so has a longer attention span and can fix small problems (eg, fallen down trainset) by himself.

I don't really enjoy playing toys but I enjoy playing outside with him (there's a wood near us with lots of fallen trees to play on) and doing crafts next to him.

Waitingforboristoletusfree Mon 15-Jun-20 09:44:05

Completely normal and I actually don’t know any parent in real life that plus with their kids all day. Only on Mumsnet where people need to ask is half an hour watching tv while my child plays independently is ok. I’m a parent, not a friend, I’m always available and here if they need me. I’ll guide them and help them, teach them etc but I don’t play, except the odd board game

Idontbelieveit12 Mon 15-Jun-20 09:46:16

I am terrible at playing with my 3 year old. He wants to play cars all the time and it’s just so boring 😱 I love taking him for walks, I like doing jigsaws with him, but I am so crap at the brrmm brrmm role play he wants to play!!! And I work with kids this age so my guilt seems to be even worse, but it’s so much easier to play with a group of kids as they keep the ideas going etc

TheMandalorian Mon 15-Jun-20 09:49:13

I'm a sahm with now 6yo and 4yo. They both go through phases of being extra clingy and want my attention.
I found that if I played with them for 10/15mins or set something up for them they would then play with it without me. They would both happily play with a box of cars for ages when small. Now they will happily draw pictures, play lego, etc.
I hate pretend play though so tend to slope of from that after a few minutes or redirect.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 15-Jun-20 09:50:23

It's really important to lay the rules down now otherwise in 3 years time you'll still be doing role play which is beyond tedious.
What has worked for me is to have times in the day when I absolutely focus on them - phone away etc! That might be a walk, bedtime, a game whatever. But other times when it's non negotiable that they play on their own. I did 'play, chore, mummy time' from very early on. At that age, id set up a game, play it a little bit and then 'I'm just going to put the washing on, you carry on' and go back an hour later

Mangofandangoo Mon 15-Jun-20 09:51:10

DH is fantastic at playing with out DD (3). He really gets into the make believe and it can go on for hours, me not so much 😬 BUT we do walks, crafts and exciting things out of the house which isn't his forte so a win win I guess

Mangofandangoo Mon 15-Jun-20 09:51:59

With our DD*

Not with out - because that would be just weird 🤣

GinDrinker00 Mon 15-Jun-20 09:54:34

Thank god you said this. I’ve been feeling guilty as I just don’t enjoy it. I’ll happily bake, paint, draw, play video games with my kids but actual playing - does my nut in. 😅

geojojo Mon 15-Jun-20 09:55:30

I also don't really like it and my two (age 2 and 4) are now good at playing with each other. I prefer more practical things like gardening together, baking, going on walks, shopping, etc. Do you prefer that? I do remember my mum playing with me a lot actually and I did love it so feel a bit guilty sometimes.

sHREDDIES19 Mon 15-Jun-20 10:00:11

It’s definitely hard to get out of playing when they’re small like your child. Mine were the same and in the end I’d have to set a time limit and keep reminding them mummy had things to do. Now my youngest is 4, our play time is much more fun for me as it involves playing hairdresser, doing nails and make up, making things etc. I literally could fall asleep when I get my hair brushedgrin

Stannisbaratheonsboxofmatches Mon 15-Jun-20 10:04:27

It is incredibly boring! I think you have to do it a bit at that age.

It depends if you have a child that likes role play I think.

Elephantonascooter Mon 15-Jun-20 10:10:25

Dh is so much better at off the cuff play with DS. I am better at doing activities with him. So on a day with mummy he will do play doh, paint, make dinner together, help with washing etc. On a day with daddy he will have played camping for about 4 and a half hours it seems! He loves the variety. But I just cannot get excited about playing trains, cars, answering a pretend phone a thousand times! Dh and I give ourselves Sunday afternoon off and put a film on for him and us. Works a treat!

Samtsirch Mon 15-Jun-20 10:10:26

This will probably sound horribly sexist but I used to find it so much easier to play my daughter’s games, sylvanians, small world play etc.
My sons games often involved dinosaurs or battles of some kind and I had to put more effort in because I found that hard going and boring.
What we all enjoyed together was board games, simple ones at first, like the shopping list game, or even dominoes or happy families card games.As they got older we progressed to mouse trap, snakes and ladders etc.
I used to try to break the play up into chunks, role play, then reading books, then a board game, otherwise it became intolerable ( for me😊)

Bubbletrouble43 Mon 15-Jun-20 10:13:29

Not your fault op. I find it easier to insist on activities together that you find tolerable / enjoyable and encourage those. I can't be doing with dolly role play pretend stuff with my 3 year olds but I enjoy lego and find scribbling with paints and crayons tolerable so do that with them. They've learnt not to bother asking me to play dolls anymore!

Clearyweary Mon 15-Jun-20 10:13:56

Oh this thread has brightened up my day! I thought I was the only parent who hates playing with their child. I shudder when my DD (7 - only child) comes up to me and says ‘mummy, will you play schools/shops/insert other horrendous role play game’. I give in sometimes and spend 10 mins pretending to be a teacher and hating every moment of it. I don’t mind board games, I enjoy other activities like baking, kicking the ball outside, bike rides etc - but actual playing? No thanks!!!

starrynight87 Mon 15-Jun-20 10:14:12

Would your child play alone if that was their only option?

I think learning to make your own fun is important

zingally Mon 15-Jun-20 10:14:19

Some kids are just better at independent play than others.

Of my twins (3.5), my DS will play happily on his own for a good hour or more now. He'll just bumble between his cars, jigsaws, books, the tv.
My DD however, isn't half as "good". She hasn't got much attention span for independent play. She wants things constantly. She'll request something like Playdoh, I'll get it out for her, she'll play for maybe 5 minutes, then she's off. Then she's wanting something else! She's a lot more hard work in that regard!

GameSetMatch Mon 15-Jun-20 10:15:52

I hate playing ‘small world’ with my kids, they play with their toys together, I’m rubbish at it. I play board games, cook with them, set up the paddling pool and take then fun places so I’m not all bad!

Bubbletrouble43 Mon 15-Jun-20 10:17:38

@zingally my twins are also 3.5, and very similar to your dd

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