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to think an almost 3yr old should be able to play by himself for a bit?

(11 Posts)
purpleflower Wed 02-Sep-09 15:31:02

DS just does not seem to be able to play by himself. I have to play cars with him, colour with him, take him to the toilet, basically do everything for him. He can do things himself like going to the toilet but recently he has decided that I have to help him do it, if I tell him to go on his own he will stand there crying until he wets himself. He is even trying to get me to feed him now. If something he wants is not done the second he wants it he will go into melt down.

I cannot move without him being almost attached to me.

All of this is really sweet but is just not practical when I have a difficult 11 month old to take care of too.

How can I get him to be more independant, I cannot do every little thing for him and its driving me up the wall.

AIBU to think that he should not be attached to me constantly?

stonethecrows Wed 02-Sep-09 15:40:41

YANBU! Hopefully somebody will come along with suggestions to help you, but afraid I can't think of any right now.

anonacfr Wed 02-Sep-09 15:41:35

YANBU but it sounds like he's probably jealous of the 11 month old (who's at the intense, have-to-keep-an-eye-on-them-the-whole-time toddling phase).
Our children are the same age, and my eldest is doing exactly the same as your DS- she doesn't want to eat by herself anymore, and she's started wetting the bed on a regular basis (she's never had any accidents before).
Luckily she's very good at playing alone, which is a lifesaver for me! There's no way I could entertain both kids all day long... grin

Has your DS ever played by himself? If not you could maybe 'train' him- set little games/tasks to play (colouring, building blocks etc) and maybe encourage him to tell stories with his toys etc.

Hopefully he'll soon realise that it's great fun playing by himself....

crokky Wed 02-Sep-09 15:44:32

I have a 3yo and a 17mo. 3yo DS will play by himself so long as he has something really interesting to play with. I have set up some track in his room with some Thomas trains and he loves it, he will play up there for ages on his own (he won't sleep in there though grin).

Sallyallyally Wed 02-Sep-09 15:47:55

Well the good news is he loves you to pieces smile. I hate to be predictable but the words 11 month old are a big giveaway...as are nearly 3 year old He wants mummy to himself and isn't mature enough to understand that you might need 5 mins to..ermmm..have a wee, brush your hair etc etc .
If at all possible get someone else involved to come and help out with the playing so he can learn you're not the be all and end all. Give him lots of extra cuddles...he wants some reassurance you're not going to leave him, and occasionally (when daddy comes home?) get out by yourself for a bit. Yes, he will create but daddy can be extra fun and distract him!
Learning to share is one of the biggest and hardest lessons...quite a lot of adults haven't quite got there. When mine went through this I indulged their whms to a certain extent and eventually they realised there was something more to life than mummy (quite what I've no idea!!! wink. Hang in there..its a phase..be loving but firm...just not too firm..he's only little and doen't realise you are slowly going insane!

MrsVik Wed 02-Sep-09 15:48:01

Praise, praise and more praise!! When he does something by himself, hug him, tell him how good he is, tell him how proud you are of him. It's attention he's after, you need to give it to him on your terms.

(easier said than done, I know..)

mazzystartled Wed 02-Sep-09 15:50:22

you could

make sure you spend 20 mins face to face playing with hime every day
have a timer to say when this time is up - then its the timer's fault not yours - easier to accept
go lavishly overboard with the praise and attention when he does play by himself

also does he go to nursery at all. my ds definitely wanted time away from dd at this age!

Sallyallyally Wed 02-Sep-09 15:50:57

By the way...my nearly 3 yo ignores his toys in favour of jars of money to count and empty (2 pences!), a hosepipe to flood the patio with and the chance to stir together bowls of end of packet cereals and water etc (making cakes)...all really messy, but keeps him entertained for 10 minute slots. (though i then have to clear up!)

anonacfr Wed 02-Sep-09 16:43:00

Mine likes having set things to do- we play school etc.
She's also taken over part of the conservatory and uses it as her dern- the fact that it's her own little area made all the difference. She loves playing in there!

Strangely enough something that works is getting her to play with her brother. When he's getting restless I ask her to go and talk to him, hand him toys etc. It makes her feel all grown up and she loves that!

thomsc Wed 02-Sep-09 16:59:53

<watches with keen interest - I have an almost 3 DS1 and 8m DS2>...

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 02-Sep-09 18:11:10

yes he sounds jealous

but he is also playing you

let him go into meltdown - ignore him and firmly tell him that when he has finished stroping that you will talk/play with him

he knows if he scream/wets his self etc you will help him/do what he wants

if he is potty trained and has been for a while then if he wets himself on purpose i would tell him off - not harshly but make it clear that he shouldnt do it

any chnace he can start nursery? though you will prob have tears for a while

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