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Why won't he play on his own?!!!

(7 Posts)
Clare123 Mon 29-Nov-10 19:38:07

My 3.3 yr old DS will NOT play by himself, he constantly needs me to play with him! And if I don't he starts misbehaving or just hanging around me constantly! I do set up toys for him, and start him off, but he only last 5 mins (if that!!).

Any suggestions? Is this really unusual???
It's driving me insane!!

BelleDeChocChipCookieMonster Mon 29-Nov-10 19:39:33

It's because he's 3 and he needs someone to guide him and play with him. Some children need a little help with imaginative play.

spidookly Mon 29-Nov-10 19:39:39

I've heard friends with 3yos talking about this. I'm dreading it, quite frankly.

Sorry, no help. Sure someone will be along in a minute

SilveryMoon Mon 29-Nov-10 19:43:05

It sounds perfectly normal tbh.
I set up games/toys for my 3yo, and we will sit down together and play, then I will give him prep cues as to what is going to happen.
So I might say something like "ds, we are doing some very nice playing. In 5 mins it's time for mummy to do some washing/ironing/polishing etc so I will need to stop playing, but if you can carry on, I will be back soon"
Then I would take frequent breaks from my other task, to get back to play and gradually increase the away time as ds gets more comfortable without me.
HTH, it sounds like he is a normal 3 year old who needs to learn from example smile

HalfCaff Mon 29-Nov-10 21:59:50

Yes, sounds quite normal, and it is quite sweet really, but I know it can be frustrating when you have loads to do. My ds didn't get the hang of playing on his own until 4 or 5 (now nearly 6) and he would generally still prefer it if I played with him! What works best for him is if it is a bit more spontaneous, i.e. he comes across toys (or more likely other interesting items!)independently. If you are busy and trying to get him to do things you want him to do, he will probably know you are going to be leaving him soon so will become more determined to hang on to you. So maybe you could set up a few things when he is not looking, rotate toyboxes and activities so something grabs his attention. I do see younger children playing on their own and am a bit envy but hey, it won't last for ever!

CrispyTheCrisp Mon 29-Nov-10 22:02:24

My just 4yr old has always needed input - we do cooking, or she will sit at the kitchen table whilst i do stuff and she will do jigsaws/craft etc. However her 2.3 yr old sister is brilliant at amusing herself

needstosleepmore Tue 30-Nov-10 16:13:40

My 4 year old is exactly the same and it drives me nuts! He wont just go to the toy box and find something to play with. I try to start him off with something and then dip in and out but like the OP he doesn't last long until he's finished with what he is doing.

If i'm not playing with him, he just 'hangs around' looking really bored!

I just keep thinking that when he is older and doesn't want me near him, i'll miss these times!

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