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DS' s just don't play

(15 Posts)
wineismyfriend Mon 07-Jan-13 14:46:06

Boys are 8.4 and 5.1 znd they just don't play and aren't interesred in doing anything apart from wii, ds etc. I limit their screen time inc the tv. They love plsying football but even that only holds their attention for 10 mins ifme or their dad isn't out playing too. I tell them togo andplay but they just roam around the house or start a game they know i will put a stop to ie leaping on the furniture etc.

I think the problem is 2 fold, firstly nrither seems to have much imagination ds1 in particular never enjoyed cars or action figures and secondly they enjoy the attention they get from me for not playing andbeing disruptive.

How does anyone encourage their children to play? So far I have comeup with putting their toys in a box and giving them one thing a day so see if the lack of choice helps. Thanks for reading and i'd be very grateful of input or advice.

carocaro Mon 07-Jan-13 14:55:18

Board games? My two boys 5 & 10 got hooked on Monopoly over xmas, all the cash and wheeler dealing really caught their imagination. Do they like Minecraft on a laptop or X-Box? The weaather has been poo over xmas and had made mine a bit loonatic, but at least they are back at school today! They love Nerf Guns and make targets with apper on the wall, plastic milk bottles lined up from the recycling. Have you got Wii sports? Yes a computer game but it makes them hot and sweaty and the games are great fun. One toy a day would bore the pants of me I'm afraid! What is it you want them to do exactly? Mine also like Top Trumps, Man Utd, Lego, Angry Birds Top Trumps, loads on Amazon, they also like trying to leard magic card tricks on You Tube, loads of tutorials, they like to make littl emovies on the ipod and video camera. Hopefully some ideas for you.

5dcsinneedofacleaner Mon 07-Jan-13 15:16:59

My advice would be ignore them, turn the tv and computers off and leave them to it. They will find something to do. Mine rarely play set games (playsetsm board games etc) but they are always playing things like "pretend I'm a monster and you have to run away" for example.

Iggly Mon 07-Jan-13 16:26:49

What things do you stop them doing? Apart from jumping on furniture?

ZuleikaD Mon 07-Jan-13 16:30:47

Sometimes children need a bit of a kick-start with an activity (ie you sit and do it with them for 10 minutes then leave them to it.)

wineismyfriend Mon 07-Jan-13 20:14:58

The problem is they don't really enjoy doing anything for very long. Board games ends in arguments, they don't seem to havethe imaginstion for lego and the like. They enjoy the wii (sports, mario, lego star wzrs etc). Every birthday and christmas we try and get things that we think will do the trick but nothing does.
I do turn telly off and let them get on with things but they just loll on the sofa not knowing what to do then stsrt fighting and arguing which I think is so that I grt involved so they have my attention.
I would love them to just be kids and enjoy playing either together or alone but as it is they need mine or husbsnds involvement. Even if we set them up with something and leave them to it they only last another 5 minutes!.

Ds1 is the worst, out of desperation I have sent him to his room to play and gone up 30 mins later to find him just sat on his floor staring into space.
It makes me feel so sad as I feel they are missing out snd unless I entertain themits a daily battle.

swanthingafteranother Mon 07-Jan-13 20:31:26

I feel like you frequently. I get very upset when I read the Playmobil threads!

I suppose you just have to accept that sometimes two characters don't hit it off playwise. I find that often having friends over changes the dynamic and they enjoy playing games they don't play with each other. For example dd would never play with dolls or figures by herself, but quite enjoys it with a friend.

I do make the effort to just switch Tv off and insist they get bored sometimes It takes a while but they can often then find something they DO like doing, perhaps not together though. Ds1 listens to music, and reads books when he is "bored" and that keeps him happy for ages, ds2 who has ASD plays with his formula one cars, or listens to music and dances around.

I suspect the answer is they just need to be out more often than you think, playground, green space, and like active play rather than imaginative play as such. Often being outside is a springboard to more imaginative play anyway. Difficult I know at this time of year.hmm

Just try it. Switch off screens and make a set time that they can be bored in! And friends over...

DewDr0p Mon 07-Jan-13 20:35:21

Would they build LEGO from instructions OP?

swanthingafteranother Mon 07-Jan-13 20:39:13

Ds2 likes doing Lego with my husband. Ds1 hates Lego. It is a preference, not all children like it.

I think there is a chapter in Calmer Happier Parenting about teaching children to play by themselves. However I think it takes a long time of involvement before it can get to that stage, and you will have to play with them to make them think it is worth playing by themselves, especially with board games. You can invest time now, and it does pay off. [crosses fingers]

And the other thing to remember, siblings DO FIGHT. They fought in Bible times and they fight now! But basically they fight for your attention, so if you can somehow hand them back responsibility for their own entertainment without implying that you are cross or annoyed with them...ie: showing positive encouragement of their playing in early stages rather than, will you just play and leave me in peace etc etc...it will make a difference.

swanthingafteranother Mon 07-Jan-13 20:41:40

Also, another idea is to embrace the leaping on furniture but make it the way you want it...ie: childproof leaping area, join in, dance with them, musical cushions etc etc.

MrsMushroom Tue 08-Jan-13 06:56:53

swannnig I have to disagree that it "takes a long time of involvement" before DC will play with siblings or alone.

The OPs DC are 8 and 5...there should of course be times when they get parental attention and to play with Mum or Dad but really, I would expect children of this age to play together or alone the majority of the time.

OP do they have interest in making tents/dens in the sitting room? Or more physical things in the garden perhaps?

ZuleikaD Tue 08-Jan-13 07:30:26

Do they read?

Twattybollocks Tue 08-Jan-13 09:17:30

My two can be a bit like this, they come to me and say they are bored, nothing to do, but yet they have a whole room full of stuff to play with. I usually suggest an imagination game, holidays is a good one where they have to pack their cases, build the aeroplane, designate an area as the hotel, someone has to fly the plane, someone else be a passenger etc. they find going on holiday very exciting obviously so love to pretend. Hospitals is another good one, as is cops and robbers. They do make a lot of mess, but it keeps them busy for hours.

swanthingafteranother Tue 08-Jan-13 17:55:35

Mrs Mushroom, I think you are being a bit unhelpful. The OP is worried that her children won't play; she doesn't think it is normal, she just wants ideas of how to help them. We can't all have perfect children that play happily together all day.hmm

Another tip. Put most of toys away, and leave them with the cushions and you might find they feel a bit freer. Sometimes the mess and all the frustration of the parent to do with all the "bits" makes playing feel even less attractive proposition.

MrsMushroom Wed 09-Jan-13 03:34:17

swanning how am I being unhelpful? hmm Because I disagreed with you?

I was perfectly helpful to the OP and never suggested the OP thought anything as "normal" or not! I also never suggested we all have perfect children.

I asked OP if the boys enjoyed tents/dens...as a lead in to suggesting that might be a way forward as it is more physical play.

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