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Please help me get 5 mins peace!

(12 Posts)
Tiredoftiredness Sat 17-Jan-15 19:58:00

DS is just 4, and will NOT play on his own if I am around. It is driving me crazy!

I've tried everything I can think of - encouraging imaginative play, backing off slowly, explaining that mummy needs 5 minutes, and then telling off as a last resort.

Please PLEASE give me any pearls of wisdom you have ... I need just a few minutes a day when I'm not being climbed all over, dragged out of the kitchen or just whinged at constantly!

petalsandstars Sat 17-Jan-15 20:38:20

Following - my little one will play nicely but the 3yo? Always pushing/taking toys or screaming jumping on me.

DIYandEatCake Sat 17-Jan-15 20:41:33

Have you already tried sitting down with him at intervals through the day and giving him 100% attention for 15 mins or so? My nearly 4yo dd is much better if i do this - loads of cuddles and play and then I'll say 'right, I need to clean the kitchen/put some laundry on etc, do you want to help?' She'll often say yes but then get bored and she will then find something to do. I find sometimes with her it's a vicious circle, she's needy, I withdraw and get grumpy, which makes her even needier... It's hard though, if I'm honest I hate playing doctors or shoe shops or whatever, and trying to give her focussed attention with a kamikaze 1yo around is very difficult unless dp's home.

Thesimplethings Sat 17-Jan-15 20:41:36

Tips here too please. I've got a 4 and 3 year old and they are driving me insane.

I've got to play with them constantly or all kinds of hell breaks out. The only way I get anything done is by allocating jobs but then they fight over the jobs hmm

CharlesRyder Sat 17-Jan-15 20:47:30

Just be really inattentive? Planned ignoring.

To be honest, DS (4.5) has only engaged in solo imaginative play in the last few months. It took off all of a sudden and now he's in his own world half the time.

Before then I could put cbeebies on and ignore him successfully for at least 30mins. He would also play more 'routined' things for short spells. Do you have key toys out where he can see and access them so they prompt his choices? We used to only have 4 or 5 toys out at a time and rotate them. This seemed to lead to better independent choosing than millions of toys packed away in boxes.

Tiredoftiredness Sat 17-Jan-15 21:25:26

I do try the 'love bombing' hate that phrase full attention at intervals thing, but it just doesn't seem to be enough - I'll say, right got to do xxx and he'll be fine for a minute or 2 but then back to being under my feet/constant shouting for me again.

Also tried the complete ignoring but it's hard - he just dances around my feet so I trip over or climbs onto my lap if I'm sat down.

I find it really difficult because much as I love him, I find playing dull as anything and really struggle to act interested for very long! Feel as though I'm failing him horribly now because I spend the Whole day trying to get 5 minutes to myself - not good mummying!

CharlesRyder Sat 17-Jan-15 21:30:40

Do you run him like a dog?

DS is a nightmare if he is not semi physically exhausted at all times. If I have a whole day with him I thoroughly physically exhaust him in the morning then he will be much more inclined to nest on the sofa in the afternoon.

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 17-Jan-15 21:35:19

Can you do any parallel activities like mumsnet whilst your DS plays playdough?

Sit with him snuggled up to you watching CBeebies whilst you read a book?

Cook together you doing the dinner prep whilst he butters his bread and layers topping on.

DD(3) is rather full on. I do find that doing fifteen minutes activity then sneaking away works. Sometimes its mental sneaking. I'm still physically very close but lost in my own activity. Other times its quietly backing away and then checking back. If I announce I need to do x,y or z, DD loses all interest in what she's doing and wants to help.

It definitely worse if she's tired so i try to ensure she has down time middle of the day.

It is a phase, they do grow out of it.

lostintoys Sat 17-Jan-15 21:58:35

When DS was that age I found putting some music on, or an audio-book, really helped him to play independently – it gave him a sense of not being alone, of having some company.

Waggamamma Sun 18-Jan-15 01:18:33

Watching this with interest as I have a 4yr old who's exactly the same and it's getting even more difficult with a 4month old to feed and entertain too. I feel guilty and pulled in every direction 'mummh will play later I have jobs to do just now/need to feed the baby'...he just turns the tv on and looks glum.

Surf25 Sun 18-Jan-15 07:34:16

Have had this with my 4 year old for a long time, she is about to turn 5 next month and alot better at playing on her own or with her 3.5 year old sister in the last 6 months coinciding with starting school...
But something she loved and found very special as it was just for her was I got her a pair of nice kid headphones and I have no idea if you have a tablet or iphone but she occasionally gets to read a story or listen to an audiobook or play on cbeebies app, something like that for say 15 mins and she loves that. Is that something your son would like? Might be worth a try.
The other thing that I honestly have found helps is trying to let go to some extent about what I have to get done in a day. If I can let go of them than I don't spend the time thinking (and getting frustrated!) at all the things I'm not doing and just try to engage a bit more with the kids, even if it's not my number one important thing to them. And I do find that if I am clear - let's do this jigsaw etc then I need to put a washing on, make a phone call etc - they let me. But they expect me to stick to my word! To be fair, that's a life lesson I want them to learn so I need to try and model it!!! Soon due number three so this is probably why I've been thinking alot about all of this!! Good luck, it's not easy and very intense!

Tiredoftiredness Sun 18-Jan-15 08:13:09

Thanks all, have already tried most of these but good to know I'm not alone in struggling with it!

Not a chance with the tandem playing-whatever I'm doing immediately becomes far more interesting! I too find it harder when he's tiredwhich is why it's harder at the moment I think - he's coming down with something so shattered all day.

Will try the music, nice to have some on anyway!

Keep hoping its a phase but its been going on for months now!

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