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At wits' end...how do I teach my toddler to play on his own?

(9 Posts)
MyGooseIsCooked Sun 31-Dec-17 19:57:44

DS has just turned 3. He's an only child. And - on a good day - he can only play on his own for about 10 minutes. Its driving me up the wall.

I'm an only child and my parents didn't 'play' with me. Like my DS I was and am still sociable.

But I remember spending loads of time as a child being bored and having to make my own amusement. I think it's made me pretty good at being on my own and occupying myself.

But I can't seem to be able to teach DS how to play on his own. Is this normal for his age? How can I help him to develop what I consider to be a really valuable skill? Any tips gratefully received.

OP’s posts: |
laura6032 Sun 31-Dec-17 22:21:56

Pretty normal, my ds 4 is still kinda the same, although he is now quite happy to play, he does constantly ask us to play, hes an only child too.

Summerdays2014 Mon 01-Jan-18 06:29:27

My son is almost 2 and will be an only child. I do worry about this as he is completely unable to play on his own! Following for any ideas!

MessyBun247 Mon 01-Jan-18 08:54:33

3 is far too young to play for extended periods alone. Children that age like company and interaction. You say you remember entertaining yourself as a child, but you were probably a good bit older than 3.

10FingersOnTheFender Mon 01-Jan-18 09:03:10

You're right Messy I probably was a good bit older. But my mum says she never played with me...
I do have one memory of when I was about 3: pulling out all my mum's cookery books (she had a bookshelf full of them) and doodling/drawing in them.
I get that DS likes company and I'm happy to be in the same room while he plays (obviously!) and chatter to him now and again.
But is it really unrealistic to expect him to play for 30 mins without more input from me than the odd remark/conversation whilst I do something else?

10FingersOnTheFender Mon 01-Jan-18 09:04:56

oops name change fail! blush

MessyBun247 Mon 01-Jan-18 09:11:10

Honestly yes it’s a bit unrealistic! smile children of that age don’t have the attention span/imagination to play for very long without input from an adult/other children.

Its hard but won’t be that way forever.

jaimelannistersgoldenhand Mon 01-Jan-18 19:04:00

It's a personality thing. Out of my kids, the one who was best at playing on his own is the daydreamy one with lots of imagination. He could have written a book on 100 ways to play with a dishcloth. The others were better once they discovered playing fighting with each other.

breadbinhead Mon 01-Jan-18 19:54:08

Oh OP I sympathise, my dd is the same, she is 2.2 and wants me to play with her ALL the time, I cannot even go to the loo without her pleading me to play. It's very draining. I'm
Not sure what the answer is, unfortunately I turn to tv a lot which probably isn't the best way to deal with it grin

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