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22 month old who won't play by himself and is being a lttle clingon!

(6 Posts)
poppy74 Tue 14-Aug-07 22:09:24

Two things really .....My DS is 22 months and simply will not play by himself at all. He will seek to involve me or DH in all activities and will leg it after us if we try to leave the room even for a few seconds! I work three days a week and for those days one of them DS is at Nursery and the other two with grandparents which is great. Last week however Nursery told us that he was not settling in as well as he might (he has been there now for 12 months, albeit only one day a week!) and is ok if his Key Worker is with him, but if she moves away he becomes upset.He is apparently not joining in the play with the other kids and seems not to be enjoing himself, bit upsetting really as we had thought he was an extremely sociable child, certainly he is when he is with us at the park or with other kids. He shouts "hello" at everything that moves, well he does when he is with us! He is also refsuing to eat at a little table of 3 and will only eat when sat with one other!? We`are trying to encourage him to play independently however this is resulting in extreme upset and frustration. We worry that he has become too adult dependent. Grandparents are able to spend 100% of their day concentrating soley on their only "perfect" grandson and I suspect that DH and I between us do a similiar things especially at weekends. Have we prevented him from learning how to entertain himself and how can we build up his confidence when "alone" with other kids at Nursery? Sorry for waffle, just wanted to get it all out!

Desiderata Tue 14-Aug-07 22:21:29

He's just 22 months old, poppy. Of course he wants to spend all his time with his parents. It's normal. He's not a 'clingon.'

I don't know what to advise, but I wouldn't worry too much. Children of that age don't bond with children of the same age. Mine is nearly three, and he still doesn't notice kids of his own age. He wants to play with the older kids and the adults.

Honestly, don't fret. He wants/needs to be with older people right now.

Nanoon Tue 14-Aug-07 22:32:26

oh this could have been my post! my Ds is 2.11 and for the last 18 months he has never played on his own and i know how exhausting this can be although he has always been fine at nursery and v independent. There is light at the end of the tunnel as in the last month we have turned a real corner and its a pleasure to see.

My mum has DS one day a week and they to devote 150% attention to him so i try and encourage them to give him some space and encournage some independant play.

Despite beating myself up for a year thinking tht i have 'caused' this behaviour i think i now realise that this isn't true so don't be too hard on yourself.

Good luck

poppy74 Tue 14-Aug-07 22:36:25

Thanks you too. Really nice to get this reassurance, to be honest we weren't too bothered about the playing thing until Nursery spoke to us. Thinking of letting him go 2 days a week to see if this will make it more familiar to him and hopefully may feel able to be "himself"

lofty66 Wed 15-Aug-07 13:14:20

To help him settle at nursery, I would suggest letting your DS go to nursery for two consequetive days. A week is a long time for a toddler.

I don't think this will help his clinginess though, my ds is 22 mths and somedays I only have to stand up to move and he cries!

He is ok with nursery, goes 3 days a week and is settled fine; doesnt cry when I leave him in the mornings however is really happy to see me when I pick him up....which is nice

HonoriaGlossop Wed 15-Aug-07 13:28:08

This is perfectly normal, poppy and I really would try not to worry. Many kids are like this, my ds certainly was! It does not mean they always will be - it's just a stage of development. I've always felt that with this sort of thing, it's best just to give the child what they need. I felt if ds got my attention as much as I possibly could rather than me trying to 'train' him to play alone, that he would get there all the sooner by himself. And I feel it's worked for us; ds is four and plays beautifully on his own for quite long periods of time now.

Don't let nursery make you feel he has a problem; he doesn't. What he's doing sounds normal. Not joining in with other kids; utterly normal. Also, check out what they mean by 'not enjoying himself' - that's SO subjective. They may mean 'because he's not joining in' but you might be thinking he's crying all day! As long as he's meeting YOUR expectations of what he'll be like at nursery, that's what matters.

I do know that nurseries do suggest more than one day a week to help the child settle. I'm never sure how I feel about that. I can see the sense of it in many ways, however I don't think you need to feel backed into a corner about it; for me, personally, I would rather have had my ds looked after by grandparents more than by nursery. If you wouldn't have CHOSEN two days at nursery, don't feel forced into it.

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