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How do I teach 4yr old to play by himself

(2 Posts)
justgotbfp Fri 19-Sep-08 06:52:41

Obviously I am pg, I have severe hyperemisis and have been in and out of hospital. It seems (last 2 days) to be somewhat in control now but still nauseous and exhausted. My 4 year old has always had trouble separating from me and even more trouble entertaining himself. We have borrowed a t.v. at the moment which he thinks is bliss and gives me some down time (won't be keeping it though) so I need strategies to teach d.s. to play on his own a little (a.) for times when I am just too sick and (b.) in preparation for when lo2 comes. At the moment we do playgroup together 2 mornings a week (I stay with him), he goes to cm 2 days a week (6 hours, I was working but on sick leave at the moment) and we have Wed and every second weekend on our own. Alternate weekends dh is home. I spend a lot of one on one time with him reading, building, playing games such as snakes and ladders etc, play dough, craft, park, and other outings. We also go to playdates but again I stay or he wouldn't go.
I give him a time frame e.g "After this mummy is to have a rest and then I will play with you again" When the time comes I give him some ideas, "DS you could play with magnetics or read, mummy is going to have a rest" He just doesn't play though, he will throw the magnetics everywhere, go and pull the clothes off the hanger, go and unroll the toilet paper etc. I try to ignore and when it is time to play with him again tell him he needs to tidy up whatever he has destroyed. He will whine and shout and carry on and muck about and complain that he needs help etc which I ignore. This can last hours of him whining etc until he finally does it and then I will play with him for a bit until it is time to do something else at which point he kicks off again. There is no end to this!!!! I try to start him off playing with him and gradually withdrawing etc but the same thing happens. Not handling this well at the moment. When not sick I am much more able to distance myself from it and to cope with thee tantrums and whining, right now it is exhausting and disheartening.

AAL Fri 19-Sep-08 07:20:01

Gosh poor you. You sound like a great Mummy, playing with him so much. I have a 4 yr old ds, and sometimes feel guilty that I don't play enough, as always trying to keep on top of everything else, so hats off to you.
I'm not sure what to suggest, but it sounds like he is deffo calling the shots, in your relationship, and that could do with changing. How about discipline? Have you tried the step when he gets destructive? Or perhaps explainig that if he destroys things, Mummy does not think that she wants to play with him, as she is proud of what a big boy he is, and big boys are kind and helpful, and don't unroll loo roll etc? Rewards for playing nicely independently?
It sounds like a great thing would be if he would stay at a playdate alone,and breaking that attachment issue would be a valuable lesson for him to learn. I find ds responds when I explain to him, that one of the friends I know he looks up to does this,that or the other. Eg "you don't want to stay alone? but 'johnny' always stays for a while without his mummy, so that she can go shopping and get us all something yummy for tea" etc
It's tricky and I'm prob not being any use, but good luck with it, it sounds likea nightmare x

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