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my 2y dd is not very good at entertaning herself - please help

(14 Posts)
BarbaraX Sat 11-Jun-05 15:25:22

sorry long. but please help

my 2 year old dd is very independent and outgoing confident child, outside the home and at nursery. by the way she goes full time as I am a working mum.
she has never been good at entertaning herself since she was very small. she does play by herself for a very short time but then soon after she wants my attention and playing with me constantly. she follows me constantly and most times (I am not saying never)she is not so interested in toys/ drawings or other activites i set up for her unless i am involved. the only time that she lives me alone is when she watches tv.
now she has been at home with chicken pox and i have notice how bad it can be. She would rather sit on my lap bored in front of the pc rather than going next room /sitting next tome playing. I spend a lot of time playing with her and involving her in what i do, but sometimes i would like her to learn to play by herself and have some time for myself at home (be here or read the paper)without having to sit her in ront of Cbeebies. i have tried to take her to the toy/activity and leave but she soon comes back and if i say mummy busy reading/typing/etc, you play with xxxxx/toys/yoour room, she gets really upset and i get wound up. well i have to say maybe it is worse in these days since she has been at home with me with chicken pox for 10 days up to now, and saw noone else during this time, she has become very clingy and started waking up during the night to look for comfort/to be near me. she also started to sit/trying to sit on my lap all the time
i know i am prob contributed to this. but what can i do to imporve the situation? Am i being too harsh/selfish by expecting her to play by herslef for longer periods? I wish she did also because it have read how it is good in term of development and i am worried that this home clingingness is doing her no good. Or am I being too 'nice'? or could things be worse because of the chicken pox situation? please advise needed, on what i should expect from her and strategies. what am i doing wrong?

dinny Sat 11-Jun-05 15:30:35

I think at two years your dd is probably too young to play alone, BarabaraX, and if she is at nursery full-time she is probably yearning for your company when home. dd (3) does 2 days at nursery and on those days is always in a extra Mummy-mood afterwards.
tbh don't think you can really expect much me-time when a child is this age - at least until they've gone to bed or are napping.

edam Sat 11-Jun-05 15:37:13

I'd imagine that she's extra-clingy because she feels rotten – do you remember being ill and just wanting your mummy when you were little? I do.

No idea on the general issue but if it's useful to compare with my ds (2 in July) then here goes:

He will play on his own for short bursts but the only way we can get him to play on his own for a sustained period (like when we are getting washed and dressed in the morning before work) is to stick Cbeebies on (bad mother alert).

If I'm in the same room, he will want to involve me in his play. Or if I'm in a different room he'll often call me to come to him and join in. Seems reasonable enough to me - don't we all hate being ignored when there's someone else around? Obviously I'm expecting that he'll get more independent as he grows. But at the moment my gut feeling is that he's too little for me to force the issue.

Am sure other people will have different takes on this – and I guess second and subsequent children are better at playing without mummy as parents have no option but to let them get on with it when attention has to be divided between several children.

See how she does when she's feeling better - if she's still more clingy than you would like then I'm sure there will be posters who can help.

Surfermum Sat 11-Jun-05 15:39:20

I'm not sure that you're doing anything wrong Barbara. My dd is 2 and doesn't play on her own yet. Whatever I am doing she wants to be there and helping, whether it's a shower or mopping the floor. I've just resigned myself to the fact that I only have the time when she's asleep to myself, and the rest of the time I will have to play with her or amuse her. I'm sure all too soon she won't want to be playing with me and I'll miss it! I must admit I get a bit bored of the same old playdough, puzzles, etc so I make sure I go out with her somewhere in the afternoons - swimming, local farm park, etc and I really enjoy our time together then. I have noticed in the last week or so that at playgroup she'll happily go off on her own now, whereas before I had to be by her side all the time, so I think they do become more independent. I also find that if she's spent a lot of time with dh (for example if I'm working) then she's keen to play with me, and if she's been at home with me all day, she abandons me for dh as soon as he arrives.

SOUPerciliousDragon Sat 11-Jun-05 15:40:40

um she's 2 and I'm not surprised she is acting that way ..she needs you and wants to be with you .. whilst I can understand why it winds you up it is just a nature of childhood. and I totally agree with edam .. she's ill and wants her mummy

don't worry she will grow out of it and a time will come, quite soon, when she will prefer her friends to you

ten days seems a long time to be cooped up with chicken pox btw .. has she not scabbed over yet

edam Sat 11-Jun-05 15:46:08

Mind you, not saying never having a minute to myself isn't hugely aggravating (just in case I came across as smug or something).

While cooking ds's lunch I let him get every single pan and utensil out of the cupboard just to keep him occupied - and stopped several times to play 'jumping' to music. Now I'm going to have to wash all the pots he got on the floor (he used the water from the cat's bowl to do his own cooking aarrggh while my back was turned). A real pain in the bum but at the same time it was lovely that he wanted me to play jumping with him and wanted to copy me cooking. Hope that's not too irritating when you are feeling worried but wanted to reassure you that your dd sounds pretty normal.

BarbaraX Sat 11-Jun-05 16:12:18

thank you all so far. I agree with you all and
this is how i have approached the situation until very recently. I can identify with most of the day to day situations you have described. i was happy with the situation and always waited for dd to go to bed or for her to be wanting to play on her own and praised her when she did. and yes i am happy for her to watch Cbeebies at the weekends/ mornings before work in moderation. I also tend to miss her like mad and when I am home I tend to love all her cuddles/attention anyway. then i hav started having doubts and thought that maybe i was spoiling her too much, hearig of example/stories of other kids being plaiying by themselves more etc at her age or younger, and started thinking that i should encourage her to be by herself more already. then i started thinking that i should teach her that mummy can be busy and she should learn that she can play by herslef. but I am glad that you are saying it is too soon and I can relax. I never got a break you see since she was born as i am a single mum and no extended family to help and I already use her sleep time to do a lot of other chores that needs doing. I would be losing even more sleep if I waited till the evenings for my me time. but it is not her fault so i will no push

BarbaraX Sat 11-Jun-05 16:26:28

Soup, are you still here? about the chicken pox.. i have no experience of this so i was doing as told. I was told that she is still contagious until all her scabs have dropped off. the nursery will not have her back yet. she has till go most of ther scabs, 3 on her face seem to be quite thick, so we have not been anywhere apart from the local shop. I need to go to hospital for me and i cannot go as they told me they would not have her there. i cant leave her with anyone else.

Twiglett Sat 11-Jun-05 16:47:42

chicken pox is only contagious until all the spots SCAB OVER not drop off .. nursery is having a laugh

if you need ammo .. get a letter from GP, they really should take her back if she's crusted over

Twiglett Sat 11-Jun-05 16:48:37

(I was SOUPerciliousdragon by the way, sorry was playing on another thread and couldn't be bothered to change name back)

youngmama Sat 11-Jun-05 21:25:46

My dd1 is/was like that.She is 3 now and has got a bit better.She hated being alone,and if I left the room for a sec she would cry,and as she got older would stand and yell 'i am by myself' She wanted me to play with her constantly and would't play at all if i wasn't.She wasn't/isn't so bad when her brother is not in school (he is 5) as she has him to play with.(she has younger sister to,aged 16 mths) She has started to get better as her imagination grew.I bought her a dolls house for her birthday back in feb,and for the past 2 mths I have noticed she likes to play with that alone,and she has started playing with her dolls by herself-dressing them,pretending to take them to shops,though she still prefers me to grab a dolls pram and go to 'shops' with her.She is not as interested in toys that don't need as much imagination to them.
I do understand how frustrating it iis for you,but it will probably get better with time.I am just thankful ds and dd2 are not like this,otherwise my life would be even harder

BarbaraX Sat 11-Jun-05 22:46:05

i am interested in different experinces/views regarding independent play. some people seem surprised that dd is demanding so much attention, especially older generation (my aunt is one example), and they think that todays parents are too soft. i peronally i cannot remember my mum ever playing with me, the earliest memory i have is me playing in the kitchen with very little toys (one very small trike and a stool)while my mum cooked cleaned or whatever. i must have been 2 1/2. at home, i was only playing on my own as siblings already teenagers and no many people visited our home. i was not taken to playgroups like today, only on sunday my father took me to a playground or somewhere. i resent this a little bit while today we are so aware of our childrens needs.

in comparison, I spent 2 hours before tea playing with her and making pictures with her.then 'cooked tea with' her and she was next to me on a chair while I was doing the washing up 'helping'. then she played/sang by herself in her room while i was on here earlier but always calling for attention here and there.then went downstair and i out tv on while she played and i interact while watching my tv, on and off.

she does some play by herself i know, but she prefers to be involved what I am doing i have to say most times. she likes playing in the sink with water play and outside in the big balcony with the water sand table. she does play pretend and use her imagination with soft toys/dolls more and m ore but not for too long. basically, she would rather interact with me while playing wiht any toy.

i think it is better this and in the old days but then i was thinking, am i being too soft?

mizmiz Sat 11-Jun-05 22:52:11

Barbara,my dh says he doesn't remember his (very loving and stable) parents palying with him either.
When my dd was at nursery f/t,she consumed every minute of my attention at this age when we got home. Draining,but looking back i can see that she needed me.I am a salt and can also tell you that at this age,children need a lot of attention or at least to know that their mother (usually) is just there.
Herein lies the difference i think-when we were young (well,kids growing up in the ealry 70s or earlier in my case)our mothers were a constant presence,even if too busy too play. Now,generally they aren't so children have to seize the moment. It does pass-my 41/2 year old has been incredibly independent for the last year.

alhambra Sun 12-Jun-05 18:34:23

BarbaraX I haven't had time to read this whole thread properly but I think if you are a single mum and working full time you certainly need to claw out some me time even if she is only 2. But likewise, you are her mother and father and she only sees you evenings, weekends, and when she is ill. So you need to find ways of chilling that mean she won't be missing you. Ways you can do this are - get a book for her and a book for you, and lie on the bed together "reading." - lie down on the bed and let her be your doctor - have a bath with her - paint your nails together. All these things are still "play" for her - ie better than telly - but you get to have a bit of a breather. Would also echo points about her helping you cook, clean, all that stuff. They love all that.

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