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Can't entertain himself

(6 Posts)
Almondroca Tue 25-Sep-12 09:33:38

I'm feeling really frustrated with ds1 at the moment and wondered if anyone had any advice.

He is 9 - nearly 10 - and in year five. He's never, ever been very good at entertaining himself but it's really hitting a peak at the moment to the extent that he is either watching TV, playing a new game he likes on the ipad...or needing to involve me in whatever he is doing. He enjoys doing jobs for me around the house - he will empty the dishwasher, strip beds, feed the cat. But I want him to be able to think of something to do for himself and then do it without me having to tell him what to do. Is that reasonable? As soon as he is lacking in something to do, he just starts rolling around the furniture and wrestling with ds2 or just walking around the house, bored, making a loud noise.

Ds2 is nearly 7 and is very good at playing imaginative games and so sometimes he will set up a game and include ds1, but again, it's not coming from ds1.

I've got to the point where I can't even think of anything to suggest as I know he'll 'meh' at my suggestions. He's not keen on reading (unless we read together at bed time, then he likes it), he did like drawing for a while but doesn't seem to anymore, he plays an instrument at school but won't practise at home, he used to like puzzles, but only likes them if I do them with him now, he likes building a lego set, but lacks imagination to build anything else with the pieces (and obviously I'm not buying new sets for every time he's bored). What can he do?!?!?!? Are other boys this age like this?

I'm sure this is my fault!

Back2Two Tue 25-Sep-12 09:36:47

Do you leave him at the bored stage or do you intervene? Sometimes leaving thm bored for a while works and they finally entertain themselves..

Almondroca Tue 25-Sep-12 09:44:08

Umm, I probably intervene in terms of trying to think of things for him to do. He'll come up with lots of ideas about how I could do XX with him....or what about we ALL play XX. To that, I will say, not until you've entertained yourself for a while.

He's exhausting.

steppemum Tue 25-Sep-12 11:00:13

my ds is 9. He is quite good at entertaining himself, but i have noticed that he is growing out of a lots of younger kid stuff at the moment and hasn't found a replacement. He will still play with lego, but that is about it.

When he tells me he is bored I tell him he has a house full of things (and I list some of them - basketball hoop, lego, bike, k'nex etc) and he is old enough to find something to do. he ususally hangs around and whinges and then potters off and I don't see him for an hour of so.

I do let him out on his own (he can cycle to friends house, and they play football on the field). I do have very strict screen time otherwise he would spend all day on the computer.

The other thing I have noticed is that he wants time with me and doesn't quite know how to ask for it, so he hangs around me. I am thinking of teaching him to cook more (together) and also setting aside a time for us to play a short game. (he has just kearnt some more adult card games - rummy etc)
I foudn when they were small that giving them the attention first satisfied their need ofr attention, and then I could say, go off and play for a while. Maybe you need to try it that way round?

Almondroca Wed 26-Sep-12 11:13:59

Hmmm, yes, maybe I should do that...see if I can get him to bore of me first!

scorpionne Wed 26-Sep-12 12:31:40

My dd1 is a bit like this. She would be watching tv or on the laptop all the time if I let her, so we have time limits. During the week she has to do homework and piano practice before she's allowed any screen time. I also sign her up for quite a few after-school sports because she likes to be busy.

With regard to your ds not doing music practice, I would tell him that he has to do 30 minutes every day and if it's not done there is no tv/computer.

I wouldn't suggest things for him to do if I were you - that will just make him more dependent on you. I often tell dd to "find something to do" until dinner/school/whatever. She knows that I will not be a children's entertainer - we do plenty of nice things together but I also have things I need to do. I sometimes go into my room and close the door and they know not to disturb me! I don't let the dcs play wild in the living room - they can come and sit with me in there and read a book as I do, but if they want to wrestle or run around they can go outside.

I also have 2 dcs who are great at entertaining themselves and I wish dd1 would get involved with them but as the eldest she considers everything they do to be beneath her....

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