DD 3yo can't play by herself(10 Posts)
As title says. DD is 3 years old. Don't get me wrong, I love playing with her and we do a lot of lovely imaginary games with her dolls, teddy tea parties, loads of arts and crafts etc. But sometimes I just need a few minutes to myself in the day and for her to entertain herself. I try and encourage to play but she just smiles and says "it's ok mummy I will just wait for you to finish x, y or z" She is an only child and I don't want her to become reliant on me all the time. Should I be leaving her to just get on with it? Or do others always play/entertain with their DCs. She doesnt go to nursery or have daytime naps so it is full on every day. Any ideas/advice?
Forgot to mention I do take her to playgroups and classes and she will always stay next to me and won't go off by herself. She wont join in unless I am next to her or she is holding my hand.
I had a problem like this with my DD eventually I had to make a day plan.
In the morning we do this together..
For an hour before lunch you play with toys alone.
After lunch we go out
Then you do this on your own.
She needs to learn to enjoy her own company.
It was hard at first as my heart broke thinking about her in her room alone. But eventually they get over it and enjoy themselves. I found putting a dvd on in her room helped her feel less alone.
No, I definitely don't always entertain my 3yr old! Although she's been pretty good at entertaining herself from a very young age (this is luck rather than anything I've done as my other child is the opposite). Even from being a baby/young toddler she has always been quite used to pottering around making up little games on her own and talking to her toys etc. If anything she's getting more keen on having mummy join in everything the older she gets and loves nothing more than drawing pictures for me while I watch and ask questions!
When we first had DS I had to rely on TV quite a lot while feeding him so these days if I need half an hour to get something done/have a rest and a cuppa the TV goes on for a while and that keeps her entertained. I agree it's important for them to enjoy their own company and also to have some down time, otherwise it's tiring for everybody!
I find playing alongside to give her ideas then popping off to do xyz for increasingly long periods of time helps. E.g. Playing with new dolls house, lets put them to bed, lets make breakfast etc. Right, popping to the loo, why don't you put them all at the table for breakfast I'll be back in a min.
When DS1 was younger he would never play alone, he loved role play games and would play with me for ages. If I walked away the game was over. He's never really changed, always preferred to play with someone and now at 12 he's always with his friends.
My nephew was totally different and would spend ages playing with his toys. If I ever wanted a bit of time I let him watch TV/dvd. Even if it was only for an hour a day it was a rest from the playing. He was an only child for 12 years and didn't start nursery till 3, his first report said 'plays well but prefers others to take the lead'. It was totally true. DS2 is only 10 months and already shows more of an interest playing with his toys.
Thanks for all your ideas I try not to give her much tv during the week as we tend to have a movie together at the weekend as a treat. Good idea though to make a day plan for her though, she always asks what we are doing next so this may help! I suppose I just want her to not be a spoilt child who is used to all the attention on her and prepare her for school in September so she doesn't get a big shock!
Does she have friends over to play? (And parents for you to chat to?) I imagine it would be good for her to be able to play alongside others of a more similar age as well as you. I'm very lucky as ds is quite good at playing by himself but that's not anything I've done...
I think some kids are just like this (maybe more common with firsts/onlies?) My DD is still not great at playing by herself at 5, but at least now will draw/colour/watch TV. My DS is only 2 but is much better at entertaining himself.
My dd is 4 and she still doesn't like playing on her own - she always wants to play with me or her little sister. Dd2 otoh is fine playing on her own and she's only 2. I think it's just a personality thing and they will all be independent eventually - some children just need more encouragement.
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