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Is this a bit strange...ds 3.10

(31 Posts)
raggedyanna Thu 17-Jul-08 09:31:19

DS has never really got the play thing down pat. He generally only plays when someone is with him and then he just directs...eg doing a puzzle, he will tip it out and then tell whoever is playing with him to put it together, He will ask me to build an obstacle course but has no interest in helping and wants me to do the course when it is finished. Basically he wants others to play for him. If no one is available to play with (for) him he will hang around my legs nagging for me to play until I am free. Mostly it is me all day with him. We do playgroup but he is the same there, he doesn't venture far from me and wants me to play with the equipment but doesn't want to use it himself. He will do things like hide and seek and board games (sometimes he wants me to do his turn for him but will play sometimes also) When he has a playmate over he just hasn't a clue in the social world, he tries to direct them to do this and that with completely nonsense rules that they don't understand or will start a game of hide and seek without telling them he is hiding and so on. I am finding it all a bit draining. I can't entertain him all day as he would like and I don't mind playing with him but not if he wants me to play then leaves me to do all the playing if that makes sense.

raggedyanna Thu 17-Jul-08 09:51:00

gegs73 Thu 17-Jul-08 09:55:04

Hi - I think some children are just abit like this and its not strange. Does he go to pre-school? Often they play more independently once they go there.

Aefondkiss Thu 17-Jul-08 09:57:04

hello Raggedyanna, I don't want to leave your message unanswered, but I am not sure how if I can help... my ds is 4 and has language delay and possible ASD, but he does play imaginatively, in a limited way to start with, but he has got there in the end.

When you are doing a puzzle could you leave the last couple of pieces blank, try and get him to put them in? Same with building blocks? get small toys that ds likes and pretend to make them walk and do silly things that might make your ds laugh (slapstick goes down well here)

Do you pretend to be things? My dh pretends to be a bull (or whatever is the favourite/funniest thing that ds likes atm) at bed time and goes around bumping things with his horns, gets ds on his back... Ds has a big sister who does lots of pretend play so this is rubbing off now too, DS will pretend to be a cat, when I brush ds's teeth I try to get him to roar like a lion, yawn like a dragon.

raggedyanna Thu 17-Jul-08 10:02:35

Thanks for replies
Gegs good to know others are like this, it is not so much the business of not playing independently it is more the business that he doesn't play he tells others to do it for him

Aefondkiss thank you he can be very verbally imaginative and makes up the craziest games you can think of it is just that he doesn't play them he wants us to.

Most of his time is spent on my knee or on the rocking chair telling someone what to do eg puzzle, lego etc

I have tried to let him do a few pieces at the end or take turns he is just not interested, he will kick off on one or he will just tell you to get something else out instead.

Clary Thu 17-Jul-08 10:10:16

When you say he is 3.10, is he 4 in Sept? So there’s another year before he starts school?

If so, I would definitely get him some nursery school/playgroup sessions as he will need to master some social skills for when he does go to school or it will be a real struggle for him.

As far as “is this strange” goes, I have no experience of this. If he is mostly with just you it could be that he is simply unused to social situations. Not wanting to play is a marker for ASD. Is that what you are concerned about? I’m not an expert but plenty on here are.

raggedyanna Thu 17-Jul-08 10:16:02

Thanks clary he does go to playgroup but I stay with him there. He has always had difficulty with being left even with his grandparents or dad. He talks about his "friends" alot and wants to see them and does often but still doesn't get the play thing. Most days he has time with other children in a variety of settings eg home, playgroup, friends houses, park etc. So I think he is quite exposed to social situations but he doesn't go without me as he doesn't cope with this. I see no reason to push him in this area as I think he will get there in his own time. I just wondered if directing those around you to do your playing was unusual or if lots of children do it. What is ASD btw, is it something I need to be concerned about

Clary Thu 17-Jul-08 10:17:41

sorry, autistic spectrum disorder.

raggedyanna Thu 17-Jul-08 10:21:23

I just googled ASD and I don't think that describes him but thank you.

positiveparentscouk Thu 17-Jul-08 10:21:44

my daughter is 3.4 months and she doesnt play like this, however she is my ONLY experience of a 3 year old, and she has always been fiercly independant. Perhaps its worth mentioning to your HV? just to be sure?

raggedyanna Thu 17-Jul-08 10:26:03

thank you positiveparentscouk. I wonder if it is personality in that case as ds is not an independent child in the least. He has never been keen to try things for himself to be honest. He would rather I dress him, feed him, carry him (if he can get away with it)he can do these things just he would rather not. We have had to support him a bit at times to try some things independently like walk down to the mail box rather than be carried etc. He is a great one for kicking off so we pick our battles

raggedyanna Thu 17-Jul-08 10:35:07

anyone else with a child this age at all, thanks

positiveparentscouk Thu 17-Jul-08 10:38:44

raggedyanna, it sounds to me then that he just might need a lot of encouragement to try it for himself. why not start with something simple, like 2 shape sorting boards (if you have some!) and give him one, and yourself one. Tell him you are going to do your one, and he can do his one. Try to make it into a game. He might just not realise that he can have fun by himself too.

Tinkjon Thu 17-Jul-08 10:42:35

We haven't had the not playing with other children thing, but DD (5) has always enjoyed directing me (or dad, nanny etc.) to play instead of her. When my mum visits, DD gets a game up on the CBeebies website, makes my mum sit down, then tells her how to play it. And whenever we go to a soft play centre I always have to join in, she's never been one to go off and play by herself. It's always "come on then, Mummy!" I think they just like having control of another person sometimes!

dilbertina Thu 17-Jul-08 10:45:04

Perhaps he is destined to be a leader of people!

What happens if you just don't play with him? I mean for a looong time...will he eventually go and find something to do? He sounds really imaginative and bright, but with respect I wonder if you almost have had too much input and he has got used to it and likes it? Maybe a little benign neglect would help. How about trying putting out a new toy - something fairly intricate - train track etc that he would find interesting and leave him to it, don't "encourage" him to play with it or make any suggestion other than "well if you're bored there's something to play with in the other room" and then be VERY VERY busy for a couple of hours....

Romy7 Thu 17-Jul-08 10:45:13

leave him at nursery on his own. they are trained to help children interact with their peers and develop social skills. are you leaving him for his pre-school year? the yr r teachers won't thank you if you don't lol! it will also give you an idea whether he will need help with the social side later. kids are all different, but i think by being his back-up all the time it may not be helping him to develop his own skills. (we got dd2 a nursery place purely because her seperation anxiety and need for adult support was likely to cause her problems later on if not nipped in the bud - yes, i abandoned my child blah. she's fine now and starts school in september - she still has a tendency to play alongside rather than with, but it's being watched and aided.)

raggedyanna Thu 17-Jul-08 10:46:21

thanks for that, I do that sort of thing with him and try to have a race or whatever to encourage him. To me it seems that he has all these grand ideas in his head (like a scrip writer) and wants to observe them being carried out if that makes sense. Will keep trying to encourage him to participate in the actual doing rather than just the rule making (which can be very complex and subject to change at sudden whims of said scrip writer) I do (feeling very guilty to admit this) sometimes resort to saying to him that I am an adult and I don't always want to play but I am more than happy to watch him or help him with his games. He usually just ignores me and carries on directing or kicks off on one. He can be a bit defeatist at times deciding he can't do things without actually trying them. Not sure how to respond to I can'ts though I will usually either say lets do it together or well thats a shame when your're willing to try let me know. Nowt works but.

pootleflump Thu 17-Jul-08 10:48:29

My dd is 3.9. She is not good at entertaining herself and does always want others to play with her but she plays and interacts very well with others. She goes to pre-school every morning then plays outside with her friends all afternoon.

I really think the longer you delay leaving him will only make it worse, could you maybe start leaving him with your parents for an hour or so and build it up? It really sounds like he would benefit from nursery/pre-school, otherwise you could have major problems with him starting school next year.

raggedyanna Thu 17-Jul-08 10:55:22

oohh a few other answers in the mean time. Thanks tinkjon not just my ds then. Dilbertina he definately demands alot of input and to be honest I try to give him times in the day when I am unavailable, generally he hangs around me nagging until I am finished and yes he is quite willing to do this for a couple of hours until I am available (is too exhausting I find so I usually do ds 30mins, a chore 10-15mins, ds 30 mins a chore 10-15 etc. romy thanks for that advice I will talk to playgroup and see what they think over leaving him. we are at the moment working on him staying with his dad while I do something or going out with his dad while I stay. He doesn't like it at all not even if they have something special planned. He will go out with his grandparents for a half a day but doesn't cope if they want to mind him at ours while dh and I go off. We are taking small steps but when he reacts it will have repercussions for days after

dilbertina Thu 17-Jul-08 10:56:04

raggedyanna, you obviously adore your son and the input and patience you appear to provide put many to shame, BUT it would seem to me that mini-raggedy has somewhat got you wrapped around his little finger!

I don't think I would necessarily go for the nursery route to "sort him out" if you are not comfortable with it but maybe backing off a little...just be busy, you shouldn't feel guilty for not wanting to play with him ALL the time, and you don't need to pacify him by "watching" or "helping" instead.

Really just let him get on with it and ignore the tantrums! Start with 10 mins and build it up until he can amuse himself for a while. You'll be doing him (and his teachers!) a favour if you can break the cycle of over-reliance on you.

wannaBe Thu 17-Jul-08 10:56:12

I know this might not be what you want to hear but at nearly 4 I would be looking to get him a place in a preschool where he can go and socialize without you.

Sometimes children don’t do things for themselves because they don’t have to. And sometimes the best people for them to learn from ar their peers, other children who are on the same wave-length.

Out of interest, does your ds ever get time away from you? Do you ever leave him with anyone? Grandparents/aunts etc?

As parents our instinct is to do everything for our children, but if you continue to feed/dress/carry him and do not let him go to become more independent, he is really going to struggle when he goes to school next year.

dilbertina Thu 17-Jul-08 10:58:26

How about having another dc?! then eventually they could play together and ds would have a willing slave...grin [unhelpful suggestion emoticon]

Romy7 Thu 17-Jul-08 10:59:53

go cold turkey. they get used to it really quickly. i tried fannying around leaving for ages, and in the end realised i was making it worse. 'on a monday and a weds and a fri you go to nursery for 3 hours. bye darling, see you later'. that way he will at least know that when he starts school you will pick him up! seriously, better start getting him used to it! grin the repercussions wear off fast once they realise that no amount of huff or trauma is going to change the situation.

raggedyanna Thu 17-Jul-08 11:02:17

I think he is what I have seen on here described as a highly sensitive child. He is very reactive to a lot of stuff...noise, haircuts, face washing, nail clipping, shoes and socks, I could go on. I think he genuinely finds these things more of a challenge to his senses than some people do including being left. I don't agree that delaying leaving him will make it worse (it can't get worse than it is) I do think that in the past with him if we support him and let him come to things in his own time and in his own way he will. We are providing means of learning to cope without by leaving with dh and grandparents the rest will come any how I'm not so on about all this as I am about the play skills. He can and does socialise with other children he just doesn't "play" he sets them all up in games they don't understand and then gets frustrated with when they won't follow his directions.

positiveparentscouk Thu 17-Jul-08 11:03:23

raggedyanna when my DD says she cant i say...yes you can you havent even tried, and will help a little, but only very slightly. I dont believe in pushingyour child but there is just a general attitude sometimes of well humph, i am not going to do it if YOUR here to do it for me mummy, and in that case i will flat out refuse. I make a big fuss when she manages it. Yesterday for example she called me in to the toilet to wipe her bum. I said to her, to do it herself. She said she couldnt. So i took a wipe for her, put it in her hand, and told her to do it herself. She did and was very proud of herself.

If he really wont try, then there isnt much you can do, but if he does try, even a little be sur to praise him lots, then he might start to enjoy trying and realising that it gets him good positive attention

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