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how much time do you spend playing with DC and how much do they actually want?

(17 Posts)
wineismyfriend Mon 17-Aug-09 19:55:14

DS 4.11 would have DH and I play wiht him morning noon and night and i am at the end of my tether.

He has always been hopeless at entertaining himself but foolishly i thought it would get better as he got older (although i do realise he is still young blush. From the moment i get up he is on at me to play with him, if we go out as we walk through the front door he is asking me what i can play with..............All the other children i know get up in the morning or come in from a trip out and head for their toy box, cuboard, bookshelf etc but not him.

DH and I joke through gritted teeth that we always end up playing tag team parenting where one of us is always doing something with him or he is watching telly. it is so rare that DH and i sit back and relax at the weekend, we ar eeither playing or doing chores (so we get out of the playing. God this all sounds pathetic angry.

So, what i would love to know if roughly on a weekend how much time do you actually spend one to one playing with DC?


BiscuitStuffer Mon 17-Aug-09 20:43:06

ok well I think it is good for him to try and find stuff to do himself with occasional input from you / friends to play with / time out to do his own thing / quality time where you both concentrate on him and let him lead play.

What is he interested in?

BiscuitStuffer Mon 17-Aug-09 20:43:53

You need to inspire him somehow.....

BiscuitStuffer Mon 17-Aug-09 20:45:13

Is he a kid that craves company (most do) and does he have friends he can play with / have round to play?

genieg Mon 17-Aug-09 20:45:25

We have this too - can't even begin to think about the hours am too tired! But definately do tag team parenting too.

What helps (but doesn't solve) it for us is agreeing in advance what is going to happen ie yes lets go to the park and then make lunch together etc and then mummy will need time to do some jobs/work. Then I absolutely stick to this...took a few tantrums to begin with us. Also we try to involve him in pretty much whatever we are doing so we are doing stuff together but it is slightly less tedious for us.

These 2 things buy us some sanity but I always feel guilty when I'm not doing something with him as he's such a sad little puppy on his own.

Doesn't help that I bloody hate playing!

BiscuitStuffer Mon 17-Aug-09 20:45:27

Is he a kid that craves company (most do) and does he have friends he can play with / have round to play?

NightShoe Mon 17-Aug-09 20:47:17

My DD is 3.2 and does play by herself sometimes, but more often than not wants input from us. I find that if it is getting too much for me, she is rather accepting if I say mummy needs a cup of tea, you play with something whilst mummy drinks it. She can't see if I have drunk it or not as it is up high so I can string this out for a good half an hours peace.

I assume he is at school, so at least you only have the weekends!

BiscuitStuffer Mon 17-Aug-09 20:52:19

I think kids need regular input and if they're not getting it from a sibling or friend, then it is going to be asked of a parent.

One thing that does work is to let them lead in what they are interested in and then build on that to 'suggest' little projects that they can be getting on with and that you admire profusely from time to time.

Unless they are taught how to amuse themselves, they are not going to learn and it is definitely a skill that us as adults gain a lot of benefit from. The be happy with your own company and with others is a big deal.

wineismyfriend Mon 17-Aug-09 20:55:15

he starts school in September, just 2 weeks before he is 5!

He loves the company of others, asks me every day if we are going to anyones house/is anyone coing to ours.

He is sports mad, loves playing football, cricket, gold, running, jumping and so on. He just doesn't want to sit and play lego or with trains, farm stuff etc. He has got quite into more art/craft things in the lasy 6 months or so so will do that for a bit of time.

I do try and inspire him but i can set him up with something which we play together for a while and then move away "ok, Mummy is going to get lunch now" and he kicks off. No so much a tantrum but whining and my anxiety goes through the roof.

We invole him in a lot of what we do, he likes cooking, cleaning the car etc....but i would just love for at least some of the time for things to flo naturaly and not be so forced iyswim.

squeaver Mon 17-Aug-09 20:58:13

My dd (4.7) has started to grow out of this in the last few months. She has discovered art. She makes things out of old crap all day long. If she shows signs of losing interest, I say "how about making a dinosaur/speedboat/machete/whatever??".

There's crap everywhere but boy is it worth it.

And I do play with her from time to time too, btw.

squeaver Mon 17-Aug-09 21:00:09

The other thing my dd has is an imaginary friend (although I'm not sure how you can engineer that, exactly).

(And she has lots of real life friends who are over here a lot).

NightShoe Mon 17-Aug-09 21:03:25

Ah, I bet you are counting down abit then!

It is hard, I get very tired because it can be relentless at times, and even if you do set them up with something you get "mummy, look at this" "Mummy can you help me with this" Mummy, Mummy, Mummy...."

I agree with biscuitstuffers suggestion in some respects and I find arts and crafts invaluable for this, I set up a task and let her show me her hard work after and lots of praise for getting on with it herself.

Sometimes it helps to warn her in advance that I will need to X,Y or Z after we have finished playing shops/painting/running around the garden. So it builds up rather than an abrupt "I'm off to make lunch/hoover etc".

If all else fails I take her out to the local playpark and let her find some random friends there, but she is very upfront at approaching other children luckily, I don't know if it is the same for you?

Acinonyx Mon 17-Aug-09 22:15:57

It's exactly like that here too with dd, 4. Occaisionally she will draw/stick for a while but it's unpredictable. It's chores or play - if I sit down she's all over me and if forced, will lie forlornly on the sofa sucking her thumb until I come back.

She loves company and we see friends in the week and soemtimes on Sunday afternoons - still leaves lots of time to fill. The endless requests for pretend play drive me especially bonkers. She just has to have company all the time.

rasputin Mon 17-Aug-09 22:22:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mathanxiety Tue 18-Aug-09 06:39:52

Teach him to read and encourage him to do lots of it. You could also try to involve him in the chores and see how fast he scarpers off to the Lego or the trains after a few minutes hoovering or whatever.. He really sounds like a great little kid who will be fab in school. My oldest DC was 3 when next DC was born and she begged me to send her to nursery school but I thought she was too young -- wish I had, she really craved the company of other children. She had a whole fleet of imaginary friends. She loved drawing and painting and colouring so the flat where we lived was always covered with crayons, many of which her brother eventually ate when he started crawling. I had to restrict the scissors and glue because DS went after them too, but the mess these crafts generated was really worth the peace they bought. One toy that was a great help was a foldup tent that was DD's own little private space where only she could go -- it gave me many hours of relief. You begin to really champ at the bit when it gets to the stage where you can't finish a thought -- how much mess are you willing to trade for this luxury?

rasputin you have made my day, I always have a sneaky feeling that I am a terrible mum, I also love to do the things with my kids that you enjoy, but the actual playing part I am terrible at I just have no patience and feel myself going to sleep within minutes.

I only have two but they play together really well, I feel very relieved that I am not alone.

StillNorks Tue 18-Aug-09 07:55:23

I have 2 so a lot of the time they play together without me, but we always do one activity/play thing together am and pm and red books together in the evening.

type of things we do vary, but may be crafty, going for a walk, the park, bouncing all together on the trampoline, cooking, jigsaws.

I also do not do the imaginary play thing, but they manage that quite well by themselves

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