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Parenting

Terrible at ‘playing’ with son..

9 replies

Eilatan2018 · 09/08/2021 15:34

Isolating but not poorly thankfully .. 3yo has terrible attention span and wants to play dinosaurs or pirate ships etc. But I don’t know how to! I enjoy reading to him, puzzles, colouring, painting, playdoh, baking etc but that keeps him entertained for about 5-10 minutes and I then get annoyed I’ve got all the painting stuff out for nothing! I suffer with anxiety and depression anyway but this is tipping me over the edge! Playing in the garden lasts just as long and it’s raining too! I feel like a terrible mother but does anyone else feel the same?!

We usually go out when not isolating to beach, park, castles etc but this is soooo boring!

I want to go to work!

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Echobelly · 09/08/2021 15:43

You don't have to play with him constantly. No adult is any good at playing with young kids for more than about 10 mins as it gets unbearably tedious after that. And no 3 yo has a good attention span. Screens are fine sometimes, especially in your situation - there was no golden age when parents were all playing with their kids constantly, we're doing way more of that than in the past, so don't feel bad about whether you're doing enough.

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Nohomemadecandles · 09/08/2021 15:44

That's par for the course with many 3 year olds! I used to get stuff out to have it over and done with in minutes. The longer I spent preparing the less time they spent on it!
We've all got our strengths. Don't beat yourself up. Puzzles & reading and playdough is plenty!
Can he have some digital babysitting for a while so you get a break? (Cbeebies)

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Eilatan2018 · 09/08/2021 15:47

@Nohomemadecandles

That's par for the course with many 3 year olds! I used to get stuff out to have it over and done with in minutes. The longer I spent preparing the less time they spent on it!
We've all got our strengths. Don't beat yourself up. Puzzles & reading and playdough is plenty!
Can he have some digital babysitting for a while so you get a break? (Cbeebies)

Oh yes tv has been on regularly! It’s just crazy how easily he gets bored! Isolation without a child would have been easy… watching box sets, sleeping etc! Now it feels really hard! I also may have PMT… not a great combo! Luckily husband can help when he finishes work so I can disappear upstairs for a while!
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SignOnTheWindow · 09/08/2021 15:48

Playing make believe with young children is excruciating and I was never able to do it properly with mine. They have grown up to be creative, imaginative and interesting young people nevertheless!
Don't beat yourself up too much. Some parents love that sort of thing and others hate it.

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Eilatan2018 · 09/08/2021 15:49

@SignOnTheWindow

Playing make believe with young children is excruciating and I was never able to do it properly with mine. They have grown up to be creative, imaginative and interesting young people nevertheless!
Don't beat yourself up too much. Some parents love that sort of thing and others hate it.

Thanks that makes me feel better! I can do it for about five minutes Confused!! Not sure I’d have been any better with a girl tbh!
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Nohomemadecandles · 09/08/2021 16:00

I don't recall my mum playing make believe. Doesn't mean she didn't, just means it had no lasting effect either way! Ha!
I played fine my friends.
Honestly, don't stress. I worried too til someone gave me a talking to!

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Xlalalaladdd · 09/08/2021 19:34

Phew, you've made me feel better OP. I was about to post on here after an insanely long day with my 2.9 year old, because I just couldn't believe that he has such a short attention span/ basically doesn't want to do anything! It's driving me crazy! I take him out (thankfully not isolating) for a couple of hours and yet still the day drags on for another 10 hours, and he doesn't want to do anything for longer than 30 seconds...
Glad to hear I'm not alone with this!

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Kendodd · 09/08/2021 19:52

I heard some boffin on the radio years ago saying parents don't need to play with their kids.
He said playing with your children is a very recent development done only by middle class parents in a few western countries and that throughout human history and across every culture, parents have NEVER played with their children. Furthermore he argued that it is of no benefit to the child. Children grow by copying adult behaviour, not the other way around. Also, when observed, adults just about always, took over and directed the play, (while thinking they didn't) and free play is an opportunity for the child to be in charge, develop decision making skills and see outcomes. He also said when studied parents very rarely enjoyed this play time themselves so they were doing something they felt obliged to do because they, wrongly, believed it benefits their child.
He said, read to them, cuddle them but don't bother getting down on the floor and playing cars with them, well, unless you really want to yourself.

Unfortunately, I heard this bit of advice after I'd spend years on the floor with the bloody dolls house and not before.

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FartnissEverbeans · 09/08/2021 20:16

What @Kendodd said! When I read about this it was a game changer for me. I started praising my son for playing by himself (‘wow, look at you playing by yourself! You’ve made a brilliant house with your duplo!’ etc.) and it actually worked - he got better at it and now he’ll play quite happily for a good while. It’s so cute to listen to him doing little voices for his Transformers and he does actually make fabulous duplo creations that he likes to show off and say ‘I made it by myself!’

Nowadays he’ll be more likely to ask me to play something like jigsaws. I quite like the duplo as well, and his dad likes making train tracks so we do those things. And when he wants to play make believe, I set myself a time (eg ten or twenty mins depending how I feel) to really focus on it and then I can stop. By that time he’s usually moved onto the next thing anyway.

I do enjoy playing games with him at times but not every minute of the day!

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