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I Don't Feel Like Playing with DD

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
The title says it all.

I used to be so good about sitting and playing with DD, but lately it is just so boring. I just find myself wishing for the days when she will be more interactive and imaginative with her play. I know that I should play with her more, that it will help her with her developing skills, that seeing more difficult tasks modeled will inspire her further development, and that my talking while playing will help her language skills, but I just don't want to. I just want to sit and read or play on the computer. I feel like her skills and language aren't where they should be because I am a neglectful mother. I've even been trying to read Playful Parenting for inspiration and while I love the book I am still sitting on the couch.

I don't know what I am looking for here. I just feel like a bad mom and had to get it off my chest.
post #2 of 25

Parents as Playmates

The expectation that parents should be playmates for their children is a relatively new concept.

I think it's important for parents and children to spend time together and to develop strong bonds. I do not that think parents were meant to play for hours with their kids every day though. I'm also of the opinion that children learn naturally and don't generally need coaching from parents.

I've read that healthy, normal play should actually be really boring for adults. I've also read that parents tend to be too prescriptive when they join into their children's play. Parents often take too much control of the play. They want toys to be used the "right way". Supposedly, a lot of adult involvement in play is not always better.

Some parents really enjoy building towers over and over again only to have them knocked down, and that's fine. I don't believe that it's necessary for normal development at all though.

Our oldest was read to the most, but our second DD had the most advanced language as a toddler and learned to read well before she was three. I'd like to take credit for it, but it was just how she was wired. Not to mention, earlier doesn't necessarily mean better. At 5 and 6 our older DD is the better reader even though our younger DD has been reading way longer.

I think that Playful Parenting is a great book. The Myth of the First Three Years is an interesting read too though.
post #3 of 25
I don't really play with my kids, though I do read to them a lot. They both have advanced language skills, particularly the older one. I also involve them in what I'm doing, such as sorting laundry, putting silverware away from the dishwasher, whatever. But I'm not into playing. My kids are happy and doing very well.
post #4 of 25
You are not a bad mom!

I used to feel the same way...like I *should* be playing with my son. But it gets boring stacking blocks and pushing around trains. Later I realized it's ok NOT to play that much. My parents didn't. I really don't know many parents that DO play with their kids. I remember playing board games with my parents from time to time and sometimes playing catch outside but that was about it. I don't think my parents were neglectful. The talked to us, cuddled with us, read to us, cooked for us and ate with us, let us sleep in their bed, sang to us in the morning to make our day a little better, left notes in our lunchboxes, ect.

And that's how it's been with my son ever since he was about 2 1/2. I had to teach him to play alone because he was so used to me getting down on the floor with him, even if I wasn't "into" it. But still, I cuddle with him, read to him, sing to him, let him sleep in my bed, teach him things, ect. He's not neglected. I do make it a point to play SOME things with him and usually at least once a day. We play cards and games. We color together. We do crafts. But sorry, I don't do dolls or transformers. He knows this.

Even with my disabled child I don't spend much time entertaining her. I'm sure she gets bored since she can't move around, but I'll prop up a few toys or put on some music or a video for her. When I DO play with her, it's simple things like hand games. Sometimes I just hold her in my lap and read. She has to learn that I can't entertain her every waking hour. I mean, her situation sucks and I'll give her that, but it doesn't change anything.

We don't have to be preschool teachers or playmates as well as parents. Our kids learn everything they need to know just by being around us during our daily activities. It's ok to read a book on the couch while your child plays dolls at your feet.
post #5 of 25
I never really played with my kids. However I have always been involved with them. I talk to them about what i am doing, made sure they could be included some way etc. I took them to the park and took them outside to play, arranged play dates. And sometimes just told them it was time to entertain themselves for a while. They had quiet time/naps every day where I would read and surf. But even now I fight the urge to sit around watching TV, reading or surfing all day. I need some active play time as well. Granted that means something different to me than it does to them. maybe we go for a walk, clean the house, do some yard work etc. My kids have always had a part in these things. Small kids sized cleaning equipment, a play kitchen so we could cook at the same time, their dolls slept in the same crib as my baby and needed diaper changes at the same time. I just involve them in my life. But "playing with them always seemed so contrived and weird. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes I watch their plays/dances/songs, write stories with them, wrestle with them, go to tea parties, babysit for them, change doll clothes etc. but I don't need to be doing that all the time and I don't do it unless I am actually in the mood for it. I am more likely to ask them questions about what their dolls are doing or who is that? whats her name? why is she dressed like that etc. I also don't read to my kids often. I will admit it. They are all excellent readers. Some later than others but they are all above grade level now and none of them a verbally stunted despite being late speakers (all of them). I sometimes would read to them from magazines or whatever book I was reading if i really felt like they needed attention. that way we were both entertained. I also had a rule that there were certain books I just would not read to them (disney, clifford, berstain bears or anything I found generally repulsive. They were free to check them out but I was not going to read them). I would usually only read one book at a time. My kids had a very low interest in books as toddlers/preschoolers. They are all veracious readers now. So no worries.
post #6 of 25
I don't think you're a bad mom.

I went through a period where I didn't want to do ANY activity that was kid related....and I think that was because I was constantly forcing myself into my son's world thinking that was the best interaction for him.

Once I backed off from his "specifically kid activities" I found it easier to interact with him.
What I mean is that I found common ground activites for us. Not too adult, not too kiddish....those are the times we'd come together and have our fun time.

We also have times where I'm on the computer and he's on the floor next to me playing Hot Wheels. Or I'll sit in the driveway reading while he plunges his Hot Wheels in to the mud.
I think being apart while being together is a good thing for him to learn.
...and I just DO NOT play Hot Wheels...it's incredibly boring to me, but I'm sure reading a book without any pictures seems just as boring!! Lol.

Find some things that are engaging for both of you and make specific times for those activities....and don't feel guilty for spending a little time surfing the net while she plays with dolls or whatnot.
post #7 of 25
Get out of the house! Bring her somewhere that will engage her attention (be that library, pet store, cafe with play area, park, shopping - whatever!). I find that when I'm feeling like you are describing what it really means is that I need and we need a change of scene. Sitting at home *not surfing* *not watching tv* and *not reading a book* and instead feeling forced to play, just... well... sucks. The play is boring to you, and so you are bored, and a bored mommy just wants to zone out. I think we all go through bouts of feeling like that. Staying active, getting out, doing brand new things or things out of the normal routine really shake things up. No longer at home and bored/forced to "engage" when we find our minds disengaging we no longer want to flee into the zone-out zone of surfing the net or whatever. Add some other grown-ups to the mix - be it at a LLL meeting, babywearing meeting, playdate, etc - and even better!

Most important... don't let yourself feel guilty! We have ALL felt the same way. We are not bad mamas - just human!
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwatt View Post
The title says it all.

I used to be so good about sitting and playing with DD, but lately it is just so boring. I just find myself wishing for the days when she will be more interactive and imaginative with her play. I know that I should play with her more, that it will help her with her developing skills, that seeing more difficult tasks modeled will inspire her further development, and that my talking while playing will help her language skills, but I just don't want to. I just want to sit and read or play on the computer. I feel like her skills and language aren't where they should be because I am a neglectful mother. I've even been trying to read Playful Parenting for inspiration and while I love the book I am still sitting on the couch.

I don't know what I am looking for here. I just feel like a bad mom and had to get it off my chest.
What makes you think that interaction has to be play?

I love Playful Parenting but I don't think that means playing for hours a day!
post #9 of 25
I think spending some connected time is good, but so is spending some apart time. I've been evaluating how much and what kind of parental interaction my DD needs lately because she's going though an especially clingy phase. what she seems to need right now is about an hour of full mommy attention after breakfast (today that was mostly me getting her set up with her shape sorter and then being there to help her if she started getting frustrated. and then after her nap and afternoon snack we take a bath together, playtime for her and we both get clean and I sing with her or talk about her bath toys. other than that it's just talking to her every once in a while as she play or reading a book together if she asks. if she's feeling like she needs more than that she comes to me.
post #10 of 25
I am not fond of playing with my kids. I like being *playful* with my kids, frequently... but it's usually more of silly talk and such - not so much playing dolls or whatever.
post #11 of 25
I read to my kids and interact with them (cooking, folding laundry, out in the yard). But I don't play with them and never have. I don't see that as part of my job. If I enjoyed it, maybe I would. But I don't. No guilt, here.
post #12 of 25
I have had an only child for many years (currently pregnant w/ the second), and was often his playmate. Man, the boredom. I'm a tad glad that he has now started school, and I can read books & attend college again. I love my child without measure, but obviously the adult brain needs a different kind of stimulation.

Good luck w/ your book.
post #13 of 25
I was going to say "I will probably get slammed for this, but I don't play with my kid that much," so I'm glad to see I'm actually not the only mom who's not that into playing with their child(ren)!

I pay attention to DD, when she was a baby I EBFed and co-slept and all of that business, but I basically can't stand to sit there and play with a baby or toddler with a toy. I'll do legos with her once in a while or whatever, but I can't just sit there and wave a stuffed animal at a baby. My DD doesn't seem to have suffered any ill effects from my lack of baby play skills and is a really fun and playful kid at age 5, nearly 6.

When I wanted her to develop skills through play, I would devise games for her that didn't require my full attention, like throwing a stack of flash cards on the floor haphazardly and then calling out numbers for her to retrieve out of the "pond". I can watch TV or cook dinner while she does that and all I have to do is call out a number every minute or so
post #14 of 25
how DO you play?

who do you play with?

DO you play?

do you get any break for some adult YOUR time.

not for catching up with chores.

but just you time.

i see you have your hands full.

Do you get a break?

anytime i felt like you i knew it was time for me to take care of myself in whatever form i could manage at that time.

so mama, get out and play yourself.

and you will find how much you enjoy playing with your child and how you notice the little things.

because soon they are going to 'grow up' and you wont be needed as a playmate. and you would so like to be one.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you all!

I think that I just feel guilty when I am not focusing on her and on myself instead. I do play with her, and I do enjoy playing in general, I just don't enjoy the current stage of play that she is in. I am also trying to lay down as much as possible since I am expecting twins so I am feeling a little lazy in general. She seems to enjoy when I get on the floor and play with her, so I am trying to do it more often. She also seems to really enjoy playing by herself and will just come to me when she needs to snuggle. I also was a teacher before I had her so I think that I feel like I should be spending my days "teaching" her like I would if I were in my classroom.
post #16 of 25
I enjoy playing with my ds because I'm kind of wired that way....I just love kids, I love toys and I love to play! And in spite of all that, i STILL get bored to tears sometimes. i don't paly much with him now, which is one of the biggest indiciators that I am depressed, because I don't want to play with him, but honestly, some of the things that he could paly for hOURS bore me much mroe quickly.

Playing cars and trucks and trains and transformers and action figures and legos. The same basic scenario over and over again. That's why I send him to montessori school...he can do the same thing over and over and over again all day long there!

But I do read to him, and involve him in what I'm doing since he likes to follow me from room to room asking thousands of questions and trying his hand at whatever task i'm doing. As a result he is a superb dishwasher, cloth diaper folder and all around laundry guy
post #17 of 25
I don't play with my kids. Usually they will come up to me while I'm doing something and I will talk to them and ask them questions. DS1 will involve me in his imaginative play but it's always something that I can do while I'm doing something else.

Mainly the way I play is to kick a ball around with them, push them on their bikes, DS2 loves tickling, basically more active stuff. If I build blocks on focus on building my own thing and don't let them knock it down! Usually because I get really creative and proud of it!

And give yourself a break! You're growing TWO babies! I think you can be forgiven for taking it easy!
post #18 of 25
I feel the same way however it doesn't help that my kid wants me ALL.THE.TIME. She doesn't let me do much unless it involves sitting on the floor. She actually won't play much unless I'm there with her. Even heading outside, she needs me to follow her or do what she is doing.

Its exhausting and sometimes makes me wish she were in daycare even though I can't stomach the thought of trusting strangers.

I see a lot of people commented that playing with our kids isn't really that necessary... try telling that to my kid! The only way she will leave me alone for a bit is if the tv is on. I'm not thrilled about letting her watch a lot of tv (although I do because its the only thing currently keeping me halfway sane.)
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post
I see a lot of people commented that playing with our kids isn't really that necessary... try telling that to my kid! The only way she will leave me alone for a bit is if the tv is on. I'm not thrilled about letting her watch a lot of tv (although I do because its the only thing currently keeping me halfway sane.)
It's a normal phase, but I found a sanity saver was inviting my son to do what I was doing instead - dust, wash dishes, sweep, etc. He loved it.
post #20 of 25
I have two ds, 1.5 and 3.5 & I am a SAHM. I don't really play with them. Independence is really important to me so I have cultivated it slowly and gently. Sometimes ds2 is clingy when ds1 is at preschool but they're fairly self-reliant. I give them plenty of attention, read stories, set up art supplies, lots of activities outside the home, but on the floor with the choo choos? No, never felt the need or the desire!
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