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What to do when we need more than free play?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My son will be 3 in two weeks, but he spent the last year at Kimbton Waldorf in their preschool. He grew so much, and I truly feel our experiences there made us better parents. But we're moving, too far to commute to any Waldorf school, there isn't even a Montessori school within an hour. I'll be staying home, more than likely for a year, then he'll either go to a public or private school. We're hoping that we'll be able to move by 1st grade closer to a Waldorf school.
In the meantime we'll be homeschooling or unschooling. The problem that I have is any type of structured play. No problem getting him to help with domestic activities, but if I start singing, he tells me to stop, if I start to dance he tells me to stop, same with reading. I am not concerned with him learning to read, or anything. He seems so interested in learning how to play an instrument, and learn French, but when I try and interact with him doing a learning type of activity he tells me to stop.
Some things I've tried:
-Playing the piano and singing some new songs, sometimes I invite him to join and other times I don't. He's always welcomed on the bench, there is plenty of room for us both.
-Singing new to him songs in French, especially ones he knows in English. Or just singing the song in English while doing an activity.
-reading a new book to myself or out loud, even if he isn't participating, I feel he is hearing the vocabulary and rhythm
- any type of craft, painting, clay, etc

This is the same kid who sings to himself all day at school, and sometimes at home. I am not his preferred parent, but he's stuck with me as I'm the one that stays at home. Any suggestions on how to get him to engage more with me on inside activities? FWIW, we do not have this problem outside at all. On our walks, museums, fishing, biking, etc we have a great time, are engaged and talk about all sorts of things. I completely understand that a good deal of this is his age, but his friends seem so excited when I start a song or playing an instrument and want to participate.
post #2 of 7

It may just be a normal childhood phase, honestly, or it could be the transition from preschool to home and being accustomed to someone else doing the same things you are.  We do lots of free time here, unless the energy shifts and calls for something else (fighting, boredom, etc.).  Really, it sounds like you have things well covered, but it can feel hard to pass the hours.

post #3 of 7

Please forgive me for saying that your post made me laugh. Not for your troubles, of course, but because I recognize my relationship in it. No way, no how would my oldest child suffer me doing anything Waldorf-y in the home. Maybe if it had been this way from birth...maybe. Don't get me wrong...dc loves school and LOVES the class teacher, but there is simply a boundary between school and home that I am not allowed to transgress. Interestingly enough I was talking about this issue with a Waldorf teacher and they said more-or-less the same thing when I assumed that they could just pull out their magic Waldorf teacher bag of tricks and get their children to listen or sweetly help them chop vegetables for soup. Their kids also reserve a some stuff for school and flat-out tell their mom that some things are for school only and that they won't work on them at home! (These kids are pre-teen but the sentiment has existed for a while.) As much as I would love to sing "follow, follow, follow me" to get them into the car rather than "NOW, and I mean it or we are going to be LATE!" I think it is probably a good thing for kids to be able to speak frankly about how they want to interact with adults. 


Sorry if this post doesn't address your concern. I was reminded of my own experience so much that I wanted to respond. Good luck!!!

post #4 of 7

My third son hates me to sing. It just bugs him. I am a good singer - college choral groups, etc - but the sound of my voice in song grates on his nerves. It used to hurt my feelings, but I just try to accept it now. He is sensitive to many sounds, and this is one. He doesn't mind recorded music and instrumental but even recorded music with a strong vibrato bothers him.


I wouldn't make an issue out of it and just concentrate on the positives. Trust that he's doing what he needs to for his developmental stage right now. Maybe he's deep in though building with his blocks and the singing distracts him. He might come around eventually but if not, there are plenty of other things to do! My anti-singing child loves art! 

post #5 of 7

Can I just chime in and say my son and daughter HATE when I sing too?


I have all these lovely little songs to accompany our chores, and guide us through the day and when I start my son holds his hears and shrieks "I can't think!" 


So I've given up. No more singing! 


And to attempt to help you - my daughter (age six) prefers hours of imaginative play + adventures to any sort of structured play while my son (3) loves it. So normally I start myself (whether i'm doing a craft or something like that) and if they want to join me they are welcome..otherwise I try not to sweat it. I plan a lot of things that I will enjoy too (drying oranges for a mobile for solistice or something like that) and they come and do it, or they don't. Most of the time they see I'm having fun and get curious...

post #6 of 7

Is he actually saying the word, "Stop"?  My 2 1/2 year old (and all of my kids, really) is going through a stage similar.  It's his latest "word."  He knows what it means, and he uses it appropriately, in that he means for me to stop whatever I'm doing, but I believe it's more because he's wanting to see the action of "stopping," rather than actually upset or caring about whatever it is that I'm doing.  Does that make any sense?  LOL  He's learning about language, and this is just his word/phrase of the moment.  This phase has lasted a couple of months with some of my older kids, but in my experience, if that is what's going on, it won't last forever.  :) 

post #7 of 7

My two boys hated it when i sang. I sing well, i am a singer. I wanted to do our own singalong activities, but when they were young they were not interestered. 

My 17mth old likes it when i sing. Oh the joy!!! I missed sharing music with my now older kids , 5 and 7.  

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