How do you teach a 3.5 year old to play by himself? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-08-2010, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son has always wanted/needed my husband and I to engage with him. He loves us as playmates and always asks if we'll play with him. We have followed the ways of attachment parenting since he was born and I have to say, that one of the downsides to this way of parenting for us has been that my son has never learned how to entertain himself or just be with himself.

So, now that he's 3.5 and is still asking me to play with him ALL day, I am losing my mind and want to change things. I have been setting boundaries with him about this for the past 6 months or so, but we are going through an especially rough time.

Does anyone have any tips, advice, toys that are good for solo play, etc? How do I retrain someone who was brought up with us always right with him to then be able to enjoy time on his own?

The other part of this is that we just moved and are staying at my parents' house until October (and we've been here since June). So, I know things are a bit rough because we're out of our routine. My parents are wonderful with my son and it's nice having them to hang with him while I get stuff done here and there, but if I say that I can't play with him, he'll run to one of them and so my boundary setting is out the window.

TIA
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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i dunno if it is all ap or not. i practice(d) ap with my dd and she will entertain herself for hours. i think it is personality and introvert vs extrovert etc.

mama to one '07 and one '09
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I know it's not all AP. It is definitely my DS's personality, but I think we've just made it worse, so to speak
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:32 PM
 
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I think it is partly temperment. DS1 never played alone but DS2 can play alone for 30 min blocks. I just give him a few choices "do you want to play with dominoes or color?" and then let him know that mommy has to do something and cannot play right now. I get him set up with his activity and go busy myself and he plays for a while.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jilian View Post
I think it is partly temperment. DS1 never played alone but DS2 can play alone for 30 min blocks. I just give him a few choices "do you want to play with dominoes or color?" and then let him know that mommy has to do something and cannot play right now. I get him set up with his activity and go busy myself and he plays for a while.
I wish I could get DS set up with something and he would stay there, but instead he keeps asking, "When are you going to come play with me?"

I agree about temperment, BUT I do find it interesting that most (not all, but most) second children are way more independent. To me, that speaks to the fact that parenting - or not making yourself as available to that next child - does in fact make a difference. Note to self for child #2 (IF we ever have one and right now, it's not looking good!)
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