I don't like playing with my kid - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-06-2013, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Really. It sounds horrible. But it's boring. And I have stuff to do. ( i am not an overachiever, nor is my house clean) and by stuff I mean food, a primary basic thing that I can barely get on the table. What is wrong with me?
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:26 PM
 
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I am not good at pretend play and she never really wants anyone to play WITH, she wants someone to boss around and watch her play.  I will do Lego, board games, play doh, make art projects, find kitchen science, and push you on the swing.  I will read to you, draw with you, and bake with you but I will not be just another piece in the game because I am a PERSON.  It REALLLY deeply gets to me and yes, pretend play is BORING - especially if you have no input!

 

So my answer is to participate in the things I don't hate and let her play by herself near me the rest of the time.

 

I don't really understand people who can play Unicorn Wonder Pony Ninja Warriors for hours.  I just don't.

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Old 12-06-2013, 04:53 PM
 
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Really. It sounds horrible. But it's boring. And I have stuff to do. ( i am not an overachiever, nor is my house clean) and by stuff I mean food, a primary basic thing that I can barely get on the table. What is wrong with me?

Nothing wrong with you. I feel the same way!!

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Old 12-06-2013, 07:16 PM
 
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I hear ya!  I'm not really that into playing with little kids--I'm a high school teacher for a reason.  I don't mind reading books, or doing structured activities, or going for walks and talking about stuff, but playing with toys is sooo not my thing.  I feel like the minute they insist I get involved with what they're doing, I create a diversion (let's go for a walk!).  :W

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Old 12-06-2013, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hahah

Great! I'm not the only one. At one of the attachment parenting groups I went to the topic was about play. And how if we get into their world it's good for them and is a stress relief for us. I just can't seem to forget all the things that as in my head and play. It's sad. It makes it that much harder to get into something with him. He doesn't like to read books much ( unless it's 8 or nap time ) I can do puzzles, but that's just a out it at the moments. Everything I build he destroys. I can't do Legos - they bore me to death for some reason....

I just saw today that there were too many phone calls to make and he needed my attention. I saw a need, he was acting out to get my attention and it was sooooooo hard to just play with him.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:18 PM
 
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I don't really understand people who can play Unicorn Wonder Pony Ninja Warriors for hours.  I just don't.

 

Oh, good God, that's like a trip to Hell for me!

 

I've found some games and toys I can stand more than others.  James likes to play "army guys" with those little two inch army figures.  Why, I don't know.  Ugh!  But he likes to line them up with the toys animals and have the good guys shoot the bad guys and save the animals, then the good guys feed the animals.  Drives me NUTS!  But then, for some reason, I don't mind his angry birds game (the actual game, not the video game) and we have alot of fun taking turns shooting the slingshot and trying to knock down the piggies.


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Old 12-06-2013, 09:42 PM
 
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I like playing with children but only for short periods of time. From babyhood my daughter seemed to need friends to play with so I organise  play dates and child swapping. I found it easier with a friend, or two, around.  Also how about getting out and about - parks, playgrounds, museums, libraries ... You can look up things to do in your town on the web. 

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Old 12-06-2013, 10:23 PM
 
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Ha! Me either. I consider it my job as a parent to facilitate play (in the toddler years). No, that doesn't mean that I think a toddler's life should be nothing but play, play, play. Hardly. But more about the idea that it isn't the parent's job to play with the child but to provide plenty of opportunity for play.  For us that looks like quality down time, a good selection of toys (nothing fancy - my DC has been playing with a free folding ruler actively for two weeks. It's her pet snake.), and some time spent on child-centric play (library, parks, play dates). I interact with DC during those times, obviously, but not really in direct "play". My DC does crave some intimacy through play sometimes. I don't mind hiding under the covers for a bit if she's feeling the need to connect. But, no My Little Ponys for me. 


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Old 12-06-2013, 10:32 PM
 
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Hahah

Great! I'm not the only one. At one of the attachment parenting groups I went to the topic was about play. And how if we get into their world it's good for them and is a stress relief for us. 

I also attended a few AP groups that where very child centric. That's not at all how I viewed/view parenting. As you branch out and meet more people you'll find that there is a big variety of AP parents, many of whom don't focus so much on being in your child's pretend world. I'm sure it's wonderful for them if the parent is into that but I think having an authentic parent is what's most important. :D

 

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I just saw today that there were too many phone calls to make and he needed my attention. I saw a need, he was acting out to get my attention and it was sooooooo hard to just play with him.
The curse of "potential availability".  Both of my toddlers had spidy-sense for when I was not potentially available. They will play so happily when I'm doing something that I would gladly be interrupted from (like laundry) but as soon as I get engrossed in something they're all over me. Grrr...  I'm busier for my younger child who is still a toddler and she's handling it like a champ but she does know that she can stop and ask me for a snuggle any time. Sometimes if I'm too distracted she will ask me to "go hide, mama" and we'll go hide under the covers for a while. She needs like 15 minutes and then is set again for play. 

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Old 12-07-2013, 11:16 AM
 
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I have my moments where I get involved, but I certainly don't have the ability to sit on the floor for an hour while she has her toys climb up me like some sort of mountain :-P  Generally she likes her alone time anyways and that's fine she'll invite me when she wants me and I can still do my own thing.  Any time I've given too much input to her imaginary world, she tends to look at me like I'm crazy haha :rotflmao

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Old 12-07-2013, 09:17 PM
 
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I am the same way. I can't STAND pretend play. I can do crafts, books, board games, cooking, nature walks, and art all day but ask me to sit down and play princesses or pirates or whatever and I cringe! Sounds terrible I know but I just can't stand it. I loved pretending as a kid but not now. It doesnt help that by the time DD decides what we're doing, arranges everything just so, and dictates everyone's role a good 20 minutes gas passes before we even get started. I don't know, I am just I am glad I am not the only parent that feels this way!

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Old 12-08-2013, 12:31 AM
 
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We are waldorf inspired. In the waldorf world, you are not even supposed to play pretend with them. You can't because you are totally in this world and they are (spiritwise) not. 

 

So, that is totally fitting for me. I HATE playing role play with them. I am not good at it either. So, I don't. :)


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Old 12-08-2013, 05:58 AM
 
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We are waldorf inspired. In the waldorf world, you are not even supposed to play pretend with them. You can't because you are totally in this world and they are (spiritwise) not.  

 

We're not a Waldorf family even though a lot of that stuff resonated with me when my first was young (she even attended a Waldorf pre-K in Germany). But, I love that parents now have such a wide variety of philosophies to choose from. Even if a parent decides not to go all the way into some idea, it's so nice for us to be able to read about different ideas and rational for parenting choices. Waldorf certainly offers a unique way of looking at the life of the child from the typical American (assuming many of us are American on this thread) perspective. 

 

OP, I think it's super cool to be authentic about not liking to play with your kids and just owning that. It's inspiring.  :D  But, maybe you could also do some reading about Waldorf (and I'm sure other) philosophies about parent/child play. That could go a long way to taking the last bits of guilt out of the whole thing. 


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Old 12-08-2013, 05:35 PM
 
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Whoa. ... seems so weird to me. And cold. I'm obviously on the other side of this topic!

How does it seem to you when other patterns pretend-play? I was interested to hear what NiteNicole said about feeling like a pawn instead of a real person. Does it weird you all out if I play pony ninja with my kid who is directing me to do very specific things? I feel like it's a chance for my kid to be the boss and since that power is limited in the life of a child I figure it gives them an outlet. So sometimes I will redirect play to some more interesting story or focus, and sometimes I will just let the kid call all the shots.

Also, I see asking to pretend with parents as asking for closeness and asking to join their world. So I see it as kind of an honor to be asked. Like if your teen wants you to listen to a song you like. . . do you just say, No I hate punk rock. . . Or do you see it as your kid reaching out.

I'm not trying to convince anyone to be not authentic. It just seems natural for me to pretend, so I'm interested in hearing about the other side. And how do you say no to a toddler telling you you're a unicorn? I mean, that's not a rhetorical question. . . I just can't fathom it.
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:02 PM
 
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Whoa. ... seems so weird to me. And cold. I'm obviously on the other side of this topic!

How does it seem to you when other patterns pretend-play? I was interested to hear what NiteNicole said about feeling like a pawn instead of a real person. Does it weird you all out if I play pony ninja with my kid who is directing me to do very specific things? I feel like it's a chance for my kid to be the boss and since that power is limited in the life of a child I figure it gives them an outlet. So sometimes I will redirect play to some more interesting story or focus, and sometimes I will just let the kid call all the shots.

Also, I see asking to pretend with parents as asking for closeness and asking to join their world. So I see it as kind of an honor to be asked. Like if your teen wants you to listen to a song you like. . . do you just say, No I hate punk rock. . . Or do you see it as your kid reaching out.

I'm not trying to convince anyone to be not authentic. It just seems natural for me to pretend, so I'm interested in hearing about the other side. And how do you say no to a toddler telling you you're a unicorn? I mean, that's not a rhetorical question. . . I just can't fathom it.

 

It doesn't weird me out if a parent enjoys playing with their kids - not at all. BUT it also doesn't sound cold to me to hear a parent open up about not liking to play. I don't know... I tend to think of how we would parent in an ideal world. To me, that ideal world would involve lots of other kids for my kids to play with and lots of adult companionship as well - some sort of a modern village or commune.  It's difficult to provide that in our nuclear family but I do try my best. That's why I said that I didn't think it was my job to play with my kids but to facilitate play, if that makes sense. So, while I don't begrudge a parent playing with their kids, I don't really think of it as an ideal the way some people may, yk?  To take it a step further, I also think there are certain scenarios where adult interaction may interfere with some developmental skills or experiences for the child. 

 

But, I think that if a parent enjoys playing with their kid and there isn't some artificial lifestyle or philosophy driving that desire I'm sure playing with your kid is wonderful, wonderful. 

 

I do know what you mean about closeness though. Both of my DC's craved that for sure. But there are so many ways to connect. Playing is one, sure, but if a parent isn't into that, there are endless opportunities for closeness - some that surpass playing, imo.  I mentioned that my DC loves to hide under the covers. She also loves to be scared (stories or listening for sounds in the house). Another thing she LOVES is if I will spit water in her mouth in the bath. It sounds weird but it's sort of a game of trust (that I won't spit water in her eyes). And, yes, these are examples of "play" and my guess is that all of us do something like this - during reading, cooking, chores, errands, walks, and all that good stuff. Traditional "play" is a 100% fine and understandable thing to leave to the children, leaving plenty of room for parent-child bonding. :D 


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Old 12-08-2013, 08:46 PM
 
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Usually when my DS asks me to play, what he really wants is for me to sit with him as he plays. Sometimes I can do it and sometimes I can't. I wish I could do it more but I also have a household to run and he has a new baby brother.

We are also a Waldorf family and so I do try not to interfere with my son's play. I spend a lot of time observing but I don't engage unless he asks and even then I don't direct the play in any way unless he is being destructive.

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Old 12-08-2013, 09:01 PM
 
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Yeah I'm not saying that non-players are cold parents or that they don't have fun in other ways. I just have fun playing pretend in general. (Maybe not after the 100th time of the same scene. . . Ask me how familiar I am with that.)
But different strokes for different folks.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:29 AM
 
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Yeah I'm not saying that non-players are cold parents or that they don't have fun in other ways. I just have fun playing pretend in general.  

That's awesome!  My DCs would probably love to pretend play with you. 

 

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To take it a step further, I also think there are certain scenarios where adult interaction may interfere with some developmental skills or experiences for the child. 

 

Quoting myself to say that I thought of this thread this morning as I sit here on my computer, sipping my coffee watching the kids outside playing in the show. There is a 5 year old out there pushing the BIGGEST snowball for a snowman. I can tell that she's really surprised that she is able to do it. This is the sort of thing that I think creates some of the magic of childhood and is something that I do think kid's need. YES, there should be times where a parent joins in on the fun, totally, but there also needs to be time for kids to discover all of this on their own. To me, it's all about balance. If "no playing" means never interacting playfully with your kids, I'd say that's a problem. If "I love to play" means that your kids don't have plenty of independent play (both alone and with other kids) that would seem unfortunate to me. But, I don't think any of us are talking about that -- just venting and opening up about what we like and don't. :D


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Old 12-09-2013, 09:02 AM
 
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Quoting myself to say that I thought of this thread this morning as I sit here on my computer, sipping my coffee watching the kids outside playing in the show. There is a 5 year old out there pushing the BIGGEST snowball for a snowman. I can tell that she's really surprised that she is able to do it. This is the sort of thing that I think creates some of the magic of childhood and is something that I do think kid's need. YES, there should be times where a parent joins in on the fun, totally, but there also needs to be time for kids to discover all of this on their own. To me, it's all about balance. If "no playing" means never interacting playfully with your kids, I'd say that's a problem. If "I love to play" means that your kids don't have plenty of independent play (both alone and with other kids) that would seem unfortunate to me. But, I don't think any of us are talking about that -- just venting and opening up about what we like and don't. :D


I love this - the child learning what they are capable of doing on their own.  I follow a Montessori-esque home and have always allowed opportunities for DD to be involved in "my" world on a smaller scale.  I'd say about half of her play is mimicking (she cooks, cleans, takes care of her minnies) and the other half is very in-depth imaginary play.  Like she can sit for over an hours in her room completely involved in her own world, making up voices for her animals, gathering up multiple toys and object and some things out of thin air.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE to sit outside her door and listen to these sessions!  My involvement tends to break her focus/concentration...and it's just not as detailed as when she has the opportunity to be alone.  And like I said, she also tends to give me funny looks when I add to the imaginary world with my own creations....it's like she can *see* her own imagination playing out, but can't yet see what I imagine, YKWIM?  One of her imaginary games is to say there's a crocodile coming to get her and she wants me to sweep her off her feet to protect her and he laughs as we run.  But if I start to say "oh hey look here he comes" she will almost act nervous, like there really is something coming if I can see it!  So I do sit outside of her world for that.  But looking back I was her as a child.  Vivid imagination and needing (nor wanting) very little input from others.  In her explorations, I don't think she'd have accomplished nearly as much as she has independently if I'd been right alongside her.  She got a new swingset this summer and mastered the rockwall in a matter of minutes (she was 18mos old) and I was able to work in my garden across the yard (75' or so away) and she was able to climb to her hearts content...and I loved watching the wheels turn as she'd occasionally get stuck, then problem solve her way around it.  She now combines the two worlds - physical and imaginary and it's just a joy for me to watch her grow.  Sure she invites me in on occasion and I won't turn her down, but I've learned my limits in that world :love

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Old 12-09-2013, 09:25 AM
 
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I also love listening in on mine making up stories and voices! So hilarious and precious to me.
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