Needy, easily bored 6 year old (only child) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-06-2009, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD was always so great about keeping herself entertained. Now, not so much. For the last 6 months, she seems very needy. Since school is out, it has been crazy. It isn't like we ignore her at all....but now she seems unable to entertain herself at all. We haven't had t.v. for a long time, so we can't put a show on for her.

She is going into grade 1 in Sept, so right now she doesn't have a whole bunch of friends. She does have a couple that I regularly set up playdates with. She also spends one or two days per week at camp playing with other kids. She has plenty of toys here, including outside stuff (a bike, scooter, baby stroller). We have a fenced-in back yard. She has loads of craft stuff.

It is exhausting trying to keep a child entertained for 14 hours every day. She's up at 7:00. We do so much stuff all day long (ex: the zoo, various parks, the pool, splashpads, the beach, boat rides). She comes with us on errands and helps us. But as soon as I need 45 mins to do something like start dinner or clean up the house, she's BORRRRRRREEED. And I give her ideas, set stuff up for her (ex: painting), offer to let her help me with what I'm doing. But no. I'm starting to get very frustrated with her.

So: is this just normal age-appropriate behavior? Or is she just being difficult? I feel extra-guilty since she's an only child, but I didn't spend a ton of time playing with my brother as a child. I liked to do art, read, etc. My mother most certainly NEVER spent time entertaining me the way we do with my DD. One of us is always doing something with her. For example, at the moment I have a breather since DH took her on a bike ride.
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#2 of 10 Old 07-06-2009, 08:39 PM
 
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IMO there comes a time when kids need to learn to be 'bored'. I am not the entertainment and they need to find something to do. There is nothing wrong with downtime and resting. At 6 yrs old she should be more than able to read, draw, go explore the yard, etc. My 6 yr old can play for hours on end with legos, crafts, toys, she does have the freedom to ride her bike, scooter 3 houses in either direction.

I think part of parenting is teaching children to be able to self entertain and it sounds like DD needs some help in this area. Why not use summer break as a time to say 'from 2-3 im going to be working in the kitchen today and you are responsible for yourself, lets make a list of things you can do during that hour'.
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#3 of 10 Old 07-07-2009, 04:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mommahhh View Post
My DD was always so great about keeping herself entertained. Now, not so much. For the last 6 months, she seems very needy. Since school is out, it has been crazy. It isn't like we ignore her at all....but now she seems unable to entertain herself at all. We haven't had t.v. for a long time, so we can't put a show on for her.

She is going into grade 1 in Sept, so right now she doesn't have a whole bunch of friends. She does have a couple that I regularly set up playdates with. She also spends one or two days per week at camp playing with other kids. She has plenty of toys here, including outside stuff (a bike, scooter, baby stroller). We have a fenced-in back yard. She has loads of craft stuff.

It is exhausting trying to keep a child entertained for 14 hours every day. She's up at 7:00. We do so much stuff all day long (ex: the zoo, various parks, the pool, splashpads, the beach, boat rides). She comes with us on errands and helps us. But as soon as I need 45 mins to do something like start dinner or clean up the house, she's BORRRRRRREEED. And I give her ideas, set stuff up for her (ex: painting), offer to let her help me with what I'm doing. But no. I'm starting to get very frustrated with her.

So: is this just normal age-appropriate behavior? Or is she just being difficult? I feel extra-guilty since she's an only child, but I didn't spend a ton of time playing with my brother as a child. I liked to do art, read, etc. My mother most certainly NEVER spent time entertaining me the way we do with my DD. One of us is always doing something with her. For example, at the moment I have a breather since DH took her on a bike ride.
I think it's developmental, I'm sorry to say. My son turned 6 at the beginning of June and he has been incredibly whiny, clingy, and negative ever since. Everything is "boring" - he hates going to day camp 10 hours a week (but has a great time once we get him there), his toys are boring, the TV is boring. It's driving me absolutely nuts.
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#4 of 10 Old 07-07-2009, 04:12 AM
 
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When my 6 year old complains of being bored, or starts fighting with her brothers, I just put her to work. She actually loves it.

The way I see it, there is absolutely no reason she is not helping you out with starting dinner or cleaning house. If you're working on the computer or on the phone or something, that's one thing. But my dd happily chops up veggies, makes salad, peels potatoes, puts in laundry, moves laundry along, folds laundry (not so happily, actually), dusts, vacuums, picks up toys, sets the table, clears the table, takes out the recycling, takes out the garbage, cleans the bathroom, feeds the chickens, etc. Children need work, too. I think they love contributing.

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#5 of 10 Old 07-07-2009, 11:39 AM
 
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I only occasionally hear "I'm bored" coming from my 5 year old and it is always met with a "great, I have a job for you to do" which is almost word for word what my parents said to me under the same circumstances. Scrubbing the bathtub with baking soda and a scrub brush is my usual go to job for him.
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#6 of 10 Old 07-07-2009, 01:07 PM
 
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I only occasionally hear "I'm bored" coming from my 5 year old and it is always met with a "great, I have a job for you to do" which is almost word for word what my parents said to me under the same circumstances.
I use this tactic, too. "Either find something to do, or I'll find something for you to do." I very seldom have to find something.

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#7 of 10 Old 08-03-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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I only occasionally hear "I'm bored" coming from my 5 year old and it is always met with a "great, I have a job for you to do" which is almost word for word what my parents said to me under the same circumstances. Scrubbing the bathtub with baking soda and a scrub brush is my usual go to job for him.
I LOVE it!! : I'm totally doing this with my DD if she is ever unfortunate enough to be bored!

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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#8 of 10 Old 08-03-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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you know OP i think your 6 year old has the right to be bored dont you.

this is her first vacation. after a whole year of structure suddenly seh is on her own. i wonder now that she has the opportunity to figure it out - it seems impossible.

we have tv. i tell my dd NO TV. a lot of whining and throwing fits. and ten mins later i find her buried in a book or playing with mud, or looking for worms.

she helps me and does chores too - but its still something i am giving her to do.

one of my oft repeated phrases has been 'figure it out'. give them a chance. and you find they really can.

mine is a 6 year old only too.

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#9 of 10 Old 01-21-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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 My  5 year old is the same.  I do things with her all the time.  Once she sitts she is bored. Rihght when she wakes  up I wait for her to say"what are we going to do"?  I dred this saying. First of all I wan't to drink my coffee with no complaining near!  She will not play by herself ever. She want's a 100 percent of me all day.  I try to take a shower, go to the bathroom and it is always where are you going?  mom, mom.  I remember playing barbies all day.  If she takes a nap she will scream if I am not right by her.  Help  Lisa

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#10 of 10 Old 01-21-2011, 07:31 PM
 
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It will get better.  My DD was and sometimes still is like this, and she's an only too.  I've realized that I cannot constantly be the entertainment committee and I encourage her or just force her to do stuff on her own.  Suddenly now at 7 she is much better at entertaining herself.  Her question is "what animal shall we be today".  I used to dread this question, but now I play for a little bit, then she gets going off on her own.  She did have to get bored, and I had to be willing to listen to her complain for a bit. It won't hurt, and eventually I think she became more resourceful.  But I also recognize that she is an extrovert and just needs my energy, so I try to keep that in mind and be kind to her.  So you might try explaining that you have X, y and z to get done and that you will play with her in a bit.  Try not to feel guilty, it's good for her to get a little bit bored.  Big hugs.  

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