I have a problem, My 3.5 year old dd will absolutely not play by herself, even for one minute. She is a very bright, imaginative child, but has low persistance and doesn't seem to know how to do any kind of play alone. This is a problem when, say, I have to put the baby down for a nap (too distracting when dd is in the room). I play with her ALL DAY- mostly pretend (pretend kitties, Mary Poppins, Little House on the Prarie, ect). Even when I set her up with paints or clay or something, she wants (needs?) me to be there with her. We do 45 minutes of play then 15 minutes of cleaning the house. (This is not enough, we are not even keeping up with the housework). I alway give her the option of helping or playing by herself and she always chooses to help, which makes the 15 minutes much less productive, although I don't usually mind. My dh says I should just force her to play alone, that he played alone his whole childhood (he was an only child). I don't agree with this, I believe she is innately less able to play by herself. I would like to encourage her to do SOME play alone. It is very draining to play pretend all day long, and soon my little one will want some attention too. Right now I just carry the baby around as I play with the big one. I am a SAHM. We do not watch any TV. She has several fun toys (doll house, jungle gym) that we hoped would spark some alone play. I am amazed that a child with so much imagination cannot for one second play by herself. Any suggestions?
Sarah, unschooling musician mama to Ella (12/24/00) , Aurora (1/31/04) and Hazel (1/30/07) (agenesis of the corpus colosum, large interhemispheric cyst, macrocephaly, shunt).