Somebody Play With ME!!!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-20-2002, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, so Leah is almost 4. The typical scenario is as follows:

1. I pick leah up from school (she goes half days)
2. We play or read or whatever till dinner time.
3. I have to start fixing dinner - if she wants to help - everything is fine
4. If she doesn't want to help - she starts crying complaining screaming - "I WANT SOMEBODY TO PLAY WITH ME!!!!"

Even if we played for over an hour and I repeatedly warned her "honey, I have to start dinner soon, want to help fix ....?" Doesn't matter. If we play with her all day on the weekend, as soon as I stop...she accuses me, dh, the world in general, of not playing with her enough...and of course, she can't play alone...I am given a look like "what, me play by myself for five minutes, are you k idding?????"

Any suggestions? Is this a normal phase?

Thanks, Deni
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#2 of 9 Old 03-24-2002, 08:32 PM
 
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i know how frustrating that can be, I nanny a 5 year old girl, and while I taking care of two other kids I can't be her constant play mate, or do I think that it is good to ALWAYS play with her, she needs a chance to explore her imagnation by herself. Perhaps she needs a little extra guidance. We have projects that Alex can work on independently and are taking out that time. She likes to dust and color. Some people may disagree with this, but I have been very firm with her. Whan I tell her it is time for her do something independently she knows that it is time to give me a little space. If she protests I say" I see that you are really wanting me to play with you, but can you see what my hands are doing?"
"They are making lunch."
"That's right, when we are doing eating lunch and the dishes are cleaned up I will read you a story or play a game but right now my hands are busy."
Sometimes she will make up a game that takes a small amount of particpation from me to play while I'm working. We can sing songs or make up stories, but some days my frazzled mind just needs to be doing one thing at a time.
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#3 of 9 Old 03-25-2002, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hear you...I have actually tried similar things...she collapses at my feet crying...sigh....

Will keep working it tho' - thanks for your suggestions...
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#4 of 9 Old 03-25-2002, 04:31 PM
 
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My oldest ds is 4 1/2 and this is a problem for us as well. Lately it's been getting a little better b/c my youngest (almost 2) is old enough to play with him. But, still I'm ds's favorite playmate.

What I have been doing is if I really need to get something done - or I just really need a little space to recharge then I tell him straight out - Mom has to do _____, it will take _____ amount of time. You need to find something to do while I'm busy. Maybe you want to play ____ or ____ (etc. . .) If you can entertain yourself when I'm busy when I'm done I will do ___ with you.

This way sort of motivates him to be independent for a bit b/c he knows when I'm done he'll get to do something special with me. You could also set a timer. So if making dinner is going to take a half an hour, set the timer and tell your child if she can entertain herself until the timer rings then she and you can do something special.

Good luck and I look forward to hearing other suggestions!
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#5 of 9 Old 03-28-2002, 08:59 AM
 
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Unless you have a paid job while she's at school, why don't you prepare dinner as much as possible while she's at school? In another year or two she'll be shutting you our of her room to play with friends and you might be asking her to play with you.
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#6 of 9 Old 03-28-2002, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I do go to an office, said to say....but, its not just dinner. Its "while I am awake, I WANT SOMEBODY TO PLAY WITH ME!!!!" kinda thing...

Some days are better than others tho'....thanks for the input!
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#7 of 9 Old 04-11-2002, 01:23 AM
 
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My daughter is turning five next month and we have the same problem. She goes to school 3 days a week from 8:30 to 3:00 and as soon as she gets in the car she asks if a friend can come over. She will help with dinner for about 5 minutes, but then she always wants me to play. If I am ready for her to wash the table with a sponge and set the table it helps. We set up a small table with her crayons and paper near the kitchen. I tell her it's time to do her work and lately she will go in and draw and she is happy that she has a job to do that doesn't require a lot of instruction and rules. Please let me know if you come up with anything else that helps.

I try to keep that in mind that soon she won't want to play with me, but it's still hard when you are stressed!

Tracey
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#8 of 9 Old 04-15-2002, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds good. Will try that too. I know what you mean about "it won't last long"....some days are just harder than others....
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#9 of 9 Old 04-15-2002, 05:37 PM
 
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My son also gets very insist on staying right by my side most of the day. He is three. One thing that seems to work okay is that I set a timer for about how long I need to do something. (I am also a flylady, so I set the timer for many things to keep me focused.) He knows that when the timer rings, I will come out and play. If it's a really busy day and I have a lot to do, I set the timer for our time together, though I don't like doing this. But, I alternate every 15 minutes and it gives me time to do things. I also find if I start him playing, he can continue without me better. I think it is important for him to play alone, or at least be able to. We aren't having anymore kids and we are probably going into the foreign service. And that means a great deal of traveling to new places. He won't have ready playmates around for a while. Also, I think there is a level of imagination that kids reach that adults can't. He gets so involved in playing when I am not with him. Sometimes, I end of spending a lot of the time just watching him play, instead of doing whatever I am trying to do.

Jenn, perpetually tired mom to DS(9): DD(4.5): DD(2) :
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