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#1 of 24 Old 10-19-2005, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My sister and I are in debate. She runs a daycare and has 2 18mo boys. Today one boy was out sick. My sister thinks that a 18mo baby can/should play alone (with out adult interaction) for at least an hour. Is that reasonable to you guys? I can see if there are other children playing, that I child could play without adults for quite a while, but alone???? Any input would be helpful. My son is 3 and I really cant remeber him playing solo. TIA
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#2 of 24 Old 10-19-2005, 08:20 PM
 
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I think it depends on the kids. When my dd was 18 mos old she would happily play for an hour or longer alone. Though I wouldn't say completely w/out adult interaction, as I would check on her and she would make comments to me occasionally. But we would not be doing the same thing at all. For example, I painted the outside of my house while she made mudpies, played in her kiddie pool, dug in the dirt, etc.

I know other kids who want more interaction, though, I just think it's a matter of personality. And now my dd's much less willing to do that, which I contribute to her age, budding social interest, and little brother creating some jealousy.

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#3 of 24 Old 10-19-2005, 08:22 PM
 
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I don't think you're crazy. I wouldn't want my kid to have to go it alone for an hour without interactions. (I'm assuming here that there is adult supervision.)

My DD is just now 28 months and is starting to play more alone, but she still needs interaction even if it's just a wave and a "hi - I'm still here" kind of thing.

I guess it's really hard to say for sure without knowing the whole situation, the child and his development/personality, etc. But an hour does seem pretty long to me.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#4 of 24 Old 10-19-2005, 08:24 PM
 
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I feel kind of worried if my d dplays for 15 minutes without interaction, and she is alost three.
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#5 of 24 Old 10-19-2005, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah
I think it depends on the kids. When my dd was 18 mos old she would happily play for an hour or longer alone. Though I wouldn't say completely w/out adult interaction, as I would check on her and she would make comments to me occasionally. But we would not be doing the same thing at all. For example, I painted the outside of my house while she made mudpies, played in her kiddie pool, dug in the dirt, etc.

I know other kids who want more interaction, though, I just think it's a matter of personality. And now my dd's much less willing to do that, which I contribute to her age, budding social interest, and little brother creating some jealousy.
: Thanks for saying what I was trying to say above. I think the key phrase is "happily play for an hour." If the child is happy, I don't think it's a problem. If the child is seeking out attention and not getting his needs met, then it is a problem.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#6 of 24 Old 10-19-2005, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can see real busy play in the same space as the mom/cargiver, like mud pies. My son can play an hour in the sandbox as long as I am near by. My sister is talking about playing alone in his room or n another room, but maybe within periodic eye sight, like walking by or a quick hello.
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#7 of 24 Old 10-19-2005, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My sister is upset because the little boy was not able to play alone as long as she thought he should be able to. She thinks it is normal for an 18mo to self entertain for at least an hour and there is something wrong with this baby for not having these skills. I am thinking that a kiddo that is used to being in daycare and part of a pack of kids, that it would be strange to be alone in a room playing. imo

I am glad to have all these comments so soon. I just got off the phone with her and was feeling a little heated. Thanks mommas
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#8 of 24 Old 10-20-2005, 09:22 AM
 
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Leelee, I am thinking maybe your sister can help the little boy play independently longer. I don't have any experience with this at all myself, but I remember a recent post by babybugmama
Quote:
Originally Posted by babybugmama
... we talked about quiet time. The first time I gave her two short books (toddler books) and told her when she was done with those she could come out. Oh and I had her pick out two books she wanted to *read* while in her room. I'd say this last maybe ten minutes. Very slowly and gradually I added time until it was up to 45 min. There was never any crying or tantrumming.
https://www.mothering.com/discussions...76#post3814376

It would seem to me though that this cannot work with an 18 mo maybe better wait until 2 yo? Anyhow, I hope this can help your sister!
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#9 of 24 Old 10-20-2005, 10:08 AM
 
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I think an 18 mos old can play 'alone' for an hour. But I don't think they should be forced to. Two of my kids could play 'alone' (meaning me nearby) at least that long at that age. If they need attention and refueling, they should be able to check in as needed without adults getting upset.
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#10 of 24 Old 10-20-2005, 10:34 AM
 
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IMO there is nothing wrong allowing a chil to play alone as long as the child is happy, contented and safe.
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#11 of 24 Old 10-20-2005, 12:44 PM
 
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ummm...nothing "wrong" with ANYONE who doesn't want to play alone for an hour! I don't even like to do that most of the time! Just because someone is capable of doing something doesn't mean they always want to or should do it! And the person we're talking about is a BABY still!

Well, I'm just
I agree with what everyone's said! You're not crazy!
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#12 of 24 Old 10-20-2005, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mommas! I worry I was over reacting. I am not crazy, but I can help her help him
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#13 of 24 Old 10-20-2005, 06:45 PM
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My dd couldn't play alone for ten minutes at that age unless I was right next to her and not occupied with something else. Probably some kids are different and I would say that if the child plays alone without wanting her with him than that is fine but if she is forcing the issue because she thinks he should do what she wants him to do and not what his body tells him he needs to do that is wrong.
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#14 of 24 Old 10-20-2005, 11:40 PM
 
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My ds is 3.5 nd i can't imagine him playing by himselffor even 30 minutes...no way an 18 month old.

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#15 of 24 Old 10-21-2005, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son won't play for an hour in his room alone and he is 3. I think that is why I thought it was soooooo strange to think and 18mo baby could/should be able to. I am hearing that some kids do play alone, just not mine.lol
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#16 of 24 Old 10-21-2005, 02:18 PM
 
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Depends on the kid - I guess... But personally, I think if she is running a daycare she should be offering an enriched environment where a child that age isn't expected to play alone...
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#17 of 24 Old 10-21-2005, 06:19 PM
 
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It's interesting to hear how some kids play better alone the older they get, my dd has gone the opposite direction. I often wish I had had my ds when she was only 18 mos old, because she was so inner directed and uninterested in other people. Having kids has sure changed my mind about that old nature vs. nurture debate. This is totally off the topic, sorry.

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#18 of 24 Old 10-21-2005, 07:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katallen
My dd couldn't play alone for ten minutes at that age unless I was right next to her and not occupied with something else. Probably some kids are different and I would say that if the child plays alone without wanting her with him than that is fine but if she is forcing the issue because she thinks he should do what she wants him to do and not what his body tells him he needs to do that is wrong.
Same here!
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#19 of 24 Old 10-21-2005, 09:11 PM
 
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I agree, no child should be expected to play alone at that age or even beyond it. But there are some 18month olds who do enjoy playing alone, such as my DD. :LOL She'll play solo for an hour, she started really early on the imaginative play, she'll pretend to cook and play with her dolls and even get MAD at me if I interrupt her sometimes.
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#20 of 24 Old 10-21-2005, 09:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leelee
My sister and I are in debate. She runs a daycare and has 2 18mo boys. Today one boy was out sick. My sister thinks that a 18mo baby can/should play alone (with out adult interaction) for at least an hour. Is that reasonable to you guys? I can see if there are other children playing, that I child could play without adults for quite a while, but alone???? Any input would be helpful. My son is 3 and I really cant remeber him playing solo. TIA

Well, my oldest did that. He was very independent from the get-go. I was pregnant with number 2 and he was only 17 mos when the younger was born, and I was very ill with morning sickness. I did what I could, but most of the time, I was on the couch and he would play in his room, and I would check on him (childproofed) or lie on the floor outside of his room with many pillows, or he would play on a blanket on the floor in front of me. I did not just leave him to the wolves, mind you. I did interact with him, but he was very much into his own thing, even at just over a year old. Still is.
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#21 of 24 Old 10-22-2005, 01:38 AM
 
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I think it is completely unreasonable for your sister to expect a child that age to play alone and you are not overreacting at all. I think everyone is missing the point when they say that it's possible for some babies to happily play alone for that long. Your problem isn't that your sister said, "Oh, Johnny happily plays all by himself for an hour while I do laundry and fix lunch." Your problem is that your sister said something like, "I can't believe this kid won't play alone for an hour! What is wrong with him?!?" Those two statements are *totally* different and, while I don't think anyone would be be upset with the first one, the second one is obnoxious and unrealistic. To be honest, I wouldn't leave my child with a babysitter who felt that way about her. No way. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that someone who gets frustrated about that with a child so young should not be babysitting children under the age of 3 or 4.
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#22 of 24 Old 10-22-2005, 06:03 AM
 
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As I read this thread I was first of all astonished that any 18 month olds could play alone for one second much less one hour. :LOL Opened my eyes, it did! My girls are 2 and still scream when I go pee. Holy moly!

I also agree that observing a child playing alone for an hour with minimal interaction and supporting that child-led initiative is a different thing than expecting the child to do it and becoming upset when the child does not.

One thing I haven't seen brought up though: OK, I'm going to assume this daycare relationship between these two 18 month olds has been going on for some time, and your sister has a working routine down with the both of them; and that includes some extended time every day where the two play without her being there watching or interacting much.

Now, one child is out sick, so it's just your sister and the other one. Your sister wants to keep the routine the same, the child is distressed by the other one's absence and needs more attention from your sister as a result. It really could be as simple as that. I have two the same age with me all the time (mine that is :LOL ) and I find that anything that upsets the routine for two same-age people who are used to a routine upsets the entire household for days and days and days. It's shocking.

Anyway, best wishes to you in your interactions with your sister. If she has an AP sensibility about her she may be open to suggestions that she respond to the distressed one with greater attention and then work gradually to re-integrate the two together once the sick one comes back. And she'll probably find that her routine will have to change as she works the sick one back into the routine. It's like turning a huge ship around any time anything changes in this kind of set-up - it takes forever and there's gonna be some messes made! Spend lots of time reassuring the little people and the new routine will reveal itself.
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#23 of 24 Old 10-23-2005, 04:33 AM
 
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I don't think an 18 month old not playing by himself would be cause for concern.

DS is 18 months, and some days he'll go play outside for an hour or more, or read books or play with pegs for ages. Some days I can't pee without him screaming.

I agree with the poster who said the boy is probably a bit upset over his little friend not being htere and needing extra attention.
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#24 of 24 Old 10-23-2005, 05:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leelee
My sister and I are in debate. She runs a daycare and has 2 18mo boys. Today one boy was out sick. My sister thinks that a 18mo baby can/should play alone (with out adult interaction) for at least an hour. Is that reasonable to you guys? I can see if there are other children playing, that I child could play without adults for quite a while, but alone???? Any input would be helpful. My son is 3 and I really cant remeber him playing solo. TIA

As soon as my son learned to climb stairs at 11 months he used to crawl away from me, race up the stairs, and play perfectly happily by himself for at least 30-40 minutes. He's 13.5 months and today he chose to stand on a stool and look out the window for an hour. So yeah, I agree that if the kid if happy playing on his own then let him. The important thing is for your sister to keep him safe, keep an eye on him, and be ready at any moment to be there when needed.

~Nay

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