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Discussion Starter #1
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 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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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.<br><br>
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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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.)<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>natensarah</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.<br><br>
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.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: Thanks for saying what I was <i>trying</i> 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.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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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Discussion Starter #7
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<br><br>
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 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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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<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>babybugmama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">... 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.</div>
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<a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=3814376#post3814376" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...76#post3814376</a><br><br>
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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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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ummm...nothing "wrong" with ANYONE who doesn't want to play alone for an hour! <i>I</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!<br><br>
Well, I'm just <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"><br>
I agree with what everyone's said! You're not crazy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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Thanks mommas! I worry I was over reacting. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wild.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wild"> I am not crazy, but I can help her help him<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #15
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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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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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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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>katallen</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.</div>
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Same here!
 

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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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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>leelee</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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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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