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<p>My dd is almost 3 (yay!) and she is so bright, so fun, so funny....she just doesn't seem able to play on her own.  I have gotten her into a playgroup, I take her to lots of storytime activities and try to get her out of the house often.</p>
<p>At home she doesn't seem to be interested in playing on her own.  She has really started to get into make believe type play, but is CONSTANTLY wanting/needing/demanding that we play with her.  I just don't really want to or even feel like I should/need to.</p>
<p>I don't know what to do because I feel like she would love to have a sibling to interact with, she has told me so and asks why other kids have brothers and sisters ansd she doesn't.</p>
<p>I am not interested in more children at this time.  I feel guilty.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Yuck.</p>
 

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<p>Well first of all one should never ever have children they don't want just out of guilt.  Second of all <img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com//images/smilies/hug.gif"></p>
<p> </p>
<p>There is an only child tribe here somewhere.  Here it is. <a href="http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/652903/any-moms-of-an-only-child-tribe">http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/652903/any-moms-of-an-only-child-tribe</a></p>
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<p> </p>
<p>I will also say that her behavior is normal for a 3 year old, whether they have siblings or not.  Every child has their own personality and maybe she is introverted, maybe she is just being 3, maybe she has other things going on, or etc.  I have an only child, daughter 4 years old.  She acts like this sometimes, she used to be like that a lot, she's growing out of it.  DD sometimes asks about siblings-I explain that there are families of all sizes, some have lots of kids, some have 2, some have 1, and some have none.  I tell her all about her extended family (gma, gpa, cousins, aunts, uncles) and our friends and neighbors who all love her and form her tribe.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Not wanting to play alone is perfectly normal for a 3 year old, and if you have another baby likely that behavior would drive you even more crazy.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I set dd up with 'projects' when I want her to play alone.  I get out a rug or blanket and spread it on the floor, poor some blocks or other toys on it and say let's play.  I will "get her started" (start playing with her, showing her different ways to build, play, etc.) then slowly leave and do something else.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.  She'll grow out of it most likely.  Check out the only tribe.  <img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com//images/smilies/hug.gif"></p>
 

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<p>Yes, wanting to have a constant playmate is very very normal at that age.  It does get better as they get older.  My 3 yr old has an older sibling but she is at school every day while he is at home with me, so I understand what you're talking about.  I do like the pp suggested and set up really specific activities/crafts for him to do if I want him to play by himself for a while.  I also rotate his toys so that when I need a "break" I can bring out something he hasn't played with in a while and it'll be all shiny and new again and he'll happily play with it by himself for a while.  One other thing I notice is that if I'm wanting to sit and relax (use the computer, read a book, etc) then he's all over me wanting to play, but if I'm actively doing something he's often able to take "no" for an answer (and a lot of the time will join in "helping" me!).</p>
 

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<p>Hi OP.  I started a similar thread a while ago because I was having the same issues.  Having another child to resolve the problem was not on my radar, but I really, really had become frustrated with the pretend play and DD's constant need for our participation.  The above PPs made some good points.  Only very recently (DD just turned four) did DD start playing on her own.  In fact, last night she was busy for about two hours playing with her dollhouse alone!  I couldn't believe it!  I think she came into the kitchen once to ask for some water.  I really do think now that it is an age and/or personality thing and not tied exclusively to the only child scenario.  My next door neighbor has three kids (all closely spaced) and she has had the same issues with her now four year old. </p>
 

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<p>My daughter is 4 now.  She was a lot like that at 3.  She always wanted me to play with her and I really enjoyed playing with her, but sometimes I need to do other things.  Now at 4 she can play on her own for hours.  She did start begging for a brother or sister when she was 3.  I came to realize that it wasn't that I don't want another child.  I just don't want to birth another child.  We are pursuing adoption. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>You should not feel guilty for not wanting another child.  That is a very personal decision and it definitely shouldn't be made out of guilt.</p>
 

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<p>I think not playing by herself and asking for siblings are two totally different issues...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Dd (5.5) is pretty good at playing, drawing, etc. alone. That came with age. However, today she cried when a 2 yo friend went home. We had babysat our friends' dd part of yesterday and today and it was clear how much dd enjoyed having her around, even with some frustration every once in a while.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Only you know your motives.... If you truly don't feel you can or want another, then you need to let go of these thoughts (if you can). Not everything is caused by being an only. (I don't know many 3 yo's who play by themselves very well.)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>In our case, we do see dd's being an only as a great misfortune and would like to have more. However, as someone said, families come in all sizes. I think it is simply important for you to truly have your motives clear, so you can explain the situation to your child later on, making sure the child does not feel the decision had anything to do with not having been "good enough."</p>
 

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<p>Hang in there, it gets better but...I think you have to help it along.  My dd is also a very very extroverted only.  She likes pretend play and a lot of feedback and interaction.  For us, it worked well to set aside half an hour or so to just totally give in to it.  Then I would tell her to  keep doing what she's doing or set her up in the kitchen with colors and paper or whatever and do what I needed to do.  What happened was the more I would put her off, the more persistent she would be come and the less I wanted to actually play with her (I don't mind games or puzzles or crafty stuff, but I am NOT a fan of very very involved pretend play, especially with a bossy three year old who  wants to dictate everything.  That's more my husband's area) so the more she'd beg and the less I'd want to deal with it and on and on.  If I could give her some focused time then set her up with something, I could get longer and longer stretches of time to do what I needed to do.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>She's nearly five now and it's been  MUCH better for a long time.  She's happy to have one of us as a playmate, but she's will usually entertain herself and then just ask every now and then.  She still gets some focused time from each of us and I think that helps.  She's also just much better at being self directed and that comes with ages.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Mine thinks she would love a sibling but I'm not sure.  What she'd really like is a slightly older child to play with and that's not really how having babies works.</p>
 

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<p>what about babysitting a child her age? or sending her to preschool? my almost 3 yo thrives on lots of attention and going to school (3 mornings aweek) gives him that extra stimulation. I really believe that kids this age NEED to be around other kids. it doesn't have to be all kids their age, but just other kids that they can interact with, be it daycare, preschool, the y/rec center, something. and some kidsneed more than others. somaybe your dd is the super social type.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I do think however that if youre not willing to have another kid and your kid craves more interaction it is only fair to meet that need by playing with her someties. I get that it isn't that exciting and it doesn't have to be constant but I find that a little distraction free, quality time goes a long way.</p>
 

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<p>is she an extrovert? and you an introvert?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>i would agree ps would be a good idea for her.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>however as others have pointed out at 3 they need ovation a lot so they need someone to cheer them on.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>in the meantime i would look around for what activities you can do. a mother and me class if you can afford them.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>my dd and i used to go to teh park and then i'd get free time. dd would go off and socialise with the other kids and moms and not come bug me AT ALL.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>morning and night. that's what kept me sane. she</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>NiteNicole</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278588/dd-almost-seems-lost-as-an-only-but-i-m-not-interested-in-having-more-kiddos#post_16037107"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Hang in there, it gets better but...I think you have to help it along.  My dd is also a very very extroverted only.  She likes pretend play and a lot of feedback and interaction.  For us, it worked well to set aside half an hour or so to just totally give in to it.  Then I would tell her to  keep doing what she's doing or set her up in the kitchen with colors and paper or whatever and do what I needed to do.  What happened was the more I would put her off, the more persistent she would be come and the less I wanted to actually play with her (I don't mind games or puzzles or crafty stuff, but I am NOT a fan of very very involved pretend play, especially with a bossy three year old who  wants to dictate everything.  That's more my husband's area) so the more she'd beg and the less I'd want to deal with it and on and on.  If I could give her some focused time then set her up with something, I could get longer and longer stretches of time to do what I needed to do.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>She's nearly five now and it's been  MUCH better for a long time.  She's happy to have one of us as a playmate, but she's will usually entertain herself and then just ask every now and then.  She still gets some focused time from each of us and I think that helps.  She's also just much better at being self directed and that comes with ages.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Mine thinks she would love a sibling but I'm not sure.  What she'd really like is a slightly older child to play with and that's not really how having babies works.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong><span style="color:#ff0000;">This is pretty much word for word our situation.  My daughter is very extroverted, loves older children and I think would ideally like an older brother although she does like babies....just not for a playmate.</span></strong></p>
<p><strong><span style="color:#ff0000;">I do try to give in but in a more structured way like you mentioned so I wil try that, thanks for the idea!</span></strong></p>
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Discussion Starter #11
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>waiting2bemommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278588/dd-almost-seems-lost-as-an-only-but-i-m-not-interested-in-having-more-kiddos#post_16037110"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>what about babysitting a child her age? or sending her to preschool? my almost 3 yo thrives on lots of attention and going to school (3 mornings aweek) gives him that extra stimulation. I really believe that kids this age NEED to be around other kids. it doesn't have to be all kids their age, but just other kids that they can interact with, be it daycare, preschool, the y/rec center, something. and some kidsneed more than others. somaybe your dd is the super social type.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I do think however that if youre not willing to have another kid and your kid craves more interaction it is only fair to meet that need by playing with her someties. I get that it isn't that exciting and it doesn't have to be constant but I find that a little distraction free, quality time goes a long way.</p>
<p><strong><span style="color:#ff0000;">Not to be negaive about your ideas because truely if either of them would work for us I'd be all over them, but I can't afford to send her to preschool and I don't think I'd be doing any othe rchild any favors by bringing them into the home in a babysitting sort of thing.  I am stretched to my limit with the one, it's good, but it's enough for me for SURE.</span></strong></p>
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Discussion Starter #12
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>waiting2bemommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278588/dd-almost-seems-lost-as-an-only-but-i-m-not-interested-in-having-more-kiddos#post_16037110"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>I do think however that if youre not willing to have another kid and your kid craves more interaction it is only fair to meet that need by playing with her someties. I get that it isn't that exciting and it doesn't have to be constant but I find that a little distraction free, quality time goes a long way.</p>
<p><span style="color:#ff0000;"><strong>And I agree, and I do do that, of course, it's more a problem in that it is CONSTANT.</strong></span></p>
<p> </p>
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Discussion Starter #13
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>meemee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278588/dd-almost-seems-lost-as-an-only-but-i-m-not-interested-in-having-more-kiddos#post_16037277"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>is she an extrovert? and you an introvert?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>i would agree ps would be a good idea for her.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>however as others have pointed out at 3 they need ovation a lot so they need someone to cheer them on.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>in the meantime i would look around for what activities you can do. a mother and me class if you can afford them.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>my dd and i used to go to teh park and then i'd get free time. dd would go off and socialise with the other kids and moms and not come bug me AT ALL.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>morning and night. that's what kept me sane. she</p>
<p><strong><span style="color:#ff0000;">We are both extroverts, and I enjoy getting her out to do as much stuff as I can possibly find to do, but some times there just isn't anything to do.  And in the evening when I am honestly ready and NEEDING a little relaxation is when she is really all over us to do every little thing she thinks of to do....she just doesn't want to do any of it by herself.  And even just having her dad is not enough, it's also got to be me which drives me a special kind of crazy, lol!</span></strong></p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>dauphinette</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278588/dd-almost-seems-lost-as-an-only-but-i-m-not-interested-in-having-more-kiddos#post_16037725"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><strong style="font-style:inherit;font-weight:bold;"><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">We are both extroverts, and I enjoy getting her out to do as much stuff as I can possibly find to do, but some times there just isn't anything to do.  And in the evening when I am honestly ready and NEEDING a little relaxation is when she is really all over us to do every little thing she thinks of to do....she just doesn't want to do any of it by herself.  And even just having her dad is not enough, it's also got to be me which drives me a special kind of crazy, lol!</span></strong></div>
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aaaaah she sounds just like my dd. this is what i have discovered with my dd which is true even at 8 and i think it will be true forever. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>she is a people's person. she needs to feel people nearby. even now my dd loves to have company around her all the time. doesnt mean she is the same as she was at 3. i mean now i rarely get to see her. but at that age she needed a variety of people around her. and she also needed different sorts of stimulation. in fact that was true even as a baby. my dd was a sensation craving mild SPD child. if we got a good 'workout' where she got her needs for intellectual, tactile, physical and emotional needs met she would be fine. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>we do hike a lot and did back then. but her thing was walking down where people were. so she got more out of a mall (and yeah because of that we went to teh mall a lot) or a fair or just a street with a lot happening. concerts. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>it wasnt a choice. it was what my dd needed. really needed. being high energy she would not be able to fall asleep if she didnt have that. which meant a really, REALLY tired mommy (single). </p>
<p> </p>
<p>and what we needed to were strangers. new people to meet. so we spent a lot of time at the library where she socialised not only with the parents and children and librarians but also with the security guards. we were doing that since she was one. today we constantly have roommates to live with as dd finds just her and me is boring (i do agree). </p>
<p> </p>
<p>she was a much different child when we did that rather than just stay at home. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>just being around people i know energizes dd. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>for me what worked was just watching my child. i was sooo busy doing things that i wasnt just observing her. she wanted me there. i would just sit and watch her - her expressions, her toesies and fingers. her little quirks which i discovered (ever time she covered something her toes would automatically curl). mind you though this could only happen if she had some outdoor time in teh evening when i was at my worst. i came to understand she couldnt help it. she HAD to have physical play to get the extra energy out. but just sitting and watching met a lot of my needs so i didnt feel so touched out or just plain exhausted. even at 6 months old just going to the grocery store helped dd sooo much. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>even today she cant go to sleep without letting out some of that energy (wish i could tap that because i am EXHAUSTED by the end of the day). </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #15
<p>I am actually moving us into a roommate situation in the hopes that the extra people around will be good for both of us...funny enough on of them is an introvert so I have to be aware of not overstimulating her (one of the roommates) in the process, lol!</p>
<p>I think it will also be easier that we are moving into a city so like you said, we can just walk the streets and she can meet new people etc.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thanks again for the responses!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>dauphinette</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278588/dd-almost-seems-lost-as-an-only-but-i-m-not-interested-in-having-more-kiddos#post_16037717"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>waiting2bemommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278588/dd-almost-seems-lost-as-an-only-but-i-m-not-interested-in-having-more-kiddos#post_16037110"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>what about babysitting a child her age? or sending her to preschool? my almost 3 yo thrives on lots of attention and going to school (3 mornings aweek) gives him that extra stimulation. I really believe that kids this age NEED to be around other kids. it doesn't have to be all kids their age, but just other kids that they can interact with, be it daycare, preschool, the y/rec center, something. and some kidsneed more than others. somaybe your dd is the super social type.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I do think however that if youre not willing to have another kid and your kid craves more interaction it is only fair to meet that need by playing with her someties. I get that it isn't that exciting and it doesn't have to be constant but I find that a little distraction free, quality time goes a long way.</p>
<p><strong><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">Not to be negaive about your ideas because truely if either of them would work for us I'd be all over them, but I can't afford to send her to preschool and I don't think I'd be doing any othe rchild any favors by bringing them into the home in a babysitting sort of thing.  I am stretched to my limit with the one, it's good, but it's enough for me for SURE.</span></strong></p>
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<p><br>
How about working out a trade with another mama in your area? You take both kids for 2-3 hours two days a week, she takes them 2-3 hours on two other days. Or one full day (~8-~4) each. Both of you get X hours time kid-free to do your thing, and your kids get twice as much time to play with another kid.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>And remember, also, that part of why you're at your limit is that you are IT when she wants to play. It would probably actually be less stressful to keep an eye on two kids, if it got your dd to give you some breathing space. Maybe try out a few one-time babysitting gigs and see how it goes?</p>
 
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