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In some ways this should be int he childhood years but I'm curious to see what home/un schoolers say. I struggle a lot with this issue with my DS. He's almost 4 years old and loves to play with "guys" alll the time, basically imaginative pretend play, and he wants me to play with him all the time. I will be the first to admit this kind of play bores me to death <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: and while I like spending time with DS I don't feel it is my obliation as a parent to spend a ton of time "playing" with him. I am not talking baout the time you are doing work and your kids are participating. We cook and clean and shop and stuff together, I mena the sort of play that requires undivded attention. I tryt o steer him towards reading as thats something we both enjoy, but in the end its not usually what he really wnats to do and I feel wierd convincing him.<br><br>
He gets a lot of stimulation, he has a 15 month old brother to run around with, at least 2-3 playdates a week with other kids of a variety of ages (where he mostly just parallel plays quietly by himself <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ). 2 "classes" a week, and we play outside a ton. But generally I want to do my own thing KWIM? Garden, read, cook, clean whatever, and I 'm happy to chat or have help but I'm not very into "playing". I know as his brother gets older they will play more but just wondering how or if others set boundaries on this?
 

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I encourage my kids to play independently and/or with each other. Sure I play with them sometimes, but most of the time they play their "boring to me" games without me.
 

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this probably makes me the world's worst mother, but if it's something I really don't like doing..I don't do it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
For me it's Barbies. Never could stand them, even when I was a kid and I just don't play them with my girls. They played with friends, they played with each other, they played with DH but I didn't play Barbies.<br><br>
I figure I play board games, I read to them, I play in the sand, I do a LOT of things...just not the ones I don't enjoy. I can't see how me doing something I am obviously loathing is going to be good for either of us KWIM?<br><br>
As to how much time I spend interacting with the kids....lots, but most of it is while we are doing something we both enjoy together. When they play (pretend play, outside play, etc) they do it either independently or with each other.
 

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There are a couple of different schools of thought on this... one is the "Playful Parenting" type (I forget the author's name at the moment), where playing that kind of play with your kids can help you gain insight into what might be troubling them/what they are struggling with... and that kids use that kind of imaginitve play to work through difficulties (if they were bullied, they might play out a bullying scenario with their "guys"). The idea is that if you are there with them for some of it, you can guide and provide feedback.<br><br>
Another school of thought it the "Continuum Concept" type (Jean Liedloff is the author), where kids don't really expect parents to play with them that way, and it ends up being ultimately frustrating to both. They expect ("expect" here is used to mean what we instinctively expect... babies instinctively expect to be carried, breastfed, and to co-sleep, because that is what we have evolved to do... kids expect to have other kids to play with, because humans lived in tribes/communities for so long, that is what we have evolved to do, we are social creatures... I'm oversimplifying, but that's the gist of it) to have other kids to play with for that kind of play, and having a parent spend too much time hovering and such gets confusing. There was a great discussion/debate about this a few years back on a Continuum Concept mailing list... the long and short of it being that a lot of parents felt that their kids sought them out for this kind of play as a last resort, but it wasn't really fulfilling to either, and that if they encouraged their children to join in with the parents' activities, and made sure to find many opportunities for playing with other kids, everyone was happier. I guess the bottom line of what I'm saying is, living in our society, especially in the current social climate, leads to a lot of isolation for families -- especially those who homeschool. Even when we go to great lengths to arrange playdates and group activities, it is not the same as having a neighbourhood or tribe full of kids available to play with all day long. It can be frustrating for everyone involved; you just have to find the solution that works right for you.<br><br>
The balance that I have found works the best for us is for me to be nearby, doing something that is easily interruptible -- like crocheting, but even if I'm reading -- so I can comment/answer questions/talk with them while they play. That way I'm still available and with them, but I'm getting my own stuff done too.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ruthla</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7952858"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I encourage my kids to play independently and/or with each other. Sure I play with them sometimes, but most of the time they play their "boring to me" games without me.</div>
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Ditto this.
 
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