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Am I a bad mother? No, I know I am not. but I feel so conflicted sometimes. DD is 5 yo and loves to play pretend . In the past I could start the game with her and then quickly turn it into something that was not so boring for me. Not so anymore. I really believe that adults are not meant to play this way with kids...if we lived in a tribe she'd be off with her peers the majority of the day. And I'd be doing grown up things. But we don't live with a tribe and altho we do have plenty of social time with her peers they are, of course, not always here. And how much time can I expect her to amuse herself. In past I have been able to incorporate her more in MY activities in a playful way but this is also changing. I really hate pretend. Any help or commiseration??<br>
Patti
 

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I don't play pretend either. I stopped when dd was about 4 (she is now 5).<br><br>
I will play games, coordinate/participate in crafts, cook together, read books, tell stories, and interact in a number of other ways.....but I will not play "be this be that" (dd's name for pretend <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">).<br><br>
Dd pretty much knows and accepts my stance by now, but at first I explained that I don't enjoy playing those games--and that is why she has friends. She can play those imaginary games alone or with friends. And then I would offer to do something else with her--something less painful, lol.<br><br>
As for amusing herself, I find that varies a lot from day to day, week to week, etc. At certain phases, dd just needs more attention, and I generally feel it is best to honor that. I have found that it is best to have interesting, open ended toys/activities....but not *too* many. Clutter and messiness discourage dd from entertaining herself.
 

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cyber-p, i am SO with you! i like to write and be creative, but for some reason, i don't like make-believe play. and i hate even worse playing pretend based on something else pretend (ie. a PBS show).<br><br>
my 6yrold is totally hooked on the new Fetch! ruff ruffman show and wants me to be the dog while he competes somehow against his little brother. he wants me to make up a challenge, be really funny about it ("cuz ruff is mom, so you have to be") and then score him, preferably higher than little bro. it sucks. no question. why does it? why do we hate it? i don't get that. but you know what, he is so doggone (scuze the pun) happy when i do it, i just usually do it. at least for a few minutes at a stretch and then i distract him or get distracted by the babe or a chore or the phone or what have you. in the scheme of things, it's such a little thing. not messy and really gives them a clever outlet for their imaginations to go wild. heck, it may even be doing something good for our brains too -- warding off alzheimers or something. look forward to others comments b/c this is a daily screw up my courage and do it kinda thing for me.<br><br>
final thought, have to praise my friend katy friend for this wisdom -- anything repetitive is annoying. (but repetitive is how kids learn!)
 

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No, you're not a bad mother , cyberpriya. My dd loves fantasy/imaginative play and loves to have both me and dh play with her. I also feel conflicted as there are so many other things I would rather do, either with her or alone.<br><br>
I noticed a transition around 3-4 away from doing the practical life things, or things I like to do together. I suppose it is some developmental phase. DD loves to play various princess stories and/or movies. I do feel grateful that she wants me to be a part of her imaginative life. One way I make it more pleasant is to encourage stories with music I like. We've done Wizard of Oz, Annie, and lots of the Julie Andrews musicals. Right now we are into Rodger's and Hammerstein's production of Cinderella.<br><br>
Another fantasy that has worked out well is having various kinds of 'stores'. Dd sets up a baby store, jewelry store, makeup store, etc on the king bed and I 'shop'. Sometimes she is the customer too. At least this is reality based and it seems to get her going independently.<br><br>
When I am really not into it or have had enough, I just say I don't feel like doing fantasy right now. Or I say I'll be so-and-so but I have to fold laundry too, and so on. Boundaries are important and I try to help dd understand that.<br><br>
As much as fantasy can be kind of boring, I do look at it as an important part of bonding/validating my dd!
 

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LOL, actually my DS2 has this problem. He hates to "pretend play" but my oldest DD loves to - and loves to force him to play with her. (DS1 can't be bullied...) He's always telling me "She wants to make me play with her, I don't want to play that!" Then sometimes I'll hear her in one of the bedrooms saying "I'm the mommy cat & you're the baby cat..." Poor DS! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Glad it's not me! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">:<br>
(FTR, yes, I do stop her from bullying him...)
 

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Me too!! My youngest always says, "Mommy, talk guys with me!" This consists of me being batman or superman and saying things like, "Hi Spiderman--what are you doing today?"<br><br>
Drives me crazy!!! LOL
 

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I feel a little relieved to read this because I've been feeling bad about how little I want to continue playing "friend" with dd (5yo). Lately she's been playing "singer" with the broomstick as a microphone, which I think would be fun for her to do by herself, but she insists that I be the "director" and give her songs to sing, watch her, critic her, etc... Anyway, FWIW, my favorite imaginary game is when she plays waitress. She has a gardening apron that she puts her pens and a little pad of paper in, then I sit in the big chair and she takes my order, brings me food, refills my drink, etc... It's the game that we made up for the many, many hours that I must sit and nurse her little brother. But when I'm done, I'm done. I just tell her I don't want to play anymore. Sometimes she just keeps on playing and interacting with me in imaginary roles. Sigh. She's a ham.<br><br>
Tara
 

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My 4 y.o. dd recently popped into the shower with me and said "Let's play house!"<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I'm sick of it, too. Sick of being the princess, not being the princess, being the baby, being the sister, being anyone but me.<br><br>
Glad to hear I'm not alone.
 

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Oh, I'm so glad Im not alone! Dd starts asking me to play pretend from the *second* I get up! I've been recently thinking about this a lot, because I'm wondering if it is okay to not feel guilty about not playing pretend. After all, I'm not a child. And anyway, dd always ends up getting frustrated with me because I can't follow her surrealistic non-linear story lines the way someone her own age can. Also I hate being bossed around and being fed dialogue.<br><br>
We have a set time each day, after dinner before bath, called "game time". I will play whatever game she wants, within reason of course, until it is time for bath. It makes it less painful for me knowing there is a time limit.<br><br>
She has a friend over right now, thank goodness!
 

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My dd hardly ever asks me. I think the few times I turned her down b/c I was doing something else she has given up on asking me. I am willing to play dolls with her and other things, but I think my attention span for those things wains long before hers does. She plays pretend by herself quite well all the time, and she plays with her daddy almost daily. She loves playing Harry Potter and asks her dad every single day. Poor man, he gets so tired, lately he's turning her down a bit more. She is Harry Potter obsessed. She loves fantasy stuff like that.<br><br>
I can understand, that not everyone is up to pretend play. I'm thankful that my dd entertains herself so easily.
 

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Me, too! I HATE IT! DD is obsessed with Little House on the Prairie and every day we have to build a covered wagon out of her bed, hitch up her stuffed animals, and play "Moving to Kansas." The other option is building a log cabin out of the couch. I have to call her Laura or she freaks out. I try to avoid it as much as possible, but still wind up spending several hours a day being Caroline Ingalls and pretending to dew calico dresses or make johnny cakes on our cast iron wood stove. It was so much easier when she was a baby . . . I never knew I hated pretend play so much, but I really DO!
 

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I'm the same way, I don't like playing most of the things DD wants me to play. In fact, I don't really 'play' much. I feel bad about that, but it just excruciatingly boring for me. I try to make sure she has a lot of activities to keep her interested since time at home is generally time spent playing by herself.<br><br>
It's funny because its not hte kind of parent I envisioned myself being, but then again, when I babysat in the past it wasn't for 3 years straight. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Stella_luna</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Me, too! I HATE IT! DD is obsessed with Little House on the Prairie and every day we have to build a covered wagon out of her bed, hitch up her stuffed animals, and play "Moving to Kansas." The other option is building a log cabin out of the couch. I have to call her Laura or she freaks out. I try to avoid it as much as possible, but still wind up spending several hours a day being Caroline Ingalls and pretending to dew calico dresses or make johnny cakes on our cast iron wood stove. It was so much easier when she was a baby . . . I never knew I hated pretend play so much, but I really DO!</div>
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Lol.. I'm so glad my dh is good at it because I suck. My dd is actually going to "Little Girls Camp" this summer because of her Little House obsession.<br><br>
The funny thing is I remember playing make believe very deeply at the same age. I was Alice In Wonderland. I remember my mum not playing and how I just worked that into the storyline...
 

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Count me in!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: I am also a very imaginative momma - I am an artist! But I cannot.be.a.friggin.pony. visiting the planet of slime and having invisible slime fights - WHILE I nurse the baby!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> DD is very imaginative too and I remember living in make-believe land when I was a kid (we had a fictitious town names stuftyville where all of our stuffed animals lived and carried on lives - a stuffed animal soap opera of sorts) but now. UGH. I HATE it.<br><br>
I always tell her I love her wonderful imagination but I am not good at playing pretend. How about we paint? or make a collage? Or cook something? or go play in the sand or water? Or let's build/invent something...etc etc. She's usually happy with that.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I can say that NONE of my friends enjoy playing pretend - it's not as real and all engrossing to us as it is for our kids!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LeAnnie</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As much as fantasy can be kind of boring, I do look at it as an important part of bonding/validating my dd!</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><br><br>
I agree. My dd plays pretend all the time. It's definitely her favorite game whether it's babies or little people or veterinarian. At first I found it hard to shut my brain off and not think about all the things I need to do. But when I let myself go, I really try to enjoy it and the time we spend together because it does go by so fast. One day she will be asking for the car keys and be gone! I think it's good for an adult mind to switch gears and do something different. It's boring to us because we're not used to engaging our imagination like kids do.<br><br>
One my sisters never liked to play pretend and really didn't play with her kids at all. She had another one just to keep the first one busy. So these kids never played dolls or barbies or whatever. Now my 12 yo niece will spend the weekend with me and she and my 3 yo play pretend for hours! She loves it. She acknowledges it wouldn't be cool with her friends, but loves to play at my house.<br><br>
I think by playing pretend with your child, you have valuable opportunities to share insight with them and teach them and also see a little about yourself and how your child perceives you and your reactions to the world around you. Because your child emulates your behaviour - maybe some people don't want to see that! I know I've learned a few things about myself!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'm the same way, I don't like playing most of the things DD wants me to play. In fact, I don't really 'play' much. I feel bad about that, but it just excruciatingly boring for me. I try to make sure she has a lot of activities to keep her interested since time at home is generally time spent playing by herself.</td>
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Thanks for this thread! I thought it was just my dirty little secret. Pretend play is painful for me - and i was an actress!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Ds went through a stage where everything was a "talking" game as i called it. Trains - they didn't cruise around on a track, they only talked to each other. same with cars, animals, dolls, utensils, everything! I felt badly about the fact that i loathed this game. then i just stopped beating myself up about it. when he was old enough, i could talk to him about finding a game that we would *both* enjoy playing. of course, on occasion i'll still play pretend. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> that has worked well since he was about 3 1/2 yo.<br><br>
i'm with ya, sister!
 

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My dds favorite pretend game is "cheep and chirp", her two bird friends. Unfortunately, "cheep" is my right hand and "chirp" is my left hand, so she can only play it if I am playing with her. She'll spend hours creating these amazing props for our games (hats, hair, houses, etc). I can't bear to turn her down after all her hard work so I usually end up playing with her, although never as much as she would like I suppose. To make it less painful I just focus on how happy she looks and how beautiful she is.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> this thread is cracking me up.<br><br>
I have found a solution. I get to be the MAMA of <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><i>fill in the blank for countless superheros, animals and otherworldly characters</i></span>. Bascially my personality stays pretty much the same and it works!!<br><br>
Hey. They never want to play MY games; like the always popular, Let's Pretend We are Superhero's and Our Power is to Clean Up Our Toys.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/disappointed.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="disappointed"> Sheesh. They just don't <i>get</i> me y'know?
 
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