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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My ds is a high needs, sensitive 3 year old. Lately he won't play by himself at all. I've tried to explain that mama needs to do the dishes/make dinner/have a minute to herself, but he just keeps repeating "Mama, play with me." That's not really the problem. I can understand that he wants me to play with him. Problem is that when I don't stop what I'm doing and play, he'll just start doing something that makes me mad--like throwing things on the floor, dumping newly folded laundry down the stairs, etc. Then we're both mad and I *really* don't feel like playing with him. I just don't know how to get things done around the house, have a minute to myself, and still keep the peace. I also don't want to just give in and play with him after he does these things. Any suggestions?<br><br>
Thanks! Kelly
 

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My oldest son is also 3, and does not do well at all when it comes to playing by himself. When I have something I really need to get done, we do something like this: I explain to him that Mommy needs to get supper started in a little bit, so he and I are going to play together for 5 minutes. I then set the timer for that amount of time, and tell him that when the buzzer rings, it's time for mommy to get her things done. When I started this, I would set the buzzer so he would know when Mommy was available to play again. This works pretty well for us.<br><br>
It also helps to have a special toy/book/activity that you only get out for him when you need that mommy time.<br><br>
I'm curious to see what other suggestions people have...<br><br>
~ Kim
 

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Your ds is trying the best way he knows how to get your attention by tossing the laundry around etc (I've been there). I took a bit by bit approach with ds when he was around 2.5 and it's similar to the PP.<br><br>
I would suggest to him that we play (I wanted to 'get in first' so it didn't become a battle and I knew I had some habits in both of us that needed changing so good to start off on a positive note), so we'd engage in play, then I'd say to him that I needed to start getting dinner ready (if that is what I was wanting to do and if he didn't want to help or couldn't or whatever) for example and that I'd be back in one minute after I've peeled and chopped the carrots, then return for more play for another 5mins or so, then say I needed to go and peel the potatoes and would be back etc. So it took a lot more time to get my dinner done - but with some planning and starting earlier we actually achieved more and we both felt good about being able to do both our things. Then once he learnt to trust me that we would in fact get to play then I was able to lengthen the times. Even now, I always prepare dinner after lunch while dd is napping. So I will usually play with ds first for a bit then I am able to take 1/2hr out to prepare dinner and he knows I will come back and play before I sit down for a rest at the computer or with a cup of tea.
 

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I would involve him in your chores. Give him a small, real chore (like folding washcloths or dishtowels or putting laundry in his room) and teach him how to do it. It may slow you down, but one of a child's needs it to belong, to be needed, to feel helpful, and you can do that by involving him. "Can you put this on my bed?" "Can you put the celery in the pot?" "Can you put this in the dryer?"
 

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BTDT- Get a timer. Set it for however long you think is reasonable (for *Me* it's 15 minutes) and stick to it. When the timer goes OFF, go do your thing.<br><br>
Consistency is Key. DS has finally got the *Timer Concept* down pat. When the buzzer goes off, he *now* says "Times Up" and continues playing...because I've committed AND given him 15 minutes of my total and undivided attention AND he has become fully engaged in his play.<br><br>
For me, it took about a month for DS to understand the Timer Concept. I also feel it teaches him a sense of "Time" KWIM?<br><br>
Get the timer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the great suggestions. I've been using a timer here and there (like "you've got 5 minutes to play before bed"), but I haven't been consistent about it or used it regularly. I'll definitely try it. And I really need to start letting him help me a lot more. I do let him put laundry into the washer and a few other things, but maybe I should start letting me help even more so he won't feel left out. I'll give him the option of helping or playing by himself.<br><br>
Thank you!
 
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