Four year old won't play/entertain himself. HELP. I need a break.

Julie - posted on 07/25/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

17

16

1

I’m looking for advice, guidance or just to say be patient or appreciate it while you can because in ten years he won’t want to be with you (ha).

My four year old son is driving me bonkers by not being able to play/entertain himself. His brother, 18 months younger, has been able to play/entertain himself since he was two. With my younger child, when I walk in the door after work he goes right to his toys; my older asks, "What can I do mom?" And proceeds to follow me. I could turn on the TV, but I don’t believe that is a solution. As a result, I can’t get much done, ie make dinner, clean, fold laundry, garden. This has gone on since he was two, and he has LOTS of things to help entertain himself. Sometimes I have him help me with things I'm doing, but he needs to learn to do things independently.

2 Comments

View replies by

Julie - posted on 08/06/2012

17

16

1

Amy, thank you for replying. It’s not just after work, but on the weekends too. He just can’t seem to do things independently, unless it’s watching TV. For example, on Sunday, just the two of us went to run errands, which he likes to do. Then when we got home he wanted to watch a movie, while his little brother and I played outside in the kiddie pool. After the movie he wanted dad to color with him, but dad needed to do some home projects; he didn’t want to play outside.

Eventually we all played outside, and I did some role playing with animal cards, it was fun and he was getting into it. We must have done this for 15-20 minutes, then I said I needed to get dinner started and he got defiant that he wanted to play longer. I suggested he could continue to play with the cards, but he said he couldn’t do it without me. Meanwhile, his brother is off and playing with his cars and entertaining himself. Ugh….. I try to include him in things I do. Like, helping set the table etc. But as soon as I stop giving him my attention he becomes a defiant four-year old. It is very frustrating.

Amy - posted on 07/25/2012

6,467

33

2386

Is there stuff he can do to independently help you? The way I'm reading it, it just sounds like he wants to help and be with you, which in 5 years you're going to wish he was wanting to spend that time with you :) If you're trying to cook dinner fill the sink with water and ask him to "wash" the dishes. Pull a chair up to the stove and let him help measure and cook. Have him set the table, I wish my 6 year old would help out. My 2 1/2 year old on the other hand loves to help, she helps me unload the dishwasher, wash dishes, fold clothes, and do laundry.

The other thing you could do is have activities planned when he gets home while you are doing things. Have him draw a picture or something you can take to work the next day and put in your office, let him paint or do a craft to stay occupied. Maybe if you give him specific things to do he'll be more willing to do them in the same room as you?

I know the housework piles up and it can become overwhelming but your kids are only young for so long, enjoy the time you have with them now because in 12 years he's going to be asking for gas money and running out the door!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms