Is it okay that I do not entertain my 3 year old all the time and make her play by herself with her toys?

Heather - posted on 08/22/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My three year old daughter is always asking me to play with her and I do, but I can't spend the whole day playing with her. I also don't want her to watching the T.V. all day long either. I feel guilty should I be playing with her all the time to entertain her? Is it okay that I make her play by herself?

I don't want her to have issues later in life because I didn't play with her and entertain her all the time.

Heather

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Krista - posted on 08/22/2011

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Of course she loves your company and she does want to play with you all the time, but you're right -- you can't spend the entire day playing. There is nothing wrong with kids having a bit of self-directed, "alone" play during the day. You might just have to balance it out in small chunks. If she is playing by herself and is doing great, then go in every 10 minutes or so and give her a quick touch on the shoulder or back and say "Wow, that's a tall tower you're building," or "I like how you coloured that lion purple. That looks great." And then go back to what you're doing. Dr. Harvey Karp calls this "feeding the meter", where you're basically encouraging and rewarding this good behaviour with little tidbits of attention.

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