How do I teach my only child to play on his own?

Natalie - posted on 11/08/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My son is four, and will not play alone for any length of time. He always has to have me, or my husband involved. I've tried everything I know, but he's super busy, and it's exhausting.

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Evelyn - posted on 11/29/2009

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All the replies you got from other parents are sound advice. I hope you were able to implement them because they sound really helpful. As I read your request for advice you commented on the fact that you have fibromyalgia I understand how painful that is and I was thinking at the same time about a show that I watch every so often called the nanny. In watching this show there were mom's who were fraziled by their childrens behavior at the end the nanny said the behavior was a cry for attention and she taught the parents how to handle their behaviors and more importantly how to give each child attention. As I understand that fibromyalgia can be very painful my advice to you would be to try and spend some quality time with the child and gradually your child will learn to play on his own. If you have a friend or neighbor that wouldn't mind taking turns getting a break you can do that as well. Never be afraid to ask for help because there is always someone out there wanting the same as well.

Karen - posted on 11/12/2009

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Can you set aside a specific time each day where he has your undivided attention? Set up a routine so he knows when to expect his mommy-time. Set the timer and when it goes off, then he needs to play on his own. Whatever you decide, be consistent! Good luck and hang in there!

Jane - posted on 11/11/2009

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What about inviting another boy over for a playdate, they can keep each other busy.

Mary - posted on 11/09/2009

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What about bricks...start building and then say something along the lines of 'can you finish while mummy checks on dinner....lets see what you can make ?'.....or stickers and maybe do the first part then get him to finish ?
My DS happily plays alone, which is good, as he is an only child and will likely continue to be! He is only 2 and 4 months though so he might get more demanding as he ages (hope not though!).
All the best.

Natalie - posted on 11/08/2009

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I should probably also mention that I have fibromyalgia, and am being checked for neuro problems this month. He needs to play by himself for at least part of the day.

Heidi - posted on 11/08/2009

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Start by playing with him but let him lead the play, what you should do, say and everything. But then excuse yourself to check on dinner or what not, and let him keep on playing. It is something that has to be taught for some kids. My son on the other hand would rather be by himself playing.

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