I'm learning here, so i'm looking for a little help

Candace - posted on 03/27/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )




Let me start off by saying I'm not mom, Wyatt is my boyfriends 9 year old son. I dont have a lot of expirience with kids, so i joined this site for input and advice. One question i had was this, Wyatt wont play in his room. His room looks into the living room. If we're watching tv, he would rather bring his toys out into the living room rather than play in his room, even though he can clearly see us when he's in his room. And if you ask him to shut his door, he'd rather put his toys up and be bored out with us. He doesnt play outside unless one of us is out there too. It took almost 2 years to get him to sleep in his room by himself. Is that how dependent most 9 year olds are?


Christy - posted on 03/27/2011




I'm definitely no expert but anything can be 'normal' if there's been separation/divorce - could he be affected by that?
Also how long have you been with your boyfriend - there could be a whole lot of issues surrounding separation anxiety; his need to be around his Dad....
Have you considered maybe doing an activity with him before you expect him to go off and play by himself?
Not to be mean but don't you want to be doing things with him when he's awake rather than him play by himself while you watch tv?
More friends of his over to play?
He obviously just wants to be around you both so maybe go out and do something that he'd like to do once in a while so he feel included?
Anyway good luck - it's not easy being a step parent - maybe you should appeal to step parents for advice or see a counsellor so he can get his feelings out about everything that's going on in his life.


View replies by

Candace - posted on 03/28/2011




just for clarity; we were together the 2 years that we were trying to get him to sleep in his own room, it wasnt until some time after we got together that his dad started thinking he should sleep by himself. Once that started settling in he was sleeping in the living room on the couch for a long time, he just started sleeping every night in his room about half a year ago.
We spend time with him, we have him every other week so when hes here he is the main focus, i just figured that when we're chilling and watching tv, he'd be ok to play in his room if he wasnt interested in the show, but hes not.
we're not worried about him playing outside here too much, and we check on him often, he also takes the dog(s) out too. He seems to have so much fun playing in our backyard when hes out there, but he refuses to do it, even if he wants to really bad, unless someones with him. I grew up an only child and i remember being outside like all the time when i was his age, alone or not. I know hes got an imagination as crazy as i did, so it boggles me that he acts incapable of playing by himself.
i have asked his dad if he would consider letting wyatt go to counseling or something similar, and his dad loathes the idea. It seems as if he doesnt want anyone else involved in the parenting department.

Amanda - posted on 03/27/2011




Wanting to play and be around you is a good thing!!! It means that he wants to spend time with you and loves you. If he spent all of his time in his room with the door shut I would be more concerned!!

Also, depending on the area you live in, I wouldn't let my 9 year old play outside without watching him. My children never go unsupervised, I trust my kids, but some of the neighborhood kids are trouble makers and I don't trust them. They've been known to walk into homes that aren't theirs and take toys without asking. I am there to discipline since their parents won't teach them right from wrong. I will bring my coffee and paper outside and watch them play in the mornings or a book in the afternoons. They don't feel that I am being overly nosey and I don't feel like I have to explain why I want my children supervised. The part about divorce having an effect may also be part of it. But in my experience, children only want to be around people they LIKE being around. I would take it as a compliment. If you really want some "alone" time, wait until he is asleep for the night. Offer that he gets cuddle time with you or his dad, and story time, or something else special where the attention is directly on him.

Valerie - posted on 03/27/2011




There could be a lot of reasons for why he is this way. Some kids especially only children will hang out with adults cause they want to feel a part of the group being you two. does he have friends in the area that he can play with? Sometimes children will feel threatened with a new partner. Not sure if you two have been together the two years it took him to sleep in his own room. And I am not saying it has anything to do with you personally. He just may have some insecurities still in regards to the relationship you have with his father and where he fits in. Or he could have a crush on you and dad is in his territory. Very common for children this age to have a crush on an adult. If it really becomes a problem and you two have him full time take him to a child psychologist and see what they think.

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