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Old 03-18-2012, 08:48 AM   #1
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How often do you play with your children?

Our son constantly wants us to play with him. Not so much with toys but dancing, with the ball outside, wants to rake with daddy, wrestle, etc. He'll be 3 in September. I do love playing with him, but not all the time. I want him to learn to play by himself and let his imagination start to develop. I also can't wait until this new baby will be old enough for them to play together.

He does really good with small groups (3 or less) and he loves to run around and yell and just have fun. Not so much with bigger groups; in these instances he mainly watches or tries to get the bigger kids to watch him. I get so nervous that he won't have friends (based on my bad childhood experiences). I would LOVE to have him sit at the table or floor and play with toys or crayons while I'm doing the dishes for example, or see him really play with other kids.

So, this is a 2 part question. 1) Does all this sound normal for a 2.5 year old? and 2) How often do you play with your children? Just out of curiousity!
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:09 AM   #2
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Re: How often do you play with your children?

He sounds normal to me.

My kids would love for me to sit and play with them all day. But we've worked hard to teach the older 2 to play by themselves for awhile each day. Dd2 still resists doing so (she's 4 1/2) but is doing ok as long as I'm not far away. Ds is only 2 so I don't try really hard with him yet - and he has 2 older siblings and rarely needs to play by himself. Next year dd2 will hopefully go to preK each morning so he'll start learning then.

I usually start with them playing 5-10 minutes while I'm doing something in the same room (folding clothes, doing dishes, etc) andwork up to them being able to entertain themselves for 30+ min anywhere in the house (of their choosing, they can stay in the same room as me as long as I don't need to entertain them).
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:32 AM   #3
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Sounds normal. I play with him most of the time....or I should say I engage him most of the time. If I'm cleaning I figure out a way he can participate. If I'm cookin I put water in the sink for him to play in. He just wants to be close so I set him up to play parallel to me. When the big kids aren't at school they pretty much take care of engaging him which gives me time to make supper and clean the house etc...
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:14 PM   #4
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Sounds pretty normal for his age and the fact that he's the first born. They grow up used to us being the entertainers (whereas if my DD is any indication, subsequent kids are happy to have some time to themselves)! I find that if I can get my son involved in an activity, I can walk away and he'll continue. They get better as they get older as long as you encourage it.

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Old 03-18-2012, 01:27 PM   #5
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Both my boys are this way. And while I love playing with them, it does make it hard to get things done. Especially because my guys want to be held, spun, ride on my shoulders, etc.

Sometimes getting them started playing will work, or giving an activity to "help" mommy will work for a couple minutes. Sometimes they grump for a few minutes and decide to go off and play. Most of the time, though, not much gets done while I am home with just them. I utilize my sister as a "mommy's helper" so I have an hour to clean 4 days a week.

I'm not worried about their ability to socialize, as they do really well once they are in groups, especially if I am gone or they don't know I am there. :-)
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