Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Encourage independent play and less demand for attention?

  1. #1
    erina320's Avatar
    erina320 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    256

    Encourage independent play and less demand for attention?

    My three and a half year old is COMPLETELY dependent on my interaction with her 24/7. The first words out of her mouth in the morning are "Mommy play with me!" and her last words in the evening are "Mommy play!" When I'm not cooking, cleaning or laying the baby down I spend ALL of my time playing with her. When I am cooking, cleaning or laying the baby down I try and engage her with coloring or playing games on the iPad, but she lacks any focus or self motivation in these activities and will sit there till I come back shouting the entire time "Mommy look! Mommy play with me!" I am at a loss for how to encourage more independence and teach her how to play on her own some. Any ideas would be appreciated!
    I am exhausted and frustrated trying to care for our Littlest one and keep or older one happy... :-(

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    i guess the only thing to do is to stop playing with her everytime she asks. tell her you are busy... she knows where her toys are and that you'll be there in 5 minutes. then leave her for 5 minutes. gradually make it 10 minutes, then 15 etc.

    good luck! you will also find that when baby is a little older, they will play together and not need you anymore...then you will actually miss her calling you (at least that is how i felt!)

  3. #3
    erina320's Avatar
    erina320 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    256
    Thanks Carang. I know I'll miss playing with her when she doesn't want me around anymore, but right now it's so extreme I have to wonder if this type of dependency on me is normal? She's so bad about it that she'll say "Mommy play!" even while I'm sitting on the floor and playing with her. I try and take her to the playground or swimming everyday and even there she demands I play with her to the exclusion of all else. When I really am busy she sits in the other room yelling "Mom, mom! I need you!" with no end. I guess I'm concerned with her ability to self entertain and initiate. I was hoping others might have an idea how to teach her to be more independent.

  4. #4
    megan2008 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    sheung shui
    Posts
    215
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but did you just move here recently? If so, was she like this before you moved? When I moved back (to Hong Kong), my daughter got kind of clingy too. I think she was feeling insecure with being in a new place, new language, and around a lot of people who don't look like her or what she was familiar with previously. She has now adjusted but anytime we go somewhere new for her to play, I noticed that she wants me around a lot but will eventually start to play on her own. Another thing you may want to do is to join playgroup/K1, this will provide friends her own age to play with. The only other thing is she may be competing for attention with the baby. If that is the case, then maybe set aside a certain amount of time a day with just you and her (if that's possible) and say it's me and you time. Then later, when she wants to play with you outside of mommy and me time, you can say we will play together during mommy and me time but now I have to do XYZ. Hope that helps. I can image it can get pretty overwhelming at times.

  5. #5
    erina320's Avatar
    erina320 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    256
    We did just move here but my oldest was this way before we moved to Hong Kong and before we had a second child as well.

    She has ALWAYS needed me in order to play. When she was an only child I remember being EXHAUSTED with how much attention she required. Now it's even more so and I am not exaggerating when I say I spend ALL of my free time playing with her. If I'm not doing a "Mommy chore" I'm playing with her! So much so that even sometimes while I am doing a "Mommy chore" ie. washing the dishes, she has me play by just being the voice for one of her toys.

    A playgroup is a good idea, but she has already made a few friends since moving here as well.

  6. #6
    bonita is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    mid-levels
    Posts
    176
    Maybe you can try inviting her to your "play," too, by assisting you in your chores. When you do dishes, give her a towel to dry some spoons or plastic cups then put them away; when you do laundry, she can help you put dirty clothes into the washer or drag the laundry hamper from the room to the machine; if you are sweeping, give her a toy broom to sweep together. Thank her for being a good helper. She'll be proud of her "work" and is not left alone, and you can get you chores done.
    I've find a lot of kids thinking it's the adults' "job" to play and entertain them.

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    actually, my two kids do laundry all the time. they also change the sheets on their beds by themselves (need help with the duvet, though)... they are 4 & 6 and have done these things for at least a year.

  8. #8
    erina320's Avatar
    erina320 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    256
    Thanks Bonita. That's a good idea. In the past I was really good about having her help me with my chores. I kind of fell out of the habit of it in the interest of haste, but I'll try and include her more.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Let's play together
    By Little Monster in forum Playgroups
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-17-2009, 11:30 PM
  2. Breastfeeding: on demand or on schedule?
    By rebekah in forum Feeding Baby
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-02-2008, 05:04 PM
  3. new play gym
    By a mom in forum Baby Talk
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-22-2007, 10:32 PM
  4. attention deficit & music therapy
    By mlam in forum Parenting - Toddlers and Preschoolers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-20-2006, 12:54 PM
  5. mom's full attention
    By Marta in forum Everything Else
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-01-2003, 03:11 PM
Scroll to top