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  1. #1
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    Default How much 'attention' do children need?

    So DD is 3 and up until a few weeks ago she was either looked after by me (in the year I was on Mat leave) or my parents, the in laws or DH. She now attends child care 2 days a week and 1 day with my parents.

    When I'm at home with her I have no idea how much time I'm supposed to spend with her. I also have a 9 month old DS.

    I just find she has had sooooo much time just doing what she wants, going where she wants (with the grand parents) and to some extent the same with us, but at the moment she has to have someone doing something with her all day. On weekends she cracks it if we do something DH and I want to do.

    If she's watching TV someone has to be in the room watching too. If she wants to play in her room someone has to play in her room etc. If you don't go with her to either participate in what she's doing or just be in the same room she throws a tantrum.

    If I need to do laundry or cook she follows me everywhere. If I do so and she really wants to do something else - again tantrum.

    What is a reasonable amount of time to spend with her? If you're at home with 2 kids what does a typical day look like? How do you spread your attention between each child, doing housework, or doing something you actually want to do (like read, have a cup of tea, sit on bub hub)?

    I don't want to not give her enough attention but at the same time I'm sick of the meltdowns when you don't do what she wants.

    Help!

    TIA oxo

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    I found that just after my DDs 3rd birthday she got a lot better at entertaining herself. I play with her a couple of times a day, like tea sets or role play or in the train set, but most of the time she does what she'd like. I also try once a day to set up an activity like drawing, play dough or painting but they don't last that long as she doesn't really like that sort of activity and I figure she does enough of it at daycare - she goes 3 days a week. If she comes to me wanting a story I will sit down and read her a couple.

    We don't have any real structure, I just play it by ear. I have her at home with just me and DS on Mons and Fri and I try to make one of them a at home day and the other one we go out after DS's morning nap.

  3. #3
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    My first post properly didn't help much.

    I'll try and get her in the kitchen while I clean it with something like colouring in etc during DS's nap

    I'll also encourage her to play with her dolls, train set whatever during his nap while I do some more housework. I also get her to help me pack away her toy area. Or get her to build me a block tower while I pack away other things.

    When he wakes up we might all play together - she builds towers, he knocks em down, both play in the train set area where we also have a ball pit, we all have tea parties, we all read a book etc.

    I find sometimes I just need to encourage her to play or do a certain activity and that's all she needs. Like I said in my previous post it was only just after her third birthday which happily coincided with DS's birth did her ability to play independently improve.

  4. #4
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    We started separating ourselves a little bit by starting play, letting dd getting quite into it and then when it seemed right just saying "mummy has to pop away for 1 minute then she will come back" we would always go back when we said we would, then we stretched it out to 2 mins 5 mins and then half an hour, at 3 1/2 dd now mostly plays by herself with dd2 (almost 2) I spend roughly 2 half hour blocks playing with them throughout the day and am always available if they need me, they seem quite happy and watching some of the games they come up with by themselves is great.

    We were also told another strategy that was take a timer with you to play and tell dd that when the timer goes off mummy has to do mummy things, then when the timer goes off again mummy will come back, so you'd set it for 10 mins play then 2 mins mummy time and over a few days extend it out.

    I think the key to it is always going back, just so they know you will

  5. #5
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    It's not easy! DD (3) is a pretty good independent player but she definitely has her moments. She's just starting to crack it on weekends now when we've got errands to run & it's not all about her. I think it's a lot to do with the age, and just about finding that balance. It's important to spend time with them, but they do need to learn to go with the flow too.

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    A-Squared  (20-07-2015)

  7. #6
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    I'm shocking as I rarely if ever play with either of my kids. Actually I've never played with them other than setting up activities or play areas.

    I just let them to do whatever they want in the playroom if indoors. They can request activities ie playdough or painting and then I set that up but otherwise they just potter/trash the place.

    I work 3.5 days a week. Kids are with me the rest of the time.

    Home day - wake 5.30/6am.
    Brekky 6.30am then they help me when chores till 8.30/9am. Then we go out to the gym or library. If we are having a home or rest day then the kids do whatever 9-11.30am.
    11.30am lunch.
    Nap 12-2.30pm
    Afternoon tea 3pm.
    Free play 3-5pm.
    Dinner 5pm then puzzle time till 6.15pm then bath and bed by 7pm.

    wifey of hubby who is always away. mother of two girls who are always amusing.

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    A-Squared  (20-07-2015)

  9. #7
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    On my home days I am with the kids from the time I get up till the time they go to bed. The only time they play independantly without me is when they get up (they're ridiculously early risers, 4:30-5:30am) and when I can be bothered climbing out of bed (usually around 6:30). From that point on, We are always in the same room. I will often be doing activities on my phone like facebook or online shopping or whatever, but am always interacting with them. They have 3 days a week at daycare, and my eldest at school 5 days, so I feel like I'm away from them enough already. On our home days we're joined at the hip! Oh I lie, I do go to the gym and they go to the creche for an hour.

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    A-Squared  (20-07-2015)

  11. #8
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    Default How much 'attention' do children need?

    Subbing, dd is 2.5 and identical to yours a-squared in terms of needing somebody to interact with her. She has had only my mum, DH or me looking after her too no not sure if that's a factor.

    It's very difficult to get any chores done as she is insisting (usually grabbing and pulling at me) I interact with her- it's all well and good for DH and mum to spend all day like that but I have a house to look after! And now another dd on the way:/

    The iPhone buys me 5 minutes or so now but she's starting to cotton on that I use it as a tool to leave me alone for a moment.

    I try and tell her I'm busy or need to do things but it's like pushing s..t uphill. I watch in amazement as other kids happily run off and play with things, but dd won't unless I'm with her. It's painful, I'm very over her tv shows and role playing all damn day!

    Eta: the only reason I can write this post now is cos dd is eating lunch but she's screaming at me to put the phone away sigh

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    A-Squared  (20-07-2015)

  13. #9
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    My 2 year old DD is the same. I'd say she plays alone for 5-10 minutes a day. The rest of the time is spent with me. I play with her constantly. I think I've created a monster! I wish she could entertain herself a bit more, as we have another baby on the way. She will sometimes watch tv alone for about 15 minutes, but then she wants me to sit with her. I am so sick of having tea parties, doing puppet voices and reading the same books 20 times a day.

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