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  1. #1
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    Default 3yo won't play alone.

    Hi,

    My DD1 is 3 years old and has never been great at independent play but ever since DD2 was born earlier in the year DD1 has become a lot more demanding and as much as I love her, it's really starting to do my head in!

    She'll just follow me around the house all day asking "will you play with me?", to the point now that it's starting to frustrate me (I feel so bad for writing that!). Even if I sit down and play with her or do crafts, as soon as we are finished, she's back to asking me to play.

    Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy playing with her. I just spent the last hour while DD2 was sleeping to help make DD1 a princess castle out of a cardboard box. She happily played with her dolls in there as long as i gave her my full attention and watched her play and talked to her about what she was doing but now that I have had to get DD2 out of bed and focus on her DD1 is asking me to play again.

    I arrange play dates for her weekly, she'll have kids over all afternoon for a play but as soon as they have left she's back to following me around begging to play.

    She goes to kindy once a week and loves it, she also has 3 other activities she attends each week but she really craves one-on-one play with people and I feel like I'm failing her by constantly having to say no because she literally asks every 5 minutes.

    As soon as people come to visit she will drag them into her room to play and sometimes gets upset if they try to come out. It's been like this even before DD2 was born.

    Is this normal behaviour? She's reluctantly playing on her own now, but only after I got a bit cross and told her that sometimes she needs to try and okay on her own if I need to do other things.

    The only way I can seem to manage it at the moment is play as much as I can, and then try to involve her in daily tasks like putting washing away together, unshackling dishwasher, helping make lunch....but she loses interest half way through and just wants me to 'play' with her.

    Am I being too harsh? I feel like I am. Am I expecting too much for her to be able to spend a little time on her own? She has a HUGE imagination and comes up with all sorts of games and stories but she refuses to play on her own. I don't know if that's normal?

    Advice please!

  2. #2
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    So many typos, sorry! Trying to BF a 3 month old and entertain a 3 year old while writing

  3. #3
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    I have no answers but wanted to tell you that my 3 y/o is the same. If I'm not playing with her she follows me around. If I'm in the shower she will lay on the floor chatting to me. Every day she asks "what are we doing today Mum. Can we go somewhere". Her sister is 19 months now and occasionally they will play together, but not often. Also, if Miss 3 does decide to play something, her sister tries to get involved and usually trashes her game anyway, It is frustrating. I try and make sure we have a play together when DD2 has her nap, and at night as soon as DD2 goes to bed we have 30 mins of play together before her own bedtime. That way I know she has had some one on one play time every day. Unfortunately now that it's so cold we have the TV on way too much.

    Good luck, I sympathise.

  4. #4
    sweetsugardumplin''s Avatar
    sweetsugardumplin' is offline be the change you want to see in da world
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    It sounds like your DD just wants to spend time with you (and considering she has a new baby sister, she has to compete for your attention)
    When you have more than one child, you are stretched.....and then there's the guilt
    She and you sound very normal

  5. #5
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    I could have written this word for word! I lol'd when I read that your DD drags people into her room to play as soon as they walk in the door and gets cranky when they try and leave, my DD does this exactly!! No advice, but I know what it's like getting asked to play 24/7 and trying to attend to and breastfeed a 3 month old also

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    My DD is younger but from what I've seen of friend's 3yos it seems really normal for that age. Hopefully as your bub gets older the pressure will get taken off you to be a constant playmate. Is it possible to include her in your day to day tasks more in a playful way? eg her breastfeeding her baby while you're breastfeeding yours, joining in with cleaning and cooking, etc. What about having set play times so she knows when she'll have your undivided attention and when she'll just need to tag along with what you're doing?

  7. #7
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    headoverfeet is offline The truth will set you free, but first it will **** you off. -Gloria Steinem
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    my 3 yr old is the same. I hear you he goes to day care 2 days a week now which gives me time to recharge when DF is away.

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    My 3 yrs old the same..so annoying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am so over playing princess..snow white..red riding hood..etc..plus I never get to be the princess!!!

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    Girly Whirly, My three year old is the same as well. When her older sister is at School, she is so lost and rarely plays with her 19 month old sister (at home), though she will play with her sister if we're at the park or something.
    We go out three times a week, but for the other two she is either saying 'where are we going today Mum' or 'Mum, I'm hungry'. I can't even entice her outside to play unless I'm out there playing with her, so frustrating as I have a baby due at any moment and she despite being one of three kids, certainly doesn't want for any attention, I am pretty good at sharing myself around with the one on one time.

    I really don't think you're being harsh at all, it sounds as though (given your current circumstances with a newborn etc) that you're doing everything you possibly can with more than one child to amuse. My only other advice would be to include her into your daily tasks/housework etc, that's what I do with my Miss 3, (when we're not playing etc), as it makes her happy to be helping me, interacting with me and gives her the attention she wants from me.

    Luck, but it sounds as though it's all normal to me, as frustrating as it is!

  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone. It's reassuring to know that her behaviour seems relatively normal from what you're all saying

    I do try to include her in daily tasks and she's happy to help but she does lose interest pretty quick and just wants to 'play'....even if I try to make a game of it.

    I should feel flattered that she wants my attention but it does get hard sometimes, I'm sure it will get easier when DD2 gets a little older and can interact more with DD1 so they can 'play' together


 

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