@loislane2010 I agree however we have scheduled things during the week (sports) for the obvious physical activity but also to reduce computers - it's a fine balance to not over schedule but then not have them glued to electronics and for me that's my biggest issue. We don't do much in weekends in general. If i gave them full access to computer or iPad I wouldn't hear from them all day but I can't do that obviously so when they have to play that's when the whole I have nothing to do kicks in. I'm not crafty so it's like torture for me to do that with them and due to some health issues I'm restricted in my ability to play physical games so it's a vicious cycle.
Will take on board any suggestions though if more have some.
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03-01-2016 12:17 #21
Why can't my kids play on their own?
03-01-2016 12:24 #22
@LoisLane that all makes sense but for us specifically they don't have any set extra curricular activities. When we go out it's generally to the shops, a cafe, a friend or family's place. Sometimes we go out 2 or 3 times some days we stay in all day.
Yes DD goes to childcare but the get a lot of free play.
I think some kids are just better at playing by themselves than others.
R&A&H I like the idea of set time within any given hour or half hour for me to do housework or just sit in peace. I'll keep that up my sleeve for when DS is a bit older and can understand that. He's far harder to pry away from my calves than DD is. Haha
03-01-2016 12:36 #23
My kids are 10, nearly 7, nearly 5 and 2. I manage school holidays like a military operation.
each week I try and organise 2 play dates (minimum) out of the house for the older 2. That gives them time with friends and also a break from each other
My older 3 love tennis so they do a kit 1 to 2 morning tennis sessions each week as well. And swimming lessons. So they gets them out of the house and keeps them physically active.
So long as they are out each day for half of the day I don't stress about screen time as much. They all get a few hours in the afternoon to have down time (my middle 2 don't usually use this).
Every evening in summer my older 2 and I take the dogs to the beach. We head out at 7-ish and come home around 8. Then straight to bed.
If we are stuck home then they play Lego or on the trampoline. Or I set up the slip n slide and they all put on mermaid tails and play pretend games.
My kids have all of December and January off so I have to keep them busy or the time can drag for them and me. I often get a little bit I involved in their games and then will quietly withdraw once they are engaged and playing together.
03-01-2016 12:46 #24
I'd imagine the more kids you have the more likely they are to play by themselves??
Not that having another child would solve any problems for us, it would cause more problems haha. It could just be the symptom of having just 1 or 2 children perhaps.
03-01-2016 12:47 #25Senior Member
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I think this is a common problem these days but I don't think it's necessarily linked to over scheduling. I'm a SAHM, DD doesn't go to daycare and we do no scheduled activities, she's never even been to mothers group/ play group etc. The types of 'activities' we do are going to the park, having play dates with friends/ cousins, she comes with me to run errands, nothing scheduled at all.
However I have the exact same problem. My SIL whose sons have been raised the same has the same problem as well. Kids these days just seem incapable of playing by themselves.
In taking to older relatives I think the problem is not so much with the kids but with the parents. We're so hard on ourselves these days. We think that we should be interacting with out kids as much as possible and we're so wracked with guilt that we're always doing the 'wrong' thing. My parents always remind me that when we were young there was no expectation for them to play with us. Adults had other responsibilities and we had the luxury of playing all day and not having responsibilities. There was no discussion entered into. Sure they played the occasional game with us or took us to the beach or on picnics but daily 'playing' with my parents didn't exist. If we nagged that we were bored they'd quickly find some chore for us and we learnt quick smart that if we wanted to avoid chores we should avoid nagging about being bored and just get out and have fun.
That being said getting out and having fun was so much easier because you could always go over to your neighbours place or out on the street and find kids to play with.
I don't mean to idealize the past, I know it wasn't all roses but I think there have been vast societal changes that mean that kids have sort of lost the ability to keep themselves entertained and I don't know that there's any easy solution to remedy that.
03-01-2016 12:50 #26
My middle 2 play together most but the older 2 play things like Lego together. But it's easier to send the older 2 to school holiday activities with friends.
I just keep very busy and make sure they do too. We rarely have home days. We all have to get out every day.
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03-01-2016 12:53 #27
I try to actually schedule in free play time, where there's no screens or parents or friends to entertain them. Usually on the weekend mornings and a couple of afternoons a week they have a good 2-3 hour block where they are just expected to play on their own.
you have to be pretty consistent about it. I also do the 'play for 10 minutes then leave them to it' trick. But after that they're on their own. Make it a household rule. Be consistent. If they come to you and all they get is 'go and play, I will play with you at 11' they will eventually give up.
And don't feel guilty!! If they are getting quality time with you at other times throughout the day, it's just as important to teach them to entertain themselves.
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03-01-2016 13:04 #28
I think it's very hard to compare how it was when we were kids to now. If I got bored I got on my bike and roamed. I rode for hours and no one would have known where I was. Kids aren't given that freedom these days so naturally we have to find other ways to entertain them. My 10 year old is allowed to ride around the suburb and to the beach alone (but not swim) but other parents look at me like I'm a freak for letting her. She has a phone and we keep in contact.
My mother always says we use what we have available and if screens had existed when I was a kid I probably would have been glued to one as well!
03-01-2016 13:14 #29
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03-01-2016 13:15 #30Senior Member
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