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How much time should parents spend playing with their toddlers?

I am asking for OPINIONS as I know nothing is set in stone.
I ask because I am home with my son (2.5 yrs old) all day (no dad involved), But I work. So eventhough we are together and we talk to each other all day, and I take very small breaks to fix a toy, or run a car across my desk, or whatever he is asking me to do, I sometimes feel like I don't actually SPEND time with HIM. SO...what say you?

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ProudSingleMum

Asked by ProudSingleMum at 7:18 PM on Apr. 29, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 5 (60 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • I usually respond to my son when he wants me and needs me. I work at home now and then so can get busy (I am a stay at home mother) and sometimes my son may want me..so I end up giving him my full attention and playing with him. If I didn't, I know he would most likely be upset all day because he didnt get the one on one time with me he wanted.

    A lot of the time he is quite happy playing on his own - but I always make it a point to respond to him and play with him when he wants me to. I think its important he gets the one on one time he needs.

    I sometimes feel like I dont actually spend time with him too..but hes happy enough because if hes not getting one on one time with me he is with his father.

    Hope that makes sense!
    keyaziz

    Answer by keyaziz at 7:22 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • They are only young once, and the time you spend with them now is probably going to be the amount of time they will want to spend with you later on. I give my daughter my full attention most of the day, every day. I am a stay at home mom.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:37 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • As a WM, I also feel that I may not be getting in "enough" time with my boys. I've found that if the time I do spend with them can be filled with fun, it makes the quality of time spent much more valuable. I make time where I can and try to enjoy the experiance so that they will enjoy it too. As a kind of single mom (DH is away in the military), it can be hard to get things done with the kids in tow. But, I try and not rush the experiance so that it doesn't turn into a hassle or chance for a melt down. For example, during the week, I only have 2 hours between the time I get home until they go to bed...so, we do bath time, story time and cuddle time. If that means we eat take-out that night, then so be it. On weekends, a trip to the store can take hours, and thats ok. My big guy helps pick food and put it in the cart, we sing songs in the aisles, talk about colors and where the food comes from,etc. IMO its QUALITY not quantity!
    ozarkgirl3

    Answer by ozarkgirl3 at 8:29 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • I've been working from home latley and I spend one hour in the morning doing nothing but playing with both kids. Then another hour in the afternoon. Throughout the day they are next to my desk playing with thier toys. If it's nice outside my work gets put on hold and we go to the park, or have a picnic, And if henry brings me a toy and says play or starts to play on my desk I know he needs me and we add more play time, it just means i work a little later that night when he's gone to bed or older kids get home from school. The three big kids will take both babies to the gameroom and play with them for about an hour a day while I finish my calls and daily logs and start dinner. They all love to play with them.
    - www.RamblingsOFaSAHM.com
    Vanessannd

    Answer by Vanessannd at 9:07 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • Working from home is way, way different from being a SAHM. I think that the AMOUNT of time isn't so much as important as finding a rhythm both you and your son can live with and be happy with is more important than actual number of minutes per day.

    Take a few days and really notice how long it takes him to require your full attention. Can he go 10 minutes? 15? more? My 1 year old will happily go play cars for 15-20 minutes at a time. Yay me, right? So stretch that a little. How about taking a full 10 minutes to really focus fully on him every 30 minutes and then he gets to finish playing by himself 'til the next break. Set a timer so he knows when mommy time is?

    Shorter but more predictable, fully focused breaks might let you get more work done and he'll learn that he can go play because mommy time's definitely, predictably coming in not too long a time.

    I dunno if it'll work, but worth a try, right?
    Avarah

    Answer by Avarah at 12:15 AM on Apr. 30, 2009

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