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Help, I want my son to enjoy playing outside, alone....!!!!!

He is 5. We have a lovely backyard with a wooden playhouse, swing, sandbox, slip n slide, 2 power wheels ride ons...our doggie!

And he always wants to come inside to watch tv cause he says its too hot.

If someone is out there with him he is usually fine, but if he is alone, he cant seem to keep himself entertained.

Of course, I watch him, we have huge patio doors and several windows where I can see him all the time.

But what can I do to get him to figure out how to have fun just diggin' or whatever?

I want him to love outside, today I pushed him out and everytime I looked at him he was sitting in a porch chair, one time he was even asleep!!!! My dd is sick today so I was staying inside with her, that is why I was not outside with him.

Whats up?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:53 PM on Jun. 8, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (14)
  • Sounds like he just doesn't know how to entertain himself. I would try by telling him, why don't you just swing or dig in the sand box for 10 minutes by yourself and then you can come in. Eventually he will get really into his play. I would think if you just tell him to go out and he doesn't really want to then he is not going to have fun. But if you tell him after 10 minutes he can come in and maybe watch one show that might make it easier to start. You can then send him back out after the show is over and do it all over again. I think it would also help to tell him what to do outside. By him just sitting out there makes it seem to me that maybe he is at a loss at what to do.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:57 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • turn off the tv. do not allow cartoons to be an option. if he wants to be inside, he can help you with the house. lol. thats what my parents use to do to us. needless to say, we spent time outside. lol

    Answer by SThompson21 at 5:57 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • LOL, play or dust.....I like that option!

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:58 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • Make sure he doesn't watch tv if he does come inside. Give him a set time each day to watch tv, possibly the hottest part of the day. Send him outside early in the day before it gets too hot, and then send him out again later in the day when it's cooling off. You might also let him have some toys that are outdoor only toys, like a bucket full of small cars. I think some kids just have a harder time being alone than others, so it may be more about that than actually about being outside. If there are other kids in your neighborhood, maybe let one of them come over and play outside with him some.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 6:01 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • invite a friend?

    Answer by DeathBat at 6:03 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • Children don't really have the motivation to play outside like we did when we were kids. There are so many tv programs, computer and electronic games, air conditioning, junk food and candy, etc. that why would anyone want to play in the yard and get hot and sweaty? LOL

    I don't much blame him, but I also think that being outside teaches good exercise habits, the ability to find one's own entertainment, and also make believe, not to mention that fresh air and sunshine is paramount to good health.

    I would begin, when you are able, by going outdoors with him and just make yourself busy to the side allowing him to see you there, close by. Some children, if they are used to mom being in the next room and close by, they feel more secure. Being outside alone and the doors closed may make him feel less secure. Everyday, let him spend more time alone outside, while you run indoors or you make yourself busy in the yard. ;)

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 6:20 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • Maybe he's overwhelmed? With so much to do, maybe he doesn't know where to start, so he'd rather come in where he doesn't have to try to make that choice? I like the idea one person mentioned of having him go out for a set number of minutes and then he can come back in, and to keep trying that.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 6:42 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • How is it good parenting to push your child outside in the heat while you sit inside looking at him through a window in the air conditioning? Thats just wrong!
    If he likes playing outside with adult supervision and is fine then but not when you're inside shouldn't that tell you something? He's only 5! He could have had a heat stroke outside asleep too! If he had enough time to go to sleep you weren't keeping that great of an eye on him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:12 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • I'm sorry, at what point did she say she had air conditioning? and at what point did she mention the dangerous heat level it would take to cause a child to have a heat stroke while sleeping. Heat stroke occurs when your extremely active and dehydrated in mild heat or just dehydrated in extreme heat. And I have a feeling the poster is smart enough not to send a child outside in extreme heat, as are most of us, as well as allow the child water when needed. Maybe before you go judging others for instilling independence and imagination in their children you should step back and look at whether your creating needy children who always have to have mommy around, and don't know how to play by themselves as I'm going to judge is the situation, based only on your post since this is how you seem to judge others.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 8:22 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • Invite a friend over to play with him, he may be bored or not wanting to play with himself. Also, if it is hot outside, I wouldn't want to play outside either. My son is not an outdoorsy kid, especially when it is hot or humid outside. Take some time to SHOW him how to play and then tell him he has to show you how to play. IF he says he is too hot, don't force the issue, he may very well be. I have stopped fighting with my son to be outside, it just isn't worth forcing a kid to do something he really doesn't like. I do get him outside a little bit each day.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:37 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

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