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Resisting play-alone time

How do you get your LO to play alone? It has been a constant struggle with DS. Most days he will literally scream his head off constantly for as long as he is left alone. I have half of the freaking house baby-gated and baby proofed so that he can run around and play with his toys, but he will just stand at the gate and stare at me or DH and scream and cry. The screaming literally gives me headaches, quite easily. I try to rotate his toys so that there is something interesting for him to play with, etc. but I am out of ideas. I am already having other issues that make it very difficult to sleep or get anything done around the house, so I am exhausted and overwhelmed as it is. I do not have it in me to entertain him constantly, and I shouldn't have to! I just need a few minutes to recharge, or get a few things done around the house without feeling like my head is going to explode and having a guilt trip at the same time.

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kikikiki

Asked by kikikiki at 9:52 AM on Sep. 30, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (4)
  • The only thing that worked for me is if I stopped paying him so much attention when he cried.
    I mean like, he is staring at me and screaming, and I pretend that I cannot see or hear him.
    It may seem like a mean thing to do, but it worked after a few tries.
    Now he is 3 and if I say "Why don't you go play in your room?" he says "Ok, can you put Star Wars Clone Wars on?"

    Good luck!
    Dyssy

    Answer by Dyssy at 9:56 AM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • I do try to ignore him, but
    1. DH doesn't help with this when he is home and
    2. the kid will continue screaming persistently for as long as I let him. He is the same way when he is resisting his naps.
    I think it might help if he couldn't see me at all, but our house is so open that it is hard to do that unless I shut him in his bedroom.
    kikikiki

    Answer by kikikiki at 10:28 AM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • you mean kids actually play by themselves?? haha.. I can't even sit or lay down around my son or he instantly crys and pulls at me and tells me to get up. I am lucky that I work outside the home or it would be very overwhelming so on the weekends he does get all my attention all day til he goes to bed. We did find that he'll play with his matchbox cars for a good 20 minutes by himself and that feels like hours to someone who never gets 20 minutes..and Max is a WHINER too so I PROMISE i know how bad it can get. My husband does help though. I wish I had advice but I end up playing with him all day everyday on the weekends and for 2 hours before work and 3 hours after work so yeah, I am sure if you are a SAHM it would get really old..
    maxsmom11807

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 11:42 AM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • How old is he? I used to put my son in a portable crib with a few favorite toys before he was able to get out of it. I started by leaving him alone in there for 10 minutes every morning, then slowly upped the time in 5 minute increments until he was in there for 30 minutes. I stopped at that but I've read that up to 1 hour is okay. I also did this at the same time every day, say 10am so he quickly got accustomed to the practice and I could actually get something done in the house!
    Swingkid511

    Answer by Swingkid511 at 12:46 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

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