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How can I get my three year old son to play by himself?

my 3 three year old son is a lot of fun and very active but he will not play by himself . Whenever i go to put little sister down for a nap or take a shower he throws a fit and does not want me to leave. When i try to exercise he just hangs around right at my feet until I am done. I have tried starting him out and then leaving but he won't stick with it.

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Asked by staciesm at 2:59 PM on Feb. 11, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • they get bored. my daughters almost three n i live right next door to my inlaws, if i just wanna go give my mother in la something n come back, she has a tantrum and runs n follows me. my 7 month old is nothing compared to her. i have to be around my 3 yr old at all times. she's driving me crazy. i think its just a phase. guess i'm in the same boat as u.

    Answer by fefe87 at 3:01 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • Hmmm... Sounds a lot like my son lol You could try sending him to his room for "quiet time". Tell him he can either take a nap or play quietly. If he won't just keep at it. Eventually he'll get the idea that both you and him need alone time. Both my friend and I do that for our kids. It's rough at times but it will make all of you happier in the long run.

    Answer by SinaiJ at 3:04 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • Simple ... turn him into a 5-year-old !!

    Human brains develop in definite ways. I could type a lot here about myelin sheath getting laid down along neural pathways in certain phases .... etc. The human brain NEEDS certain kinds of "input" (experiences, interactions, surroundings, affection, reliable relationships) in order to achieve basic structures and learn fundamental abilities.

    Fact is, 3-year-olds are not BUILT to be separated from family. They are entirely a sponge, needing reassuring accompaniment and desperately needing to be able to imitate mama's every move (so select wisely what they see you doing ! Make sure it's something you WANT them to do)

    GIVE them generously what they need, and they can complete each phase. If we are stingy, then they are forced to become "needy".

    Isn't it ODD that we view neediness as an annoyance? If our child is needy, it's a good clue for what WE need to provide to them!


    Answer by waldorfmom at 3:17 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • They go through stages, and unfortunately, it's not called the terrible 3's for nothing. If you have a child's cd player or an old type cassette one, put on kids music, and give him some blocks to build with, and set him on the floor in front of the blocks, so his back is to you when you leave the room. The music might distract him long enough so you can at least go to the bathroom, or answer the phone.As far as a shower is concerned, the best time I have found to that is when they are asleep at night, or to get up earlier than they do, and take a quick one. At this age, they are very clingy. You might also try standing him next to you while you are exercising, and showing him what you are doing,to get him exercising with you.This may not work, but it's worth a try.

    Answer by 1redjellybean at 3:17 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • Give him quiet time in his room. Thell him he has to stay in there and play for 15 minutes.
    When you are doing paperwork, give him paperwork to do in the same room as you but seperate.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 3:28 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

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