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2 Bumps

Playing alone

My 21-month old son doesn't play well by himself. If I'm (or someone is) not directly interacting with him, he either wants cartoons on the tv, or he'll just follow us around whining and fussing until we give him our attention. How can I encourage him to play on his own a little bit without the need for the tv to be on? I know we created our own problem with the tv thing, so please don't bash, just looking for help on getting him back on the right track! Thanks!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:58 PM on Apr. 5, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (12)
  • This is a great question because I have a son who is gonna be an only child cant wait to see answers. Hey if anyone bashes about the TV boo because its our kids and we do what we need to do !

    Answer by christinahenry at 2:59 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • I would cut the tv down and just leave him his room by his self my sons plays by him self all the time

    Answer by enaNianza at 3:00 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • My son is the same way, only he won't even watch tv, lol! I just give him the attention. I figure one day he won't want me to play with him, so I may as well enjoy it now. I do know it can be frustrating sometimes, though. It's hard to get certain things done when someone is clinging to you, lol.

    Actually, for some weird reason, he's been playing by himself for the last 45 minutes. It's a miracle, lol!

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 3:02 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • enaNianza - just shot the door or put a baby gate up so he stays in his room? He'll definately just scream at the door for quite awhile, but will that help it get better eventually?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 3:02 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • BTW I'm not bashing the tv I'm a tv person but my son won't watch it

    Answer by enaNianza at 3:02 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • Use music for background noise, and simply refuse to turn the TV on. You can't expect a child that young to play alone, you just can't. Acknowledge that he is there, don't ignore him, and try to include him in what you're doing- give him a rag and a spray bottle of water to "clean" with- things like that will keep him entertained much longer if he can do it with or near you.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 3:03 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • Ya he'll get over him self or make a lot of play dates with kids hind age

    Answer by enaNianza at 3:04 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • This is totally normal! Children don't really start to play independently until around age 3. Between 2-3 there is a boost in independent play and also a boost in interactive play. Until then, they will generally only parallel play with others their age (play along side, not "with" them), or otherwise want the adult entertainment play, where you sing, do finger games, etc...

    I would seriously CUT the TV though. At this age they NEED more attention, that's just the nature of children. I promise, it will ease up! Mine is 3 and I'll find him talking and playing in the other room all the time where last year, that almost NEVER happened.
    Also...I found baby wearing around the house would enable me to do more. I would throw him on my back in the sling and do dishes...or do a playful jog around the house...and sing to him while I did some chore. You can also find ways to incorporate him into chores any way you can.

    Answer by boomamma at 3:04 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • try to play with him for a bit and if you see him involved with a toy, try to slip away and see if he has noticed.
    We have a 3 year old. I work nights and am home durring the day. we have a similiar experience.
    I think our children need a play date. just joking!!! we will play with him a bit and then try to leave him alone still with us in the same room. That way he will still see us but is holding his own in the livingroom while I am in the kitchen.
    The tv. I totaly understand. Its keeping their attention so y ou can get something done. You will have lots of no tv time when they can be distracted with something else alone. good luck!!!!

    Answer by TRACY1977 at 3:07 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • I would try arts and crafts or get him looking at books that he enjoys

    Answer by Christmaslver68 at 3:11 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

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