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How do you get your preschooler/kindergartener to play by him/herself

My DSD is almost 5, an only child, comes to our home every other weekend - holiday /school breaks - 6 weeks out of the summer - and any other special event/time her BM doesn't want her, the problem is that she can not play by herself EVER! We just moved into a new apartment (our old one was a townhouse with the bedrooms upstairs so she never wanted to play in her room because the living room and kitchen were downstairs so thats where DH and I typically wanted to be our new apartment is larger but everything is on the same floor and she can see into the living room from her bedroom) anyway the first two weeks we were here she did amazing was in her room playing by herself practically the whole time then she went back to BM's house for a week and now she is back and refuses to go play in her room, sleep in her room, go in her room to get things, etc. DH and I told her to go play in her room tonight after we were done with supper and she threw such a fit started crying and even now she is sitting in the dining room with is attached to the living room bawling that she doesn't want to play by herself. She refuses to change her story - she says she just wants to be with othe people - what would you do in this situation?

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Asked by NessGuinness at 8:18 PM on Jul. 11, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 10 (414 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • Well, I don't have a stepdaughter, but I would try to find out from her what's going on over at Mommy's house that's making her feel so insecure or ask her BM. My 6 year old is an only and does an awesome job playing by herself. I think there's more to this story than just wanting someone to play with though it could be that simple.

    Answer by leomommy1325 at 9:59 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Well first a big pat on the back to you its hard to be a step mom, I have two step kids. I think what helps your case is you see her so much. Now I don't know your relationship with her but talk to her... find out what it is that is bugging her. Now things like this can get to you when you make progress and she goes back home only to come back and have to start all over again. I would try just for a little bit to play with her or lay and watch a movie with her. Say you have to get up to go potty reassure her you'll be right back take a few and go back in. Wait a bit then say you have to get a snack take a bit longer but check on her while your out there let her know shes being a good girl and your right there if she needs you. Maybe she got grounded while at BMs and thinks of her room as a punishment. Just let her know that her room is her space & she can feel safe in her space... HTH!


    Answer by horseap at 10:08 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • thank you so much ladies it is so nice to have other moms/stepmoms to ask advice from

    Comment by NessGuinness (original poster) at 5:25 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • I agree with horseap. I would also try getting her a toy that she REALLY likes, and put it in her room, and when she askes to play with it, tell her it's in her room, but bc it is so special that it needs to stay in there when she trys to bring it out, or asks to bring it to the living room. I think that there must be something going on at her BM home. My SD has a sister at her BM and so she normally plays with her, and doesnt really like playing by herself but will if needed. (normally bc DS is asleep or too little to play with some of the stuff she does) I also set up a little desk for her to color on, and told her that the colors are supposed to stay in that area with her desk. And we dont move the desk.

    Answer by baquick at 11:25 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

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