My 7 year old son was just tested today by a school psychologist for potential hyperactivity disorder. He is driving me nuts since school let out because he will not or can not play alone. During the day if he does not have a playmate he will not go outside or up to his room for alone time. He constantly wants me or his dad to play with him. I have a 5 month old and can not give him the constant attention he craves. I want to know if a child of 7(just turned 7 last month) should be able to play alone and how do I get him to go outside and play. When I was 7 I stayed outside all day. We do not let him watch TV during the week and I limit computer games to 30 minutes per day. He also is involved with sports in the evening hours. There are several 7 year old boys down the street but he does not want to play with them. He was involved in an argument with one of them a few months ago and he has held a grudge ever since. While in the house he runs around and yells and refuses to go outside to run around. Do I need to try to offer some structure to his play time? He was an only child for a long time and had our full attention. He is a very bright child but has had some difficulty in school with hyperactivity and impulsivity. When I offer suggestions, such as play soccer or swing, he justs says no I don't want to and I am bored then he gets up and runs all around. If I go upstairs he just follows me. I do give him one on one time every day and both my husband and myself are very involved with our son. Lately, however, I have been at my wits end. I do not feel that I should have to entertain him 24/7 or find constant activities for him especially when I also have an infant now and we are less flexible.What do you think?What is the best way to handle this situation?
It will be a help if you do provide some structure for him, such as by enrolling him in some type of recreational program. It will be important for him to learn, over time, how to plan his own time and how to interact with his peers. But this is not going to happen overnight, and the situation will only continue to frustrate you if you let the status quo prevail.
If you can get your son interested in reading and books, that will eventually be a great occupier of his time. 7 is a little young for chapter books, but once they start reading those, it's a great, wholesome way to entertain themselves. All my 6 kids loved to read! I still have two girls at home who are 9 and 11. We have no TV at all, but they love to read!
Regarding the "I'm bored" statement by youngsters: I think it's a perfect time for some 'occupational therapy', which in old fashioned lingo is called 'chores'. 7 years old is a good time to start teaching a few useful tasks around the house, don't you think?
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