My two and a half year old daughter is constantly asking me and her dad to play with her. She rarely plays on her own for more than 2-5 minutes, even when there are tonnes of toys around and despite my own suggestions or encouragement. Although I would prefer that she didn't watch too much TV during the day, I often let her so that I can do some housework in peace. When we go to playgroups she always needs my constant attention and physical proximity.
I stay close by and try to respond to her in a positive way by suggesting different activities to her and interacting with her and other children for a while. But, as soon as I take my attention away to talk to a mum next to me, she persists that I only interact with her by constanly calling me.
I find it difficult when she demands my exclusive attention, as do need to relax a bit sometimes. Her behaviour seems to improve sometimes after she has spent some energy at the playground, for example when we have been out to the park and she had a good play. This is not always possible, due to the weather or when she gets frustrated because she does not find other kids to play with at the playground. She is always looking to pair up with another child, usually follows them around for a while.. but on many occasions they are not as open and expressive as she is, so there is no interest building up and then she tries to find somebody else or of course myself who have not always got all the energy to climb up and down slides and climbing frames time after time. It seems as if she rarely finds interest and enjoyment in what she is doing and needs to be sharing it with another kid or myself. I often feel obliged to talk and be friends with everybody, especially dog owners as she really loves dogs, in order to keep her happy. Is this indicating an insecurity in my child? Is there something I can do to help her be more confident or take a more leading or self-contented independent play? She seems to be playing well with slightly older kids, especially 3 year olds and she has not got any posessive or aggressive tendencies. She is a gentle passifist.
Some children play alone and some children need someone to play with. If a child has more of an outgoing personality, they may want to spend most of their time with other people. It does not mean that she has an insecurity issues, she just enjoys being with people and playing with them. My oldest daughter was like this and we always had to play with her. She is now 11 and has a ton of friends. My youngest daughter likes to play alone and she is 5 and has fewer friends. This most likely is just her personality. Give her lots of attention and enjoy her while she is young. They grow up fast and before you know it parents are replaced with friends.
I am encouraged to say, play with her. I have seen it in my family, not directly, but in relatives. If a kid has no one to play with, she needs some play time with the parents. One or both. Maybe an hour or two. Then tell her you need to do things and you will continue later or tommorrow. As long as she/he knows there will be play time and how much, there shouldn't be a problem. Your child needs you. What little time you spend with her will work wonders. And remember, come down to her level, don't bring her up to yours in play time. Please, I don't know what is right or wrong in your case, but I urge you to consider playing with your child. It is not abnormal for a child to want to play with it's parents. You will be rewarded in the future if you keep the communication lines open now. While playing with your child, you will learn how your child thinks and you will be able to correct any wrong. but don't expound on the wrong, just keep moving. Look at me, giving advice from something I have only witnessed! But it makes sense to me. I hope it does to you.
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