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34

I take what I consider to be a pragmatic approach: if there is no toy which is obviously a gun, kids just make their own (60-80% of boys, 30% of girls, play with "aggressive toys" of some variety). Fingers, sticks, coat hangers (which double as pretty decent fighter planes and space ships, IMHO), pencils/pens, cardboard tubes (packing tubes make great ...


13

It sounds like you already do this, but don't 'let' him win just to avoid the scene, this will create bigger problems later. As you are playing the game (I assume most of the games, if not all, are simple chance) ask him, who do you think will win now. He will then see that the 'winner' goes back and forth through out the game. When he wins narrate your ...


13

Most important then if you should let your child play with toy A or toy B, is what you already posted in your question: What are the effects this kind of play have in the children's psichology? Remember toddlers and young children have trouble separating fantasy from reality. His nightmares and fantasies will seem as real as school to them. You have to ...


10

I found two ways of dealing with this. First, when we get home I give my kids about 15 minutes of my time before attempting what I think 'needs' to get done. This way I have given them my attention and then I can say something like, I need to make dinner it will take about 10 minutes and then I will be back. this avoids the whole issue. Second, when the ...


9

At that age, it is normal to spend pretty much all her waking time trying to interact with her - remember, the more interaction she has with you, your wife and others now, the faster her brain will develop, and the easier it is for her to learn social skills. That said, be sensible about it - you don't both need to be with her, so take turns - each of you ...


8

TL;DR Have fun together, but back off sometimes and just watch. And when you're too exhausted, just say so. I think your son is lucky to have a dad that is so engaged. You're certainly not doing a bad job of it! You just need to steal Iron Man's power source and put it in your chest. If that can't be accomplished, then you could try some of these ideas: ...


8

I've decided to share a few things we do right now which seem to be interesting and fun and (I think) help her develop (or at least don't slow her development:). Just an explaination: I write her all the time because I have a daughter. At this age it doesn't change much for boys I guess. Indoors Activities with children's books There are many books for ...


7

The best thing is to let them know when. They won't mind "not now" if they know that their time will come. We do this by using a timer. If I am working on something and the kids want some time that I don't have immediately, I will set a timer for 30 minutes, or 60 minutes and then when the timer goes off I make some time (even as little as 10-15 minutes). ...


7

According to this primary school's website, heuristic play is defined as the following: Heuristic play actively encourages exploration by using and developing children's senses. Children instinctively investigate objects that interest them, making discoveries through taste, touch, smell, sound and how they look. During the activity children explore ...


7

At 4 months they're not going to get much out of parallel play yet. But there is an important thing YOU can get out of it... talk time with another adult. There's a reason they're called "play*dates*", it's kinda like dating when you were a teen... part of it is to get to know the other parents to know if over time these are parents you're ok with your ...


7

I have a 5 year old boy and a 2 year old daughter. Finding something they can play together can be challenging, especially because my 2 year old doesn't have a lot of the fine motor control required for many of the things that my 5 year old takes for granted. Its also important to note, that developmentally a 2 year old will not necessarily play with others. ...


7

I know I'm repeating myself here, but LEGO is such an awesome toy. For ages under 5, there's LEGO Duplo which are basically just bigger blocks that can't be swallowed. I'm building stuff with my nearly-2-year-old and it's still fun although I'm 37! Just stacking and creating all kinds of silly constructions. My son will mostly tear them apart but also ...


6

It sounds like your daughter may not have an issue with competitive play, but with being rushed about and pressed on and pushed by a bunch of other kids. Both of the games you mention tend to involve some level of pushing, shoving, and squeezing. If she isn't also having trouble with a foot race or a board game, or other competitive things, then the ...


6

If only you could bottle and sell some of that excess energy, you'd be rich! Sometimes you just need to explain to the child that they have to play on their own for a while. They won't like it but after 5 minutes alone they'll usually find something with which to amuse themselves. The hardest part is for you to not feel guilty during those 5 minutes. ...


6

We let our two eldest play together down the bottom of our garden (which is out of sight, but within a high fence) from the ages of 3 and 5, but didn't let them go up to the park until 8 and 6. It is about 5 minutes walk away, with only one minor road to cross, and is in full view of 8 or 9 houses, but we just felt that at that distance if something did ...


5

Remember that dealing with disappointment is another important life lesson parents need to teach. You don't have to be a martyr to be a good parent. If you want to spend more time with him without exhausting yourself, a few things you can try are: Just be a spectator. Tell him you need to rest for a while, but you will watch him, or at least stay in the ...


5

A key question is "How often do you play a game that he CAN'T win"? A lot of dads get competitive, and believe that they're teaching their children "the value of losing gracefully", when they're actually teaching them "Can't beat Dad, because I'm better", which is very frustrating for a child, as there's NOTHING THEY CAN DO. If you're playing a game where ...


5

Playing on his own a bit can increase his independence (or perhaps his desire to do so signals he's already pretty independent?) -- either way it's not a bad thing. It sounds like he's getting plenty of social interaction :) As for "how much" solo play is good and how much is too much, it depends entirely on the personality of the child. As long as he's ...


5

I think there are two separate factors here: one is imposing an appropriate amount of alone time as a consequence for an infraction, which is easy, because after the appropriate amount of time on his own, one or other of you (parents) can join him so he's not alone but is also not bugging his sister. The harder question is how to get an extrovert child to ...


5

Consider you answered your own question, you turned out okay, rationally recognizing the inherent dangers. There are important, legitimate, appropriate, responsible uses of weapons for defense, hunting to provide food, and sports. Its not just about violence, or playing cops & robbers. Water, essential for life, is inherently dangerous. A child can ...


4

You're right that this needs to stop. I can easily imagine how you got yourself into this situation; of course you want to engage with your kids, and it's fun and cute, at least in the beginning. But as long as you're doing the playing for them, they are not developing their creativity and imagination, which is very important at their age. That only comes ...


3

I know how it goes... you're cooking dinner, or are in rush hour traffic, or on the phone arguing with your exwife (ahem) and your kid is all about "can I do bla bla bla?" while your brain is occupied and can barely eek out the cycles to say "not right now" let alone come up with a coherent answer. My answer to your question is to change your own habit. ...


3

Showing an example by losing gracefully yourself can also really help - and remember to also have the conversation on how to be a magnanimous victor. Both are key learning experiences that seem to work well by example.


3

If the game involved a significant component of strategy or skill, as opposed to luck, point out whatever positives you can about his play, both during the game, and once the winner is determined. Even if the game is purely random, you can still praise him when he loses ("Good game! That was very close... I got lucky at the end!"). Most importantly, don't ...


3

Why is she having to race to a bag of toys to get "the best one?" in the first place? If she is just having this problem at parties then it really isn't a problem. She just doesn't like these kinds of games. Make sure to play OTHER less competitive types of games at her own party. she can choose to participate at other parties or not. If this is part of ...


3

This article from BabyCenter says that babies under 12 months will be interested in other babies and view them as toys, rather than actually play with them (no mention on if this is good for development). Children between ages 1 and 2 will play next to another child--called "parallel play"--without really playing with the other child. Not until your ...


3

I'm keeping an eye on this one, I have a 6 year old and 1.5 year old and I have a hard time doing anything with them where I am involved. Together they play pretty well, so long as I keep the older one in check, but with me it's pretty much the following: playing ball (tossing a ball like baseball or football with really soft ones for the younger) ...


3

Lucky you! Any child who learns to play on their own is exhibiting a secure attachment to their parent, and he is probably using you as a secure base, which means he'll explore or play on his own and every so often glance at you to make sure you're still there and approving of his activities. I don't know of any hard and fast rules about amounts of time, ...


3

Here's a good research based article on the importance of supervised play: http://www.parentingscience.com/preschool-social-skills.html In short, kids play better when parents model different social skills. Too much time with peers can actually undermine behavior. But 8 months is really young. My understanding of the research is that until about age 3, ...


3

What a clever child you have! He understands the shampoo is to be used in the bath, so he tried to take a bath in order to play with it. That is fabulous! I do understand the problem, but I do think you should take a moment to recognize this problem is stemming from the fact that your child does understand what you have told him, each thing has a place ...



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