So I have a child who does not like to play independently. My almost four year old is not the type to go off into a room and play with a toy by herself. She likes company, and if you ask her why she does not like to play alone, she will tell you that she does not like to be lonely. How can I argue with that? There are personalities in this world that are more social, and enjoy the presence of others.
In truth I should feel good that my child wants to play with me, she likes me! Yay, I am doing something right! Not to mention the fact that this too is just a stage that will come to an end, and won't I feel like an ass if I let this phase pass by and then it is too late? She will not want to play "Princess" with me forever.
As much as I love playing with my daughter, the reality of the situation is that we do own a house that requires some attention. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, organizing...blah, blah, blah. So after much deliberation I have come up with some ideas on how to solve this dilemma. Main idea here is that I do not want to hurt my daughter's feelings, I hate saying, "No, I do not want to play with you." I feel like that is offending.
Here is my list, ways I get things done without using the words, "No, I do not want to play with you:"
1. I pretend I am "Cinderella of the Castle" and the evils make me do all of these chores all by myself :( My daughter then saves the day by helping me do the work. We pretend to be princesses who need to finish their work before they can play. Worked every time so far!
*This scenario can be changed to fit the like of your own child. You can be superheroes that have to save the land from the mess monsters, or house doctors who have to make the sick house feel better.*
2. I compromise. I tell her I can play for some amount of time, then I need that same amount of time to do "Mommy Work." This is a great way to teach the balance of relationships, you are after all how your children learn to create their own accords.
3. I do housework during her quiet time. This can be challenging if you have more than one at home, you have to bank on them both being quiet at the same time...YIKES!
4. My daughter has a chore chart. This in detail is a new blog post on its own, but in short, she has to do two chores a day and gets paid for her work. I conveniently make her chores convenient for me :)
5. We make dinner together, she loves helping in the kitchen. There are so many kitchen tasks for little hands, and she is learning so much. And of course, the quality time is invaluable <3
I am not claiming to have this whole clean house, totally organized thing down to a science. There are plenty of times when I should have mopped the floor yesterday. We also have eggs for dinner a lot. However, I can say that most of the time we have things (slightly) under control :)