"The ultimate goal of raising children is to help them out of our lives and into successful lives of their own. "

Developing the Skill To Play by Oneself

Question

Any special resources you would recommend for an only child? When I see "play by yourself" I often feel guilty because he is really by himself! I think I overindulge due to guilt that he's alone. We didn't intend to have only one child, but that was God's plan for us and now we want to do the best we can with what he has entrusted us with. Thanks!

Answer

Hello dear mom and thank you for your question!

Doing the best we can for our children starts by knowing what they really need, therefore, you are on the right path! A child who develops the skill of playing by himself is a child who can be by himself but does not feel lonely.

People tend to believe that children need to be entertained or distracted all the time but that is not the truth. The more he plays by himself, the more he is using his imagination. A child may spend hours doing so and that is healthy.

A good resource is to reduce the number of toys available. If he has too many, put some away and offer only some options a week. The best type of toys are the ones the child can apply meaning to. Non-structured material, for instance. A toilet paper roll can be a tunnel for the ants one day and become glasses the next day. That enables the child to play with it for longer. If you keep in mind that when you step out of the game you are doing the best you can for him, it is going to be easier for you and better for everyone.

I highly recommend you read “The New Six Point Plan For Raising Happy, Healthy Children” by John Rosemond. That will give great guidance to you.

Best,
Denise Rohrer
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach

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