Demands Constant Entertainment
Some children demand that their parents play with them all the time. These children want to be picked up or complain about being bored whenever their parents start to read a newspaper, prepare dinner, or fix their hair. Such a child is becoming spoiled. This degree of interruption is unnecessary.
Assuming you talk and play with your child several hours each day, by age 1 you can reasonably expect several 15-minute blocks of personal time. And by age 3, your child should be able to spend over half her time playing with toys on her own.
If your child always wants your undivided attention, here are some tips:
- First: Tell your child you're going to be busy for a while and help her chose something to do.
- Second: If your child interrupts you, say "I know you want to play with me. I wish I could but I'm busy cooking dinner. We'll play when I'm done."
- Third: If your child continues to talk or makes unreasonable demands, either ignore her or give her a brief time-out.
- Finally: Children need to learn how to amuse themselves when parents are busy. Your job is to provide toys. How to play with them comes natural to children. If you're overly available to your child, she'll forget how to entertain herself.
If you have questions about your child's behavior, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.