Do You Have A Single Kid Or Two/more Kids? How Do You Engage Them, If It's A Single Child?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by gknew, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. gknew

    gknew Gold IL'ite

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    Hi,
    I don't know how to start this question. It just came to my mind now. I have a single child who is 5 and a half years old. He goes to kindergarten. He plays well with his friends at school and in the community too.
    Since it's winter time, he is not playing outside and we are at home most of the time. During the school break and weekends, he wants me to play with him all the time. I am happy to play with him and I even make many creative games and activities everyday. He is completely dependent on me and he wants me to sit with him all the time. I just sometime felt bad that he is alone and no siblings.
    If you have a single child, how do you entertain them and how do you make them independent? I need some inputs from the mommies whose kids are in their teens too.
    How do your kids feel when they are alone at home? Does the loneliness go away when they grow up? How do you all entertain or engage them at home? Irrespective of ages..looking for some inputs..
    Most of my friends (and community neighbors too) have 2 kids and they talk about their kids and their busy schedule all the time. Whenever we meet or talk on phone, they start the conversation like, I am always busy and you are so free and have ur own time when kid goes to school. This sometimes upset me a lot. Many of my community neighbors talk like that. I don't even continue the conversation with them. I just give a smile back. Don't know what to reply. I can understand that life will be tough with 2 kids and they are busy handling them. Still, they can at least talk some general topics with the mommies of single kid.

    Please share your inputs or thoughts on making kids engage at home please.
    Thank you.
     
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  2. senorita2019

    senorita2019 Gold IL'ite

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    I have one teen son. I usually setup playdates, take him to park, give puzzle or lego or drawing book and reward him with snack

    Now as a teen i cant really do much, he plans his stuff
     
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  3. sumalynux

    sumalynux IL Hall of Fame

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    Our winter schedule

    Brush, bath, breakfast an hour goes
    Playdates for couple of hours.
    Couple of hours TV in a day
    Nap for an hour.

    Couple of hours I sit with him for playdough, legos, train track, or he's around me talking and exploring things in kitchen when m cooking.

    Couple of hours his dad in evening

    PS: my son is 3.5. No school yet. I homeschool him. So he's with me all day..
     
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  4. gknew

    gknew Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you so much... Rewarding with a snack is a good idea..I am using the stickers for reward now. But that doesn't make him so interested to do his work.
     
  5. gknew

    gknew Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you so much @sumalynux.
    Do you have playdates with the kids of same of his age?
    I usually call up my kids friends to home to play with. Few will come and few mommies wont respond back. So,my kid usually plays with a kid of 3.5 yrs/ 4 yrs old.
    Few have their own group of friends with families. They are not including new kids to the group. Since I have recently moved to an Indian community, my kid feel so difficult as most of the kids are in their own groups. He just got few friends from the community.
    I feel I am not expertising myself in setting up the playdates and making a chance for my kid to get included in their gang.
     
  6. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Yes, this can annoy a lot and make you feel upset. Cut down on the no-purpose phone calls or chat. Actually make a list of topics you can seek their input or opinion on. Not topics related to kindergarten or academics, extracurricular activities. Differentiate between women who are your friends and women you have to tolerate for play-dates.

    What general topics? You make the list. It can be about kids, but things that don't lead to comparison or end up again being about your alleged extra leisure.

    Think a little long term. Like 10-12 years. Giving kid the skill to entertain and engage himself without electronics is a skill he will appreciate and utilize later in life. Do not make alleviating his boredom your responsibility.

    It is good that you are not desperate to get some me-time and are happy to play with him but are worrying about him wanting you to sit with him all the time. It will take some weaning but is doable in a few weeks.

    You know your child best. Google "activities for 5-6 yr old" and make a list of 10-15 that he can do by himself. "Make many creative games and activities everyday" -- this is the crux of it. Since you make the games, he expects you to play with him. You create games /activities occasionally.

    My information is a little dated. At that age, with half-day kindergarten which got over at 11:15 am (!!) this is what I recall my kid used to to:
    Melissa and Doug puzzles, toys. Write in a book that had lock and key, play teacher-teacher with dolls as students, a blackboard plus drawing board (with long roll of paper) from Ikea, a toy computer, Leappad books (an antique by today's standards). So, basically, toys and other things mostly without batteries. One more was a writing pad that had half page blank to draw and a few lines below to write. And yes, an "analog clock".

    Routine is the key. Make an informal schedule for the afternoons or holidays. Make it with him. Maybe make a schedule for yourself also. Include 30 or 45 min slots where each of you does your own thing. And compare notes at the end of that time slot.

    Have a list of things he can do. So, when he says, "I am bored", one thing can be picked.

    Another thing that helped was good quality workbooks. Now, don't tell this to many other moms and relatives etc. They will immediately say you are pushing him, blah blah. The best source for workbooks is Better Grades and Higher Test Scores — Guaranteed! - The Critical Thinking Co.™ Go for the print version, not e-versions. Under "Pick a product series" look for Balance benders, funsters, dooriddles, and my favorite - Bundles. They are a bit expensive but worth it. and they have frequent sales too. Check their "Store Locator" option, if you can find something within 50 miles, it is worth a drive to take a look in person. Then, order online as needed.

    Playdates -- if you don't really mind hosting more than your fair share, then make your playdates the "cool" ones. STEM is the in-thing now. Invest some money in good STEM toys or kits, and guide the kids to do those in playdates. An age-appropriate robotics kit would be a good investment. You can even sell if later for around half the price on craigslist or nextdoor. Start doing something related to STEM, AI, ML and see how your playdates become the most popular and sought after. : ) Desi moms will be tripping over themselves to send their 5-7 year old to your place. : )

    In another thread, I wrote about writing back and forth to child. In paper or even using GoogleDoc or something on a computer. You could create a few ahead of time, and he gets one at a time. He reads it, and writes back as well as he can. later, he and you, or dad and he can go over what he wrote.


    Too many worries... :grinning: You need a bigger problem. :p He is not lonely. He is doing fine. Just do not make his entertainment or engagement your responsibility.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
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  7. gknew

    gknew Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you so much for your reply @Rihana.
    I am happy that I got many inputs and ideas from you. Few things are very new to me. STEM and other stuff. Will definitely check about it and start introducing those to my kid.
     
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  8. sumalynux

    sumalynux IL Hall of Fame

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    Yeah most kids are 6months or year plus or minus his age.

    For play date like @Rihana mentioned I tolerate the moms who are really nosy, don't care to clean up after playing and doesn't have regards of time ( I tell 11 to 1. They come 12 to 2 messing my lunch hours) and don't care to host at their home even once. But I do tolerate coz my son needs friends his age. Sometimes they literally drop off their kids I get mad and vent with dh. But since it's winter and am not sending son school I need a friend for him so tolerate with happy face. (I know it's selfish, but can't help)

    As Rihana mentioned I invested in different kinds of blocks and train tracks, race cars and Lego'sand puzzles which attracts kids so they come n spend couple of hours. But I still have to monitor them as their mom's "drop" n go. But I use this time to cook and just keep an eye on them.

    But summer I don't have this problem. I keep him in park 5pm to 8pm. And morning I take an hour walk with him in community. Winter is main issue for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
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  9. gknew

    gknew Gold IL'ite

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    Yeah.. These issues comes only in winter.
    I didn't set up any formal playdates yet. Have to try that. Like scheduled times and stuff.
    They just stop by when they are free and play with my kid. Or when the kids coming back from school bus, few kids will drop by and play for sometime.
     
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  10. poovai

    poovai Platinum IL'ite

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    With one kid or 2-kids, it will be the same. Still, you need to entertain your kid in a creative way.

    I am very out-dated, my son is an adult now.

    There are many creative games available now a days....in our days... listed few games he enjoyed playing. For his age group, you can find many similar online games/creative activities such as

    -simcity (my son played a lot)
    -where's waldo
    -geography bee
    -spelling bee

    We went to the library, alternate week and picked a set of books for his age group. I read to him daily and sat with him when he read. His academy recommended us many topics and the kid had to present his learnings in drawings, dress up, some sort of crafts etc. Lots of home work for moms, topics like famous French paintings, meet a celebrity! He was also learning swimming, taekwondo and seasonal indoor sports at local YMCA.

    Nothing impressed him as much as the cars, for hours we heard nothing but his voice making racing noise! Of course, we had to be nearby....in his vision.

    ......DH /I had lots of fun with 'kids toy sets' that we didn't have when we were growing up....
    Other kids loved to come home to play with him. It was lots of fun, building toy sets.
    For years, the toy train set was running in our family room.

    running train station set
    construction vehicles
    Various lego sets (DH fav)
    track racer car play station
    moving Garage car station
    dinosaur set (slept holding rex for days)

    Thinking about it brings back lots of memories, we enjoyed his toys so much !!!

    Later years, we gave it away to the kids in India. Now, I have only his bunny in his room! He still keeps his 'curious George' with him.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
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