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Old May 17th, 2018, 06:30 AM   1
superfrizbee
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I feel useless at entertaining/educating my 3.5 year old.


I have a dd aged nearly 6, and 2 ds, 3.5 years and 8 months. My oldest son has additional needs. To be concise, he has physio, occupational therapy for fine motor skills, speech and feeding therapy, plus he has recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Life is tough and busy. I do everything I can, but sometimes I feel like we never just have time to just play. Don't get me wrong, his therapy is done through games, but there is so little time for it. I really don't enjoy myself with him most of the time and there is always something else stressful or therapeutic to be doing. We are good with doing physio. He is very outdoorsie and I enjoy taking him to the park or gymnastics. It's indoor activities we struggle with. Time is a factor and also motivation and interest. I really want some ideas for fun activities that he can also learn from. I feel like I never teach him anything or just play together. With my daughter we used to do so much, but my son is very different. I feel like im failing him. I don't know what to do with him half the time. We have so many toys - too many! But every time I look at them with the intention of getting rid of some they seem so good individually and therapeutic. I've bought a lot for that purpose but there's no time to ever play with them. Please any advice anyone?



 
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Old May 18th, 2018, 07:52 AM   2
petite ping
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You sound really busy and trying really hard. Have you ever thought of letting him play by himself without a plan. Sometimes you will be surprised what kids can get up to when they are not orientated by an adult. You could encourage him to use his imagination by using toys that act as a medium for their ideas.

Toys like kinetic sand and playdoh or even a box of dried pasta are great for that and has an added sensory value that pleases kids. Both DD1 and DD2 can play for hours with stuff like that even when they are alone. It is a bit of pain to tidy up but it really keeps them occupied. Then there's stuff like kapla and the mosaic. The girls use them to build houses for the paw patrol or spend hours lining stuff up....

Otherwise there is the good old cardboard box. If you have a big one you can make a cabin, if you have a few more, a 3 bedroom appartment. You don't even need to paint or anything - the kids use their imagination.

Do your other kids play with him? You could try yoga cards for kids, they are always a good laugh if when they don't get it right.

You could ask him and DD to help around the house like matching socks and folding clothes or cooking/ baking - DD1 and DD2 like to help me measure stuff or cut up stuff (like mushrooms with table knives).

As for the toys, if they are toys that need adult guidance, in my opinion it's an education tool and not really a toy. If it is not something he will gravitate to naturally, you should put them away and bring them out later for DS2.



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Old May 29th, 2018, 11:42 AM   3
laura109
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Hi i know this is 11 days old but i just wanted to say i feel your frustration. i found life so much easier when i had my daughter only. she is 3 and a handful. i now have a five month old son too. my life feels so full on and no time to stop. I have alot of guilt and sadness around my three year old lately. i feel guilty because like you i just dont have time to play. in the morning i feed the baby and change him. i also do the same for my daughter. then i feed myself. then its either get us all ready if we are going out or housework. sterilising bottles. washing up. washing clothes. putting clothes away. then the baby needs feeding again. the hardest part of it all is my three year old makes a mess. shes always sneaking into the kitchen for food. or sticking her fingers all over the place and creating more stuff for me to clean up. i also have to watch her around her brother because shes abit rough.

i end up going around in circles feeling guilty and then feeling frustrated. i have tried quality time with her but she ends up over excited and not really good at concentrating on a task. for example kinetic sand. she throws it all over the floor instead of playing nicely. she is capable of doing it correctly but she does it for attention.... same with painting she paints herself which results in a needed bath and i end up wiping the walls and everything... playsets she wont play unless i do all the role play and she basically watches.... she interupts stories. she has scooters and slides outside but she wont use them. she wants us outside. ive tried showing her how to draw circles and stuff and she just scribbles allover what ive done. she wont do sticker books etc unless i do it with her too.

so yeah as you can probably see im finding it hard to feel like i have the balance. in all honesty when i actually stop and think about it we are multi tasking to the maximum and that is not easy. i dont know about you but anything to do with me is rushed. showers and eating are just two examples of that. when i really stop and think about it i am keeping two (in your case 3) children who rely on me for everything alive. we dress them, feed them, keep them safe, bath them, buy them clothes and wash them, we do what we can to keep them entertained. on top of all the school runs, nursery runs, appointments and days out/trips to the park we are also responsible for a home and garden. we are peoples friends. we have partners who also need our time. so please dont be hard on yourself.

my three year old learnt the alphabet through a leapfrog toy.
she learnt shapes through me reading her a shapes book. i swear by a ten minute reading session with them each night before they go to sleep (if possible. i find the works great if your in the uk. ten books for £10. we have a huge variety of books from peppa pig to spotting things to counting things to bedtime stories about getting ready for bed. through reading books for ten minutes a day my daughter has learnt alot. singing nursery rimes or putting them on youtube for twenty minutes helps with counting and animals and learning sounds and words. if you have the patience playdoh or washing toy dinosaurs or whatever they like in bubbly water. at bath time create fun. bubbles. washing characters etc. discuss the weather. ask them what kind of day it is. my daughter likes to point out its a windy day or a hot day. overall she is happy with a pen and paper too or building blocks.

i do again understand how hard it is. mum guilt is the worst. feeling like you are not doing enough is normal. but with 2 other siblings they will be always learning and never lonley x



 
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Old May 31st, 2018, 06:40 AM   4
_Meep_
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I felt the same way Laura but now my baby is almost 1 and better at entertaining herself now she can walk, it is SO much better. My older child is nearly 4 and has come through fine. It will improve, I promise!



 
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Old May 31st, 2018, 06:42 AM   5
_Meep_
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P.S. Hope I am not being a dick but I am a proofreader and noticed in your signature that it says your boy was born in December 2018 haha!



 
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Old Jun 2nd, 2018, 02:24 AM   6
Zephram
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superfrizbee View Post
I have a dd aged nearly 6, and 2 ds, 3.5 years and 8 months. My oldest son has additional needs. To be concise, he has physio, occupational therapy for fine motor skills, speech and feeding therapy, plus he has recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Life is tough and busy. I do everything I can, but sometimes I feel like we never just have time to just play. Don't get me wrong, his therapy is done through games, but there is so little time for it. I really don't enjoy myself with him most of the time and there is always something else stressful or therapeutic to be doing. We are good with doing physio. He is very outdoorsie and I enjoy taking him to the park or gymnastics. It's indoor activities we struggle with. Time is a factor and also motivation and interest. I really want some ideas for fun activities that he can also learn from. I feel like I never teach him anything or just play together. With my daughter we used to do so much, but my son is very different. I feel like im failing him. I don't know what to do with him half the time. We have so many toys - too many! But every time I look at them with the intention of getting rid of some they seem so good individually and therapeutic. I've bought a lot for that purpose but there's no time to ever play with them. Please any advice anyone?
I think your issue is that you have 3 kids, not that youíre bad at playing with your 3 year old! I have a 5 year old, almost-3 year old and a 3 month old. If Iím lucky the oldest two get ten minutes of my time at the most in between looking after the baby, cooking, very basic housework, supermarket trips and getting everyone organised for school run/preschool run. Itís just hard when you are so outnumbered by your kids! DS1 and I did everything together, then we had DS2 and it felt like 3/4 of my time doing educational indoor play reduced. Now I also have DS3 and I swear I donít know how Iím supposed to do anything of quality with the older two. To me it sounds like youíre doing a great job - especially with the therapy too. Be kind to yourself! When the guilt is killing me Iím reminding myself theyíre learning thing through going along with what we have to get done as a family and that itíll all be okay in the end.



 
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Old Jul 2nd, 2018, 01:37 AM   7
pinkstarbinks
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Hey weve got 3 middle one has additional needs hes 5 so get where you are coming from in terms of feeling like you fail them and exhaustion etc. Would all the kids enjoy a tuff tray for teaching lots of things in very fun ways? Imagine youve come across these already but just throwing it out there and outdoor water play tables? Both good fun ways to teach xx



 
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