Thanks to Cynical Dad I have discovered a new blog. Have you read It's Not all Mary Poppins?
What a great new read. She recently wrote a post about Benign Neglect which I really loved. Here's a little snippet.
I know most of the people who read this have small children. Small children need a lot more hands-on care. There is no denying this. But they don't need your attention over their every waking breath. They just don't. As a parent, you have the right to expect that your child entertain themselves some of the time. You have the right to a quiet cup of coffee. If you can't achieve that just yet, you can make it a reasonable goal. You have the right to read or talk on the phone (or blog!!) while they play. You have the right to say, "Mommy finds that game boring, hon." You have the right to do all this without guilt, and you can achieve it by introducing to the children a little Benign Neglect.
What a great concept. I can actually say no to my daughter's constant demand to play. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy sitting down to a good tea party or a nice game of dress-up. However, after 20 minutes I'm pretty much done. I've got stuff to do. I have to finish the laundry or unload the dishwasher or vacuum. Or maybe, gasp, I could sit down and read some blogs ... during the day ... while she's awake. Scandalous!
I loved the post, but my question to Mary P. in the comments section was how in the heck do I get my daughter to play more independently? I try to at least get her started with an activity, but more often than not, as soon as I stray, she whines, "mommmmmyyy, play with me pllleeaaaseee!" And this goes on all day long. It puts me in a sour mood and then I feel selfish and guilty for not doing what she wants.
So babes in blogland, got any suggestions? How do I go about getting J to play by herself more?