As a parent, you’ll understand how important it is for you to try and encourage your child to be
sociable as this is a brilliant way for them to make new friends and it is also a great way for you
to really get some alone time as well. If your child finds it hard to play by themselves however,
then you may feel obliged to try and play with them or even entertain them all the time.
For this reason, it helps to encourage them to play by themselves from time to time, as this will
help them to stay occupied when their friends can’t come out to play.


It helps to give your child some attention before you send them off to play by themselves. If you
tell your child to go play without first talking to them or spending time with them then this can lead
them to believe that they have done something wrong and it can even lead them to believe that
playing by themselves is a negative thing. If you want to avoid all of this then sit with them, start
playing something with them and then go to do your own thing, so that you can ease them into the
activity. Dolls’ houses and even action figures are great for this, as it is more than possible for them
to use their imagination so that they can really create their own world.

Don’t Interrupt

When your child is busy playing by themselves, it’s really important that you leave them and that
you don’t interrupt them. You won’t want to interrupt their train of thought and you also won’t want
to distract them from their own activity as well. It’s important that you keep your distance and that
you give your child some space at times like this, as this is the only way that they will ever be able
to establish their own independence.

Stay Available

Your child needs to be able to contact you or talk to you when they need to. If you shut yourself in
another room or if you don’t allow them to talk to you at all then this will only make them feel worse
about playing by themselves. It helps to stay in the same room as them, and if they ask you to look
at something then do it, but if they have repeat requests then remind them that you are busy and that
they need to occupy themselves for a while. When you do this, it establishes the fact that you are not
available to entertain and it also encourages them to find their own activity as well, without implying

All in all, being a parent is about finding the right balance and it is also about trusting your instincts.
There are things that you can do to encourage your child to play on their own, but if you have your
own method that works then that’s great and you should stick to it if it works for both you and your

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