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How to Encourage Your Child to Play Independently

It's only natural for a child to be clingy and want you in sight all the time. However, you as a parent need to divide your time for many other things and as much as you would want to spend all your moments with your little one, you need to be smarter about time management. To do this, you can train them to become more independent themselves. Here's how you can get started. 

One step at a time--start gradually 

Test the waters first. If your child is clingy and it feels like they can't take their eyes off you one second, you have to do this one step at a time. You can start by keeping yourself out of sight for a few minutes. For instance, they are in the living room playing. You can excuse yourself and say you just need to wash the dishes in the kitchen for a few minutes. Over time, you can increase the minutes of you being out of their sight. But you have to make sure that you always ask for permission and not just sneak away when the child is not looking. 

Provide plenty of things to play with

Make sure that the toys are located in a place they have easy access to--for instance, on baskets on the floor or open shelves that are on their height level. Forget wooden toy chests as these will only frustrate your little one to find a toy they want to play with because everything is all jumbled up. It may look tidier and easier to manage on your part, but the most important part is for them to be unsanctioned. 

Do parallel play with them 

To encourage childen to play by themselves, the parents need to model that behavior first. This is where you can do parallel play in front of them, and this does not necessarily mean that you have to play, you can simply do your own activity beside them. This has benefits in several ways, one of which being that as they observe you, they will want to imitate your actions which they can use for their future pretend plays. That means they will also want to be just like you. 

How do you try to encourage your child to play independently? 

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