Struggles with Independent Play

Struggles with Independent Play

Update: 2023-09-262


Self-directed play is a gift that keeps giving with profound benefits for every aspect of our children's development. As an added bonus, nurturing our child's ability to self-entertain affords us the occasional much-deserved break. So, cultivating independent play and establishing it as a habit is well worth the effort. Unfortunately, no matter how early we start noticing, valuing, and then encouraging our children's inner-directed play choices, there can be setbacks along the way. In this episode, Janet responds to emails from parents who describe their own setbacks. One parent shares how her 14-month-old flits from toy to toy, then suddenly announces she's "done!" and cries until the parent removes her from the play area. She's also begun demanding to be “done” with car rides and walks in the stroller. Another parent shares that her 8-month-old, who previously reveled in his play time and entertained himself for long periods, has lately become angry whenever there's a gate between them, even when she's doing chores right next to him on the other side. Janet shares insights for encouraging self-directed play and suggests ways these parents might help their kids get over their respective humps.

Learn more about Janet's "No Bad Kids Master Course" at:

Her best-selling books “No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline without Shame” and "Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting" are available in all formats at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and free at Audible ( with a trial subscription.

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Struggles with Independent Play

Struggles with Independent Play

JLML Press