There was this kid named Boberto. He had a mom and a dad, but no brothers or sisters. One thing Boberto really didn't like was having to be by himself.
His parents told him it was important to learn how to spend time alone. "Everyone needs to," they said.
"Not kids with brothers and sisters," said Boberto.
"Even kids with brothers and sisters," said his parents. "Sometimes the 3 year old does 3 year old things, the 6 year old does 6 year old things, and the 9 year old does 9 year old things."
Boberto couldn't believe anyone would want to be alone. Every day, he wanted his parents to play with him. Every minute! Sometimes they couldn't. Sometimes they wouldn't.
They would bring Boberto to his room. "Look at all these toys," they'd say. "Look at all these books. There must be something you want to play with."
"Not alone," said Boberto.
It didn't matter if Mommy was cooking dinner and Daddy was working on the computer. Or if Daddy was making dinner and Mommy was on the computer. "Please can you play with me?" Boberto would say. "Pleeeease?" Eventually one of them would play with him.
"Maybe we should get rid of all your play alone games," said Boberto's daddy. "And your books," said Boberto's mom.
"Okay!" said Boberto. If they got rid of all that stuff then his parents would have no choice but to play with him.
One day Boberto's parents announced a new rule. Every day, for one hour, the family was going to have Alone Time. Daddy alone. Mommy alone. Boberto alone. No one could be with someone else during Alone Time.
Daddy said, "I'm going to work on fixing the broken cabinet. What are you going to do, Mommy?"
"I'm going to work in the garden. What are you going to do, Boberto?"
Boberto sighed. "I guess I'll play in my room."
Boberto tried to play in his room. But he could hear his Daddy working in his workshop, and he could see his Mommy out in the garden. What they were doing was a lot more interesting than what he was doing.
Boberto showed up in his Daddy's workshop. "You're not supposed to be here," said Daddy.
"Isn't it an hour yet?" asked Boberto.
"I think you know it's not," said Daddy.
So Boberto went outside. "Don't try to be with me during Alone Time," said Mommy.
"I'm not," said Boberto. He found a ball and kicked it. Then he kicked it again...and again. But kicking a ball to himself felt boring. So Boberto kind of kicked it until it rolled into his mom's garden.
A few minutes went by before Boberto's mom noticed that he was working right there behind her in the garden. "Boberto, this is my alone time!"
"I'll work alone, too," said Boberto. "I won't even talk."
"That's not good enough," said Mommy. "Now go play in your room."
Boberto felt sad. And frustrated. And his feelings felt hurt that his parents didn't seem to want to be with him. All that added up to make Boberto start crying.
This is the first half of the unillustrated version of the Entertaining Yourself book.
Give your child the opportunity to improve a problem behavior!
The playing alone page.
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.