How to never have bored children again!

One of the things parents seem to truly loath hearing are the words “I am bored” coming from their offspring. I am not sure if it is because we ourselves are so busy that the idea of being bored sounds like a luxury we wish we had, or if it feels like a bit of a slap in the face given all we put forth to make sure our children’s every needs are met, including entertainment. Kids these days have more toys than generations before, more books, more outside toys, and more hobbies. Yet so many parents here the dreaded words, “but I am bored.” Are children no longer able to entertain themselves?

   Helping Bored Kids

While we have over scedualed our children in many ways, and while kids get used to life at school where every moment is choreographed into programming them to do as instructed at all time, there is little wonder why kids get bored with free time. Kids are not conditioned to know how to fill their own time, so they ask for help. Being bored isn’t a bad thing, it gives ones space to discover who they are and what passions they have and to simply decompress from the stress of life. Still…. parents don’t like to hear that their child is bored. So how does one go about making sure they never hear those words again? I will get to that in a minute!

never-have-bored-kids-parenting-tips

 How to help bored kids!

The other day while driving slowly down a road so some of the little overlords can play pokemon go, hatch eggs, and spin pokestops, one of the children who doesn’t play much said something. From way in the back of the van I didn’t hear what she said. I did though here the “ahhhhh” and deep breath intakes of some of the other kids. I did hear my son say “never say that again!” and another of my daughters say “wait till you get home!” and I thought, surely what ever that little princess said, it must be something horrible! Expecting some not so special cuss word I asked what was said. None of my kids seemed to want to tell me. “No way I am saying that Mom!” was the reply from my son. Others said much the same. Now I was certain that my 7 year old daughter had said something specially naughty. Eventually I pried it out of one of the kids…. who insisted on spelling the word.

B – O – R – E – D.

Yes, the evil word that my 7 year old had muttered was the word bored.

 

So you are wondering just why my darling wonderful geeklings are scared to say that word? Some how or other when my oldest child was little, I came up with a rule. When ever she would say she was bored then I would find her something to clean. I have no idea just when or exactly why I did this. I am not sure there is any good parenting science behind it. I am fairly certain is not considered peaceful parenting or attachment parenting or crunchy parenting as it is a bit of a punishment. However as it is actually effective for my purposes and I think in their best interest, we stick with this rule. Keep in mind I never ask them to do something horrific, mostly it is me finding a wall for them to wash crayon off of or a common chore like dishes. Sometimes it is going with their strengths, like my son who likes to organize things, I will ask to organize the kitchen cupboards. It is really something rare though, perhaps twice a year.

So my children don’t tend to every say they are bored. As a result, they have learned to keep busy and follow their interests and if they struggle, they ask one another for ideas on what to do next. Being a homeschool family that likes to do child-led learning, being able to be self motivated is important and I think this rule helps with that.

On that car trip to pokemon I couldn’t actually blame my sparkly little 7 year old for her boredom. Her kindle had died a while ago, the kids had eaten all the car snacks, and the day had gone on long going from legendary raid to legendary raid. She was stuck in a van with 4 other siblings, one of them a sleeping baby, and was asked to not be loud so as to not wake up the tiny overlord. I let her know I could understand the position she was in and we solved it by putting on some of her favorite music and we headed home. She didn’t have to clean this time! Next time we will bring more books for her and things for her to color!

 Help Kids deal with the gift of boredom!

My advice to parents who deal with this issue would be to make a list of things their child likes to do and put it some place they can see often. When ever they mention they are bored, remind them of their list! Of course you could also go with our rule…. personally I love it. Clearly the kids really give it a life of their own and police themselves with it. Since becoming a parent, I am never bored. Our oldest turns 18 in about a week and she is amazing. I don’t think we screwed her up with this rule but…. I guess time will tell!

   Do your kids tell you they are bored? 

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