Mom, I’m bored!
Have you heard that phrase? It can be challenging when your children are bored. They look to you, or electronics, to fill their days. If you don’t entertain them, they often become whiny or demanding. Pretty soon, your patience is worn thin and you have accomplished nothing you need to do. And everyone is in a bad mood.
Your days don’t have to look like that. Your children are capable of finding something constructive to do, but it is a muscle they must strengthen. The more you allow this ability to atrophy, the more likely you are to hear “I’m bored!” There are two responses you can use that will help your children improve their ability to find something creative and constructive to do.
Two responses to stop boredom in its tracks
This is always my first response and it is often a shock the first time children hear it. Why would I be glad they are bored? Boredom is often the first step in making big discoveries. When they are bored, they can call into action their investigative and creative powers and create something, explore nature, or invent an amazing imaginary story. If they need a little help getting started, I suggest they pull a card from the Imagination Jar to get their creative juices flowing.
“I would be happy to find a chore for you to complete.”
This usually involves an unpleasant chore with no external reward or pay such as cleaning the toilet or weeding the flower bed. This threat alone is usually enough to encourage them to find something to do. If they persist in complaining, I insist they complete a chore.
Allow your children time to be bored and find their own means of entertainment. Once you set the expectation that they are capable of finding something creative to do, you will find they come to you less frequently with requests to be entertained. (Plus, they don’t want to complete a chore!)
And when you do hear “I’m bored,” try one of these responses. You might be amazed at what they do as a result.