The sentence that drives so many moms crazy, “I am bored!” Nothing gets on my mom nerves more than this statement from my kids. You have an entire back yard of activities along with a playroom full of toys. How can you possibly be bored?
As frustrating as it is to hear this statement, I remember the last few weeks of summer break when I was bored. The novelty of summer had worn off and the lack of a structured schedule had me more than ready to go back to school but also not quite ready for school. How can we help our kids deal with this boredom?
Don’t lose your mind
First things first, don’t lose your mind. Instead of losing your patience, like I typically do, try offering some open-ended ideas or questions. For example, ask your child questions like, what do you want to do? Do you want to go outside? How about trying a game? This allows your child to find a solution to the problem with some gentle prompting from you. You don’t want to give them the solution necessarily but offering some thought-provoking questions can help your child make a decision to eliminate their boredom on their own. Free play is an important part of development and making the decision on what and how to play is a key factor of that development.
Don’t be afraid to allow boredom to occur
You don’t want to solve the problem for them! My kids are often overscheduled especially during the school year so when summer hits and the novelty of having a lot less to do wears off boredom can strike. But it is in these moments that their own creativity can often be amplified and utilized!
One helpful tip is to make sure you have activities readily available for them to choose from. The more self-sufficient the activity the better! Self-sufficiency is the key. This is a huge life lesson and developmental milestone! Plus, the kids being able to entertain themselves allows you to get things done, laundry, dishes, work, bills. Keeping a toy rotation can also help. Every few weeks or when things need a little boost switch out their toys for some toys that have been put away. Its like having new toys and can be an important part of keeping the kids happily playing!
Here are some suggestions to have on hand to eliminate boredom:
- Story writing kit
- Scavenger hunts
- Science experiments
- Craft kits
- Coloring supplies
Boredom can be a part of any child’s life during less active times. Following these suggestions will help take the frustration out of it for the parents and teach the kids to entertain themselves! Any child left long enough after making the I am bored complaint will figure out something to do!