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Boredom Busters

You hear it from your kids a lot.  “I’m bored!”  You flash back to your own childhood: you didn’t say that regularly like your kids do.  What’s going on here?  What do you do about it?

As our culture evolves, we are re-orienting to 24/7 activity.  When you were a child, stores probably closed each evening, kick-the-can was a fun way to pass several hours with neighborhood kids, and downtime was expected and accepted.  Today, many stores operate 24/7, fast-paced video games are just a click away, and downtime is a void that needs to be filled with some sort of activity.  It’s little wonder, then, that our kids utter, “I’m bored” at the drop of a hat.

How do you respond, then?  First, examine the example that you are setting for your kids.  Are you leading a constantly busy life?  Or do you enjoy some quiet time reading, playing board games, or lost in contemplative thought?  Ensure that you are modeling the behaviors that you want your kids to exhibit. 

Second, when your kids say that they are bored, ask them what they can do to become not bored.  Your kids can be great problem-solvers, and you should encourage them to think creatively and solve their problems.  Most kids, when first tasked with solving this problem, will tell you that they have no idea how to become not bored.  However, when pressed, most kids will ultimately come up with a variety of good solutions. For younger children, you may need to help them brainstorm on solutions.  For all children, you may need to help them pare down their lists by eliminating unrealistic or unreasonable options.  As you eliminate options, ensure that you provide your reasoning. 

Third, encourage your children to spend a portion of their downtime attending to others.  Do you have an elderly neighbor who needs to have her garden weeded?  Or a friend who just broke his leg and finds it difficult to walk his dog?  Foster in your kids the value of attending to those in need: kids who see the degree of need in their communities and are willing to respond to that need are seldom bored.

By following these steps, you can help your kids address their boredom and thus experience boredom less frequently.  Please visit Care4hire.com for more useful tips.

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