What should you do when you hear this?
Is it your job to provide stimulating, fun filled activities for your children?
Is it your job to provide stimulating, fun filled activities for your children ALL the time?
Imagine it's the school holidays
and you have just spent the whole morning with the kids at the swimming pool, or out on your bikes, or at home doing arts and crafts or something else they enjoy. You've had a great time and so have they, but you hardly seem to have been home for five minutes when you hear those dreaded words 'I'm bored.'
What do you do?
You might try to be helpful and make some suggestions as to what your bored child could do, but somehow none of them seem to be of any interest. You might find these words irritating and remind your child of all the things you've done with them already today, and why can't they just find something to do themselves? They might stomp off in a strop or lol around being bored or start to get whingy and annoying.
I often ask parents : if a child is bored, what do they need?
And yes most people will say they need something to do,they need your attention, stimulation etc. But if your bored child gets plenty of these things the need might be different. It might be that they just need to be bored.
Children, hate doing nothing
Not like adults, I can sit in my garden 'doing' nothing for ages (as long as it's sunny)
But unstructured time is very important. Children who are constantly being entertained by adults (or screens) are not being given the chance to use their imagination and initiative to sort out this problem of being bored.
I know it's easy to harp on about the ‘olden’ days'
But all this constant adult provision of fun, stimulation and activity does seem to be a modern parenting phenomenon.
I can remember spending hours as a child in my own imaginary world.
I was obsessed with animals so our backyard became a farm, and I spent many happy hours out there with very little input from the adults, or when I got bored of that I went to play in my parents wardrobe, pretending it was Narnia. When a little older, my imaginings were transferred to pen and paper, I still have some of the poems and stories I created, and enjoy writing to this day.
I do agree it’s hard for parents these days though, and it seems to be the norm that a great deal of children’s entertainment is provided by the adults. If you want to make a change in your family and encourage your children to find their own entertainment, take the first small step towards this goal by introducing a regular time when everyone has to find something to do, no screens allowed.
If your kids moan and need a bit of support at first try helping them to brainstorm a few ideas and stick the list up somewhere so they can go to it when they are stuck.
You may have to put up with a certain amount of moaning to start with,
But stick with it, and you may be surprised at how creative your ‘bored’ child can be when you back off.
There are lot’s of things you can do to make your life easier as a parent.
More ideas here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/…/B01N08…/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1