Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Put A Stop To "I'M BORED"

This is a 2 part series on Summer Boredom

Part 1

It's August.  The kids have been on summer break for 2 months and maybe they've run out of things to do.  I know, how can that happen?  But it does.  And then the worst thing a busy mom can hear from her lounging on the couch kids is:

I'm Bored

And then what does the well meaning mom do?  I'll tell you.  She quickly lists 10 super fun ideas for her child.

Well, you could build a LEGO creation or go for a bike ride or bake cookies or go dirt biking or go for a 4-wheeler ride or call a friend or jump on the trampoline or go fishing or read a book or get out the finger paints (no, I've never said that one either).

Of course, none of those ideas are acceptable to the child and so the mom might list 10 more.

Play the electric guitar
Build a race track on the sand pile
Set up the play farm
Get out the snap circuits
Make Popsicles
Play with the dog
Ride the horses
Run through the sprinkler
Make sky-high block towers
Play a board game

Maybe the child gives one of the ideas a try, but it won't be long and they're back exclaiming:

I'm Bored Again

This is not how it goes in my house because I have an unwritten rule:  

Child says I'm Bored = Child is given a job to do

And if anything keeps kids finding their own fun it's this rule.
Making their own fun........running races

Making his own fun......playing in the gravel after a rainfall

To make this work, you as the mom (or dad) must keep a mental list of jobs to be done.  Because if you have to pause to think of a job the effectiveness rate drops dramatically.  The child will see you pausing and thinking and might catch on and run.  Some jobs on my mental list include:  water outside flower pots, fill all the milk jugs with water for the animals and flowers, brush the dog, sweep basement steps, tidy up all shoes in garage, Windex the patio door, wash down dining room chairs.  Now some jobs require more effort than others.  First time rule breakers get a quick and easy job.  Some kids learn slowly and have had to do multiple jobs in one day, each job more involved than the last.  

I've been implementing this rule for many, many years and it's worked so well in our house that I've only heard I'm Bored once or twice this summer. Only from the 11 year old.  The teens have all learned to make their own fun and have found their passions by doing so.

Reading this blog post by no means guarantees results.  Just sayin'.

Linking up with Raising Homemakers.

Homemaking LInkup