The following is a guest post by Jeanine Stewart.
We’ve all heard the dreaded phrase and it goes something like, “I’m booooooored.”
It usually means one of two things, or maybe both of these things. First, it puts pressure on mom or dad to figure out what to do. Second, if not curbed, it could end in disastrous results as our children express their boredom in less than savory ways.
Here are a few ways to bust the “I’m Boreds” in your home:
#1 – Provide Some Structure
The transition between busy school days to lazy summer days isn’t always easy. Without fail, in my home, the phrase “I’m bored” gets uttered the FIRST day of summer break. I think it’s simply a sign of overwhelm. Our children go to school every day, have their days filled with structure and suddenly – BAM – they have the freedom to do just about anything they want (within house rules, of course). Even as adults, we experience the same thing when our schedules and structure changes, so we can probably relate.
Try to keep some structure in your children’s day. Whether it is morning chores or doing some reading and writing, try to keep a somewhat regular schedule.
#2 – Make an “I’m Bored” Jar
Instead of having to engage your children in a long back and forth conversation about what they might do next, make an “ì’m Bored” Jar instead. Fill it with fun ideas and ideas that aren’t so fun. If you need some activities to put in the jar, try this list of 48 free fun ideas. For the not so fun, you can include things like vacuuming, weeding or other chores they may not find to pleasing. The idea is that they really have to be bored before they dip into the jar because they may not like what they pull out.
Reading is a wonderful activity and great books can provide escape for hours on end. Make sure your children have plenty of opportunity to choose the books they’d like to read from the library, bookstore or wherever. When your children love reading, adventure is only a page away.
#4 – Start a Special Summer Project
Have every member of the family come up with a summer project. Choose something that will take a while to finish, so that they can tinker with it all summer long, when the desire arises. For example, writing a short novel, building a model car, growing a vegetable garden and more.
If you’re prepared, it’s easy to keep boredom at bay. But if one day, your children really can’t seem to figure out what to do, they can try their luck with the “I’m Bored” Jar. You never know what will pop up!