“Mom, I’m bored!”
Have your kids ever said that to you? I hear it a lot from Raru when she’s home from school, from Speed on the weekend and rarely from Bean who always seems to find ways to entertain herself.
Raru goes to school only part time — every other day and I’ve found that on the off-school days, she will tell me at least once that she’s bored.
My first instinct is to fix it. I begin the self-talk where I put myself down for not stimulating or engaging her enough. It’s not a nice phrase to hear and certainly isn’t said with excitement but more of a “mom, fix this” tone.
I’ve come to realize though that boredom can actually be good for the kids. I’d be more concerned if they’d said they were always bored at school, but home-time boredom, I’m totally okay with now.
After I let them sit with their boredom for a while and resist the urge to “fix” the situation and find them something to do, I notice something pretty cool happen.
They flare up that child imagination and the world opens up to them. They make puppet shows out of socks, read books with their brother or sister, pull out the Lego and build without instructions, they put on an impromptu dance party concert. They draw fun pictures of cats sitting on a bus wearing a tiara.
Their creativity soars and their boredom diminishes — all on their own.
I think it’s important not to want to jump in the moment our kids find themselves a little unhappy. It’s had to do as a parent, but the benefit of allowing them to prove that they can figure things out on their own is amazing.
Also, the things they do after they’ve said they’re bored are always entertaining to me.
Photo credit: istockphoto
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