Whenever I hear the words, “I’m bored” or “Mom, I don’t have anything to do” I want to literally chop my ears off. Hate to give that visual, but seriously, I start to quiver, cover my ears and eventually I would love nothing more than complete and utter silence. Even if it means chopping off my ears. I’m pretty patient with a lot of things, but there is a nerve that shouldn’t be struck and that’s the one.
I remember though, as a kid, going to my mom when I was bored and asking her what I should do and her answer was always the same, read a book or help out with chores. And yet, I always went back to her when I needed something to do. I never wanted to read a book and I certainly didn’t want to do chores. I guess I was always hoping the answer would be different. I try to remember that when my son comes to me with the wiggles and he can’t seem to find an outlet for them.
In a perfect world I would be able to play with each one of my children, from the the time they woke up to the time they went back to bed. But that’s not realistic. My kids go on school break tomorrow for a month and we have a lot going on, but there will be those moments where I know those dreaded words, “Mom, I’m bored,” will come to haunt me. So, I’m gearing up for it.
A friend of mine saved me one day by sharing one of her mothering secrets. (Aren’t those the best kind of friends? I love mothering secrets!) It changed the way I do things with my kids when they’re home all day, they need my attention and I need to get things done. The best part is, it’s way too easy. And I’m going to share it with you! You just won the boredom lottery!
Here’s the secret boredom buster…
We call it the “Jar Game.”
1. Grab a jar
2. Cut up little strips of paper
3. Write down all the things that need to be done around the house that day on the little strips of paper. (Empty garbage on one, make bed on another, etc…)
4. Write down a few surprises (eat a cookie, 30 minutes of free time, puzzle, read a book, etc…)
5. Add some exercises too (run up and down the stairs 20 times, do 10 push-ups, etc…)
6. Have them take turns pulling a piece of paper.
7. Watch them do their jobs faster than normal in anticipation that the next paper pulled will be a surprise! It works wonders, I promise. And when they pull the 30-minutes free time slip, that’s your cue to go take a shower or catch up on emails.
That’s how we’re going to combat boredom at our house on Spring Break, and also that will be my new response every other day when I hear those dreaded “I’m bored,” words. I will just say…”Go pick something out of the jar!” They know they run the risk of doing chores, but the surprises and rewards outweigh the risk.
What do you do when your kids are bored?
Read more from Mandy at mush.
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