Our kids are growing up in SUCH a different world than I did! (I know this article is likely going to really show that I am an “older” mom.) “Back in the day”, as my girls say, if we wanted to watch a show we had to be home and in front of the TV at the time the show was “aired”, we had to wait for the pictures from our family trip to be printed at CVS. If I wanted to talk to my friends I had to either call them on my landline or actually go over to their house. On road trips, we had to look out the window or play the license plate game to pass the time and I had to record the “Top 5 at 9” on a blank cassette tape to listen to my favorite songs on repeat.
Today, our kids have instant access to almost everything and there are countless devices to entertain them at all times. It’s no wonder that when those devices that provide that instant and constant entertainment are taken away that they are “bored” so easily.
However; I think it’s an opportunity when my kids are bored.
I’m speaking to myself when writing this article. During the fast-approaching summer months, when routines that are often in place during the school year are relaxed, I have felt the need to coordinate activities that will entertain my girls during the summer. It would easily overwhelm me. Lately, though, I have felt the pull to only make general suggestions when my kids say, “I’m bored”. I have found that when they are bored, it’s an opportunity for them to really lean into their creative side and sometimes even find a new passion or unique ability that they have.
Also, I’ve found that if I tell them, “If you’re REALLY bored, we can take some time to donate some toys that you’re longer interested in playing with or you can help me with some extra chores“, they quickly will find an activity to do.
Some activities that I will suggest that they try when they are bored are:
- write a play
- write a short story
- read a new book
- write down 5-10 dinner suggestions that they would like for me to make
- come up with a new game, write down the rules, give the game a name, and teach it to our family
- draw a portrait of our family
- work a puzzle
- create a 15-minute workout routine
- make a list of goals they would like to accomplish in the next 30 days
- do a helpful task for a family member
I’ll give them these suggestions and no further guidance or instruction. This is where their creativity and imagination can soar and I love seeing the result of what started out as “I’m bored”.