Boredom and Bathrooms

Okay Readers…I am requesting feedback on two issues that are currently discussed at our house…Boredom and Bathrooms! Let me explain…

Ever since our TBP was young, he despised being bored! Riding in the car or waiting at a restaurant were both scenerios where we could have an anxious and impatient little boy! In an attempt to have more enjoyable car rides, we made sure that there were things in the car to entertain our young tater. Even with our best planning, sometimes there were glitches. When the desired entertainment was accidently dropped to the floor of the car, our peaceful car ride was quickly transformed into a tiny, confined space of torture…for us. If we were lucky, there was something within reach or we were close to our destination. Most of the time, we were not so lucky and by the time we arrived at the destination, our nerves were shot! For longer trips, it became a “Driving Miss Daisy Scenerio” where one of us drove and the other was the “wing man” who was responsible for helping with snacks, DVDs, or toys. It was easy to feel a bit like a captive when I was trapped in the back seat, but it did allow for a more quiet ride… so the pay off seemed worth it.

As our TBP grew, we figured out what to stock the car with and this was successful on most days. We brought extra car items, a lunchpail full of snacks, had a DVD player installed (which we play much more frequently than our original “only for long trips” purpose), and a hand-held video game. On the most challenging days, nothing will be sufficient. When this happens, there are times when I can’t help but move into the “when I was little” lecture. “Do you know what your Auntie and I did when we were bored in the car? We looked out the window!” As you can imagine, this is not well-received on the hard days.

As I learn more about the twice-exceptional child, it seems that boredom is a major issue. This feeling of boredom is extremely uncomfortable to 2e children. This can often create issues at school since many times they are bored for much of the day when the curriculum is not intellectually challenging. Dr. Curtis (Therapist #3) talked with us about the importance of him learning “to be bored” and that this was a skill that he would need to develop. So here it goes readers…What do you do when you hear those infamous words…”I’m bored” and how are you teaching your child to tolerate some level of boredom? Did we create a bigger problem by allowing distractions in the car? Doesn’t everyone do that?

Now for the bathroom issue…

We have a very tall and older looking 6 years old boy. We have always taken him into the women’s restroom with us when there isn’t a family restroom available(which I believe should be required in every store and restaurant). Today, I took my son into the women’s restroom and got the “look” from a shopper. She seemed surprised to see my son with me in the bathroom. If it is a single occupancy restroom, the men’s room is fine, but should I be comfortable sending my son in a men’s restroom where I can’t go? At this point, my TBP doesn’t want to go into the men’s room so it isn’t our fight, but the “look” today made me question my typical response. So fellow parents…Where do you stand (or sit :))? Is it Men’s room or Women’s room? Does it matter to you as a shopper or a parent with a child?

Boredom and Bathrooms…These are the types of issues that I wake up thinking about now?!

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12 thoughts on “Boredom and Bathrooms

  1. Music, music, music has been our savior for both my kids(one 2E and one not). DVD’s are also a must for long-car rides(over 2 hours), the key is giving them control to pick the music selection. Becomes annoying sometimes if you have to listen to the same song over and over. Usually i pick an artist I like and then they pick the songs, when I’m really stressed i pick soothing music. It tends to soothe my kids too. They also listen to music when they go to bed a night so maybe that helps put them in a relaxed state in the car.

    I also have to share that my 2E kid has rarely expressed boredom in the car, he loves roads, maps, mileage(how fast are you going?). He is literally a backseat driver giving turn-by-turn directions. He studies Googlemaps on a daily basis and calls himself GPS man. There are pros and cons to his obsession:-)

  2. Car rides were not fun when the kids were little. We used to bring age-appropriate crossword or search word puzzles, coluring books or pads of paper, and lots of crayons or markers. Also, there are small magnetic game boards we used to bring if they have someone else to play with. As Wendi said, music is a very good idea and does seem to help kids get their minds off the long drive. We’d play “eye spy” which the kids could play for quite a long time.

    As far as taking him into the bathroom with you – he is only 6. I would definitely be taking him into the bathroom with me. Too bad if anyone gives you “the look”. That’s their problem. His safety is the priority. You know what is best for him not some stranger. I don’t mean to sound angry, but I really detest when other people give “the look” but have no idea what your child needs or what is going on with that child that requires you to take him into the bathroom with you.

    • Thank you, Anne! I will keep trying the music! It is easier now on most days due to his handheld game, but your suggestions help! I agree with the bathroom situation and just wished family bathrooms were required to prevent this awkwardness in the first place!

  3. Scribblenauts has been a good game on the ipod and/or DS for us. We talk and try to come up with words together. Mostly I need to be left alone to drive so luckily mine like to read in the car. The kindle is good because it has books and games like scrabble. I recently started letting mine in the bathroom alone”ish” I am waiting right outside the door and have no problem yelling in if it takes too long!! It depends where we are. Sometimes the simple things like go in, go to the bathroom, wash your hands and come out can be so difficult for these kids, at least for mine!! I’m sure I’ve gotten the look, but I never noticed and would probably scare them with my look!!! I’ve inherited a few good ones!!! : )

  4. Carrie-I plan on looking into the Scribblenaut game. Mine isn’t super into reading right now unless it is a topic he is obsessed with…right now Minecraft. I think washing hands could be a good way to eventually transition to Men’s room but right now…hand sanitized from my purse works for me! Thanks for your continued support and thoughtful comments!

  5. These are all great ideas! Mine is still a little young for these tricks but I’ll keep these fresh in my mind when I need them.
    As for the bathroom…let him go with you! He’s too young, in my opinion, to be by himself in a public restroom.

  6. We had the same dilemma wen it came to the portable DVD player. We cracked and bought one and it does get used more often than we intended but it can really help. I know, I know but I stil don’t feel good about it.

  7. As for the boredom on car rides…iPad. Numerous learning apps…along with thousands of free games.

    For the bathrooms…the women’s bathroom provides complete privacy for all occupants. While the reverse is not true in the men’s bathroom (for men with daughters). The other women who give you “the looks” must not have been mothers. If so, they would have understood. It doesn’t matter what the other women think anyway. The most important factor is your son’s safety. You guarding him in the women’s bathroom is the safest for him at his age…period.

  8. I am on a car trip right now with two under three and its challenging. Lucky for me I just take it out on my husband. And I don’t care who’s in the stall– clearly you are trying to keep your child safe. Everyone needs to relax!

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