There are two words that I currently hate more than most. I would happily take a handful of crude potty words or even a few of the milder swear words instead of …
I don’t know if it is the sight of him standing amongst all the Legos, toys, and art supplies as he says it or the electronics that not only cost a lot but are carelessly left around the house. Maybe it is the dramatic way that those words are expressed or the annoyance that I am met with when I suggest the park, playground or store.
I have been lazy, tired, overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and unmotivated but it has been several years since I have actually been “bored.”
I remember my sister and I saying these same words back in the days when parents didn’t devote themselves to entertaining their children.
If we were bored, my sister and I found something to entertain ourselves. We created games outside or played in the backyard until a better idea came to us or another bored kid came out of their house and joined us.
On rainy days, we talked through the heat vents to each other, built a fort, or occasionally went downstairs and watched a show. We did a lot of role-playing and creating plays. Growing up in the era when we did, we played Donny and Marie…I think I was usually Donny.
My mother wasn’t worried about filling the days for us and my father certainly didn’t change his television show if we wanted to play a video game.
It was our responsibility to handle our own time and it was the expectation that we would change what we were doing if we weren’t having fun; If we were bored.
If my parents heard us say, “I’m bored” they would find something for us to do that would take up a lot of time, but it wouldn’t necessarily be fun.
Clean your room
Go help your father stack wood or spread the beauty bark.
As I think about those days and wonder if they were better, I have to admit, that things were different back then, they just were.
We had a large back yard and a street that we could play on with only a couple of “Cars!” shouted during our kickball game. We had woods that seemed as though they were put there for the purpose of providing us with a land of wonder or temporarily running away if we were mad. Now, the woods behind our neighborhood are littered with bottles and broken glass and seem unfriendly instead of mystical.
My sister and I had each other and it seemed that the kids that we played with all had siblings too. No matter what people say, I think it is much harder to tell my singleton to go outside and just play when he is by himself.
It was also just a different time where the neighbors all seemed to at least occasionally glance out there windows and the kids and life didn’t move so fast. It’s true, we could move to another neighborhood where there are other kids, a cul-de-sac, a slower road and more places to be outside but I’m pretty sure that even the kids that live in those places also say, “I’m bored.”
In an attempt to tackle this situation, I have more of a schedule now that we are a homeschooling family. My hope is that this will allow less time for boredom. I spoke with another homeschooling mama and she suggested a menu of activities that would serve as a visual reminder of all the things that they could do if they were bored.
No matter how I do it, I think it is also important to teach my son about boredom; what benefits it provides and also why it is so challenging to him.
How do you handle “I’m bored” at your house?