“I’m bored!”, my children always yell out to me while lying hopelessly on the floor. “There’s nothing to do, I’m so bored!”. Besides a mild annoyance this can also be debilitating to hear from your children. There’s plenty to do just look around! It’s not always so easy to fulfill your children’s fun satiety. With video games and streaming services, it can be tempting to just let them explore the options that Netflix provides but that always makes me feel like a weak parent. Here’s some things that I try and do when my children are struck with bored syndrome.
First off, I try and sneak some sort of learning into the experience. A lemonade stand is a good idea for teaching your children about money while giving them some responsibility and something to be proud of. It doesn’t have to be a lemonade stand exactly, just something that gets them thinking about a particular topic. Maybe a science experiment. Of course they may not latch onto the idea immediately but it’s a suggestion. I know how finnicky some kids can be. What I think helps alleviate boredom in children is just getting the gears turning. They operate on a much quicker level than us and its easy for them to get swept up into an idea or turn it into something else they enjoy.
Another thing that I like to do is leverage something that I know that they want with something I can never get them to do. This one’s a favorite of mine. Let’s say your daughter loves to go to the waterpark. You can tell her that you’ll take her there in exchange for reading, or chores, or whatever sort of thing that you want them to do. There may be a small confrontation between you two (there often is) but you’ll typically be able to win due to your adult will power and careful planning.
If you yourself can’t figure out what to do, use the internet. A quick google search should get the job done. I’m from Phoenix and the Groupon page for things to do with kids is not only an idea generator but also deal buster.
If your children are bored, don’t let them just waste the day. Even just tell them to go outside! It’s our responsibility as parents to nurture our children and ensure that they’re given the tools to learn and enjoy themselves. Sometimes they just need to be bored. It’s just how it is. But you should always try and give them an option. If they’re too resistant, then let them be bored and see where that gets them. It’s a balance between giving them the structure and letting them choose their own path.