3/05/2014

I'm so bored.

"Mmooooommmmmm, I'm SO bored."

It's like nails on a chalkboard for me.

Yesterday was day ohmygahIlostcountIhavenoidea off from school due to snow, ice, cold and stupid winter, and we are all pretty over it, as is the rest of America, if my Twitter feed is any indication.  

I can deal with most of it just fine.  I can deal with the little boys with too much pent up energy.  I can deal with the disrupted schedule.  I can deal with the running, the yelling, the fighting, the trapped inside business.  I can deal with the near-constant requests for snacks and drinks.

But "bored" is my Achilles' heel.  I don't do bored. 

See, here's the thing (which may call my parenting abilities into question - don't worry, it won't be the first time).  I will read stories, watch movies, play board games and build things with my kids all day long, but when they start up with the "I'm SOOOOO bored" business, Mama playtime shuts right down.

I think it's good for them to get bored, because I think it's good for them to figure out - on their own - how to get un-bored.

It's a life skill that many adults don't seem to possess - this ability to keep yourself amused, motivated and happy without someone else pulling the strings.

So I think it's good to let my kids get bored sometimes, and I think it's good for them to have to figure a way out of that feeling on their own.  Once they manage to get past the initial shock, there is usually some grumbling, maybe a little bit of whining.  But once they realize Mama means business - "Go find something to do.  I don't want to hear about how bored you are," they wander off.

Sometimes they find a game to play on their own, without me.  Sometimes they ask to watch tv or play a video game, and I let them.  But sometimes, well sometimes something magical happens.  

When they are just so bored they can't stand it and none of the usual distractions will do, they start to use their imaginations.  They begin to create things.  They dress up, play pretend, act out scenes, make art, write words.

They use their own brains and feelings and actions to move themselves from "bored" to "amused."

It's an amazing thing to watch.

And it's a skill they will use the rest of their lives.

So yeah - I don't do bored.  There is too much to see and do and experience in this vast and wonderful world to let "bored" eat away at the finite time I have.  And as this skill and ability grows for them, neither will my kids.  And that is a beautiful thing.



 


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19 comments:

  1. I am so with you. I tell my kids all the time, well figure it out! They usually amaze me with what they come up with.

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  2. I agree; I'm not here for their amusement. If they whine to much about boredom, I give them chores. You'd be amazed at how quickly they find something to do. Thankfully, my kids have only had one snow day all winter here in Montreal. We're a pretty hardy bunch in the great white north and it takes A LOT for the school boards to call a day off.

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  3. I totally agree!! Let them be bored...nothing sparks the imagination in the same way!!

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  4. Love this! We don't do "bored" at my house, either, for the same reasons.

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  5. Exactly! It's my instinct to want to tell them what to do, but it's so much better for them and for me when they make it up as they go.

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  6. I live in Kentucky, where we usually have a handful of bad weather days per year, but this year has been so brutal. We have missed weeks upon weeks, and the end isn't in sight. I will definitely have to try the chore thing - sounds like a great way to get my baseboards dusted. :)

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  7. It's so true! I love seeing some of the things they come up with five minutes after complaining there's nothing to do!

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  8. I'm glad to see I'm in good company with this! Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. My daughter says this a lot. Or she'll say, "Play Barbies with me! Play dress up! Play kitchen!" It's like, please entertain yourself for 10 minutes. I beg of you!

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  10. When my kids start in with the "I'm bored" I always answer with the "Only boring people get bored" line. I agree that it's okay for them to feel bored once in a while, and to rely on themselves to work their way out of it ... preferable without the aid of screen time :)

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  11. Ironically, one of my boys was just telling me "I'm bored, I'm bored, I'm bored" right before I clicked to your post. Uh-uh, no way, kiddo- go find something to do. Or go to bed because you won't notice you're bored if you're asleep!

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  12. Amen!! Bored = chores at our house.

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  13. Exactly - there's too much to do in the big wide world to get bored. I'm one of those people who always has 15 projects going at a time so it's hard to imagine not having something interesting to do, ya know?

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  14. Oh yes! Sleep sounds like a good solution, too! I'll have to pull the "take a nap" card out the next time I hear it.

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  15. Seriously. My house could be so clean :)

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  16. I don't do bored, either, but my kid has imaginary friends to play with, and they're pretty clever!

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  17. Achieving ClarityMarch 9, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    Some of my favorite memories of childhood started out with boredom that spawned into our own created games and worlds.

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  18. Great post. I don't get bored, so when my kids (and HUSBAND!!! she said in all caps and with three exclamation points) say that they are, I don't understand. My tactic is the same as yours: find something to do. There's ALWAYS something to do.

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  19. When I was a kid, we were NEVER allowed to utter those two words, "I'm bored." Like you, my mother wouldn't stand for it! My daughter is a single, no siblings. When she was smaller, she would go into the playroom and talk to her imaginary friends and play school and dress up all on her own with no problem. I don't know what happened, because now if she isn't doing something, she "get's bored." I guess she's not into playing dress up anymore? Lol! Still, it makes me nuts.

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