I’m Bored…


When I hear those two words, “I’M BORED”, out of my children’s mouth, it drives me absolutely nuts.  Here’s why:

  • G-d forbid my boys are not entertained for one minute.
  • My family could have had the most active and fun day and yet literally, the second we are done, it’s, “I’m bored” and “What’s next?”
  • It seems that every second of every minute of every hour needs to be filled with doing something.
  • I wish I could say that am bored, but I never seem to have that problem.  Is being bored even a problem?  I think it’s a gift!
  • I always tell my kids that it’s okay to relax and have nothing to do.  It’s actually an opportunity to have some down time by reading a book, coloring, building something or I don’t know, how about thinking or having a conversation?  Imagine that.  To a kid, that makes absolutely no sense. As if!
  • I pride myself on creating fun activities for my kids and when they say they are bored, it makes me feel like a failure.
  • When we do something super exciting that took a lot of planning, they quickly forget and instead of being appreciative, they are wondering what is next.  This makes me feel like my kids are ungrateful.
  • If television or technology is not involved in their plans, the world comes to an end and they are automatically bored.

I could go on but I think you get the point.  I just want my kids to soak it up and take it all in instead of always attempting to be one step ahead onto bigger and better things.  Every day doesn’t have to be filled with non-stop fun.  There are chores to do, school, homework…life.  It isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, even though as parents, we sometimes paint that picture for them.  On a side not, today my seven year old told me unicorns were real and they poop Skittles.  I have no words.

Perhaps I am jealous that my kids have an opportunity to do nothing, since I would love to be bored.  I tell them all the time when they complain about going to bed that when they are older, they are going to wish someone demanded they go to bed at 8:00PM.  Their response: “So you are telling me that I will want to be bored and go to sleep early every night?  Being an adult sounds horrible”.  Jeez, that does sound pretty lame…but AWESOME!!!

I always try to set aside quiet time in the house, which usually turns to three boys wrestling on the floor.  I believe kids need to shut down for a bit each day, even though their energy tells them otherwise.  It’s okay to be bored and it’s okay to not be doing something outstanding all the time.  We say that but do we really mean it?

As parents, I think we truly need to be okay with our kids being bored.  We put so much pressure on ourselves to create an exciting and unique experience for our kids and then share it with the world via social media.  I am certainly guilty of that but I want my kids to look back and remember all the cool things we did together as a family.  That said, we  need to realize as much as we want to create this amazing atmosphere for our kids, it is also important to create a relaxed vibe for them.

Is it necessary to have an after school activity every day?  I wish we could just come home, do homework, cook together, watch a movie, cuddle and play, but my kids love sports and are very active.  It’s what they crave and enjoy.  Even so, there has got to be down time set aside.  However, their definition to downtime is to watch television or play on their technology, which drives me mad.  While it’s an easy solution, it can’t be the only fix to, “I’m bored.”

What is wrong with being creative, drawing, thinking and talking?  When I was a kid I used to sit in my room for hours and make up games, pretend I was a teacher, design my own clothes, sketch houses, cut different people out of magazines and form fake families and pretend I was Madonna as I sang into my hairbrush.  We didn’t have the option of cell phones and iPads and television was not allowed at certain times of the day.  It forced me to use my brain and create my own unique experiences.

I want that for my kids and I know it’s hard for them to understand, since the world is a different place now.  As my kids tell me, “that was a million years ago and you had no other choice in the old days but to do that stuff.”  Perhaps there is truth to that (minus the million years ago and the old days).  Jeez, do my kids think I am 85 years old or something, no offense to anyone reading this that is of that age.

In any case, as much as I love technology and it has made our lives easier, it has also taken over our lives and done a lot of the thinking for us.  This is a whole other article so I won’t spend too much time on it but we all know that to be the truth.  We are addicted to our phones and it has become a babysitter to our children.  Go outside, run around, play tag, shoot hoops, play hide and seek, play good old board games and create your own fun!

I actually recently purchased a bunch of new board games for the kids and while they initially referred to them as “bored” games, we do have a lot of fun playing them.  I feel good about spending time with my kids playing Chutes and Ladders, instead of all of us sitting in a room together, yet each doing our own thing on our phones and iPads.

So the next time your child says, “I’m bored”, use that opportunity to turn boredom into excitement.  They may not buy your explanation now, but when they look back on the memories you created for them, they’ll get it.