Well, Summer is here and the schools are about to close for this academic year. The parents are getting ready to tackle the summer holidays with their children. With the COVID- 19 cases still on the rise everywhere, parents are wondering how to entertain their children this summer. One of the commonly heard phrases during the Summer holidays is “Mom, I’m Bored!” and these are exactly the dreaded words that every parent DOES NOT want to hear. Why do children say they are bored? what can a parent do about it? well, read on to find out…
Your first response to – “Mom, I’m Bored”
As a parent, hearing these words will put you in a spot. In fact, it makes parents think that they are not doing a good parenting job. The parents are constantly reminded to fix a child’s boredom or sometimes are pressurised to entertain their child. The parent often rushes to offer a solution right away by planning a structured time for their child and this is the most common response when the child is bored.
Why do children get bored?
The children feel supported and rested when their day is structured or planned for them. This is mostly because they are used to the daily rhythm and when the holidays are announced, they are clueless as to what to do to keep themselves engaged. Here are some of the common reasons for a child to feel bored.
- When the Child is free, he is used to screen time. The child is clueless how to go inwards and try to figure out a solution.
- The adult usually plans the day for the child in advance and puts him in different classes.
- They have not discovered what they are passionate about.
- They don’t have any hobbies.
- The Child needs Parent’s attention.
With the access of technology, the children are happy in front of their Computer screens .With the schools moving online this year, yes technology has been a comforting factor for all the parents but still I feel that children need to get out of their screens for the holidays and explore who they are. They need to interact with children of their age, make new friends, exercise and find a burning passion or hobby for themselves.
Why structured time is always not the best solution when Bored
When we structure a day for the child, it keeps the child engaged. The children are filled with either lessons or structured activities throughout the day but it does not give an opportunity for the child to explore and experience who he really is. Too much of structured time might not lead the child to respond to his heart’s pull towards an activity which might lead them to build something in their backyard, write a poem or a story or just be curious enough to follow the ants or watch the birds in their lanes. These small things in life might be the boredom buster for your child.
Thus having an unstructured day on the contrary, is the beginning to creativity and in the process, the child develops strategies to keep him/her engaged creatively. The child also learns and discovers new hobbies to meaningfully engage him and also discover what he is passionate about.
Why Boredom is good for your child?
- Children are naturally curious and boredom encourages a child to be creative. It aids in imagination as the child discovers new ways to engage himself.
- Boredom helps a child to problem solve. The children have to rely on themselves to solve the problem of being bored.
- Boredom is good for Mental health. The children are given opportunity to think and just BE who they are. They also get to know themselves better.
- Time management is an important and a challenging skill to master. When the child is bored, he/she can practice and learn to manage his/her day.
What is the best response to “Mom, I’m bored”?
As soon as you hear the words, “I’m bored” – STOP all the work that you are doing and focus on your child. Sometimes, a child says that he is bored just to feel connected or to just get parental attention. Talk for a while or enjoy a lemonade together. Even after 10 minutes, the child wants you to fix the boredom then you may reply with
“That’s awesome. Boredom is a common feeling that is felt before a person discovers a hobby. I am really happy for you.”
“That is wonderful news. A person always feels bored just before he/ she creates something beautiful. I’m waiting for your creative work.”
Creating a Boredom Buster List
You can also guide and possibly help your child brain storm some FUN things that he/ she would like to do that day or month. Once you spend sometime with your child, the child will definitely come up with some ideas. Ask your child to note down the ideas in a piece of paper. In case the child cannot write, the parent can support the child and create a “Boredom buster List”.
The parent can help the child create a Boredom Buster Jar. The child can write all the activities that he would love to do in small chits of paper (one activity per piece of paper) and place it inside a decorated jar. Whenever the child is bored, the parent now can gently guide her/ his child to pick a piece of paper from the jar and follow the instructions written on it.
The Boredom Buster List is our go- to list every Summer. Usually, a week before the holidays commences, I just tell my daughter to note down the things she would love to do this summer at home and she comes up with a lot of fun ideas. We either make a poster and hang it in her room or make small chits and place them inside a jar. So, whenever she is bored, we pick one activity and follow it. since the activities are suggested by my daughter, she is more than happy to do all the activities in the List.
I would love to hear about your Boredom buster plans for this Summer. Please comment in the section below and share your plans for Summer.
I am also working on a summer indoor fun activity list. Watch this space for updates and new articles.