Monday, November 10, 2014

What to do when kids say, "I'm bored"

How often have you said those words, or heard them said to you? What do we mean when we say," I'm bored".
The 1828 dictionary doesn't have a definition for the word bored in any form.I wonder if in that day that word didn't exist because people had more work to do to sustain themselves. Sometimes we read that on Sundays was just about the only time they had leisure time. Therefore it might have been more appreciated then today. I had to go to a modern dictionary to find the following definition and synonyms of the word boredom. 
Synonyms: boring, monotonous, tedious, irksome, tiresome, humdrum These adjectives refer to what is so uninteresting as to cause mental weariness. Boring implies feelings of listlessness and discontent
That often describes our personal lives, homes,and our culture in general. Is it because we have so little offered to us, or is it because we have become very discontent? Our children are most often a mirror of us in the home. Have you ever heard yourself in your children? I have, many times. That's why I always needed to check myself before I corrected my children, and often once I have corrected my attitudes and actions, my children sense the change in me, and often their attitudes changed, or if I needed to correct them, I could do it with understanding, and calmness. We as moms have an amazing impact on our children especially as long as they're in the home. so the work of learning to be productive, and creative in our work and leisure starts with us, and then we can also teach our children not to say those words; "I'm bored."
It's an incredible challenge to keep our children occupied all day, and not to hear them say, "mom I'm bored, what can I do?" I want to share a few suggestions that helped us stay the course and not loose our sanity in the process. When I say "we", I mean the whole family.

1. Have a daily routine; this will save you much stress. if you start your day, have your meals, and have certain activities right around the same time every day, your children fall into a routine. On days when you find it hard to function for some reason, just doing the things you know you need to do that day, will save you from not having to make decisions that day, and also your child eill know what is expected of him or her at that particular moment. I cannot begin to tell you here, how many days it has saved us from more drama than we already might have had. The other good thing about having a routine is that you can set up certain parts of the day for chores, school, quiet or nap times, and leisure. That way the children don't have to depend on mom's mood, but what has been planned for. I just want to say here, there"s got to be flexibility. A routine is there to serve you, not you it.

2. Find things you will allow your children to do, so that when they come to you with, "mom I'm bored, what can I do?" Your'll have a list of things that they may do. I did my research, and it has never been easier. I found many activities they could do, and also bought the things that were needed, and believe me many of them were from the dollar store. The internet has some good sites with very interesting and fun things for all ages. I would make a list and go from there. One site i used quite a bit was familycorner.com I have not checked it out now, but I know it's still there. I'll share a few ideas with you just to get you started.
a) Make your own play dough 
b) Have certain blankets they can use to make tents 
c) collect things to play store, and keep it in a separate box 
d) some of yours and hubby's clothes to play dress up. 
e) Teach your children to colour, and then read the Bible or some stories to them while they colour. It works well to do this before going to bed. 
f). Have a back pack for each child, and when you go for longer rides, or go places where they need to occupy themselves, get them to pack activities to enjoy. 
g). Packing a small bag or back pack with quiet activities just for church may save you a lot of frustration.

3. It's a great idea to put a bunch of toys a way for a number of weeks and then exchange them. The children play like its Christmas.

4. Some important character quality to teach our children that would apply to this area of boredom is; creativity. I tell my family if they would use the creativity that God gave them, they would not be bored. It means though that we need to teach them specifically what creativity means to them. Another quality is resourcefulness. Of course for mom to learn these qualities is so essential because she models it before the children.A good web site for this is characterjournal.com

--
'Tea'na Wiebe
Mother of 8 Children
Grandmother to 7!

5 comments:

  1. Great ideas! Such a good reminder. We have practiced #3 for quite some time now, and its awesome. Our children don't have many toys, but the few they do have, we rotate. And you are right, it's always like Christmas. :)

    Maggie

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  2. Thanks for sharing! It's always nice to get advice from those who have been there. I sometimes give the kids a chore to do if they say they are bored; they usually help themselves with their boredom;)

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  3. "God gives us work to do to keep us happy" is what I tell our children and they have often admitted that it really happens that way. It feels good when you have accomplished something that benefits those around you. Children do appreciate their play time more and argue less, which then ups their creativity if they have chores and learning to do.
    I once had our boys borrow a bore (hand drill) from their grandpa so they could really be "boring" while making holes in some wood.
    If children are old enough to write, one could start a story and then pass the paper around until everyone has written a part. If they can't write yet, making up stories can be fun too.
    Thanks for sharing Tea'na and remember, I am Granny Tea to two of your grandchildren. So far:)
    We need to tea'ch them already to like tea so we can have tea parties with them.

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  4. My girls don't seem to ever be bored! They are just busy bodies and love doing pretty much all the stuff you mentioned. But I have heard the words I'm bored from a particular 12 year old.. he is usually very chillaxed and quite content doing very simple things but I think I need to find a way to spark more interest and hobbies into his life. I during these winter months.. may use Google to help:) lol

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  5. Thank you I really enjoyed reading this. And I agree with a routine, it takes so much frustration time away for me.

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