As every parent in the country rejoices at the thoughts of an end to uniforms and lunchboxes, we’re bracing ourselves for the cries of “I’m bored”. And the holidays haven’t started yet in our house.
I’m pretty strict on devices and TV so my kids say it very (very, very) often, add a small garden to the mix (no trampoline, no room for a match) and we hear this almost as often as its sister phrase “i’m hungry”.
I needed a solution before the problems got worse, for my seven-year-old in particular. His “I’m bored” chant is always followed by a “what can I do?”. shared this with him :
He didn’t appreciate it.
So we needed a new plan.
I love lists and it worked so well with our dinner suggestions that I sent him for a pen and paper. (What, it passed the boredom). I like to get the kids involved in solving their own problems with a little guidance. (This article I shared last week points out that kids need to be bored).
“You hold the answer” I said. “Write down things that you can do if you get bored”. I made a few suggestions but he started writing and kept going.
We’ve left room at the bottom to add more things to do. Naturally, I added “tidy my room”. We’ve also got “build Lego”, “practice hurling”, along with classics like drawing, do a project (his first one is on Portugal, he has to find out things he finds interesting about it and write them in a notebook). We’ve added “listen to new music”, read, cook and go outside. There are so many things that could be included.
His friend suggested making a “language book” where he writes a word and then uses a language app or dictionary to see what the word is in lots of different languages and this has been met with enthusiasm.
I’ve promised I’ll get some word search sheets and activity sheets with puzzles on them and keep a stack at home for him to do too, but he controls when he does them.
Every kid will have different things that appeal to them, the important thing here is to have buy in from the child, they control what’s on the list so it’s not imposed it’s chosen. They need downtime, I’m not suggesting structuring every moment, this is to fill the gaps when they want to be entertained.
And there’s always more tidying!
So, I’m hoping this means I’ll hear less of the “Mam I’m bored” and more of the “Mam where’s my bored list so I can remember what to do”? Here’s hoping!
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