Does any of these or all of it sound familiar to you?
After coming back from school, "I'm bored mama"
During holidays, "I'm bored papa"
It has gone to an extent where even while playing I've heard children say, "I'm bored"
What can we as parents do when it comes to handling the BIG KAHUNA of all? Boredom. It hits you from nowhere, you have chores to do and somewhere to be. What do you do when your child utters the word "BORED"? It is a much dreaded word indeed.
While working with children in our Young Achievers Program, I figured out a few things that help me handle the situation with a smile on my lips. As the summer rolls in and we start picking up our summer camp hats, we polish these tools anew, hopefully it helps you respond better too!
- Bored is an attitude. It is a choice that the child makes that becomes a behaviour when repeated sufficiently. Like any behaviour that we want to break we need to work at it persistently enabling children to generate alternate choices compared to being bored.
- There are many ways to boredom. Unlike when we were children boredom has grown and has become this multi-faceted word and can stand for anything ranging from "this is too difficult", "this is too easy", "repetitive", "unfamiliar", "not what my friend plays with" and so on…to "it is not what I expected it to be!" Ask the child how is it boring? Keep your mindmap handy of all the ways things can be boring.
- The anti-dote to boredom is in your hands and it is called PLAY. If your child struggles to self-engage in play for hours on their own then you need to consider working on the environment in which they are growing up and create sufficient engaging stimulation for your child to engage themselves in hours and hours of PLAY.
- Redefining boredom as time for daydreaming and becoming excited about day dreaming and sketching down what you dreamt about, talk about where you went in your imagination and how that felt!
Bored is what the fast paced entertainment and interruption culture has made our children. This summer let's start a campaign to reclaim our child's mind and free it to daydream, to play and to do silly things of no particular value, to tinker with light, sound, shadows and to use things around to create aliens, monsters and dodos, to learn about the fascinating world of whateveritis that they want it to be!
Use the #ibeatboredom to share your thoughts on how you are going to do it with your child this year and this summer and so on!