Let them be bored
This takes some practice…
I used to dread the phrase, “I’m bored” from my kids, but not anymore.
It’s not that I never hear it, but after a deep breath, I resist the urge to hand them a screen and instead, look in their eyes and with a smile say, ”It’s good to be bored!"
I know it might sound crazy, but some of the best moments for my kids happens right after bored.
Boredom takes some intentionality and purposed planning because if done well, something creative is unleashed when we get to the other side of the discomfort caused by boredom. But, we have to quiet the urge to fix-it with food, or a device and get our kids on the other side.
Instead of carrying the weight of cruise director, what if we became defenders of their free time? Giving them larger spaces of margin to be, create, wonder, and roam as unhindered as possible.
It takes practice and lots of grace, but your kids (and you) can experience the joy boredom offers.
Here are some things which help me plan for the margin which both the kids and I need.
1. The Simply Summer QuickStart. Give some boundaries to your day and small goals to work toward each week, and you’ll reap the benefit of a simple rhythm.
2. Play stations. Less is more. We didn’t always have a lot of space, so we had to rotate our toys out of storage. This made old toys feel fresh and more entertaining than if they had access to them all the time. I’ve also set up kid zones in the home with crafts and games they can access without asking. Of course, they are required to clean up the mess.
3. Change the scenery. Sometimes you just need to mix things up and get out of the house. When my kids were younger, we usually needed one thing out of the house each day for our sanity. An errand, a play date, visit a nearby park, go on a walk, run through the drive-thru…seriously, anything to help shake up the day.
4. Our go-to bucket list. Use the 50 Screen Free Boredom Busters or your own list of local kid spots to plan some fun activities you all can look forward to. My kids really thrive when they know they only have a couple hours to do what they want to do. They tend to seize the free time they have when they aren’t looking at a perpetually “boring” day or week.
These are just a few ideas to get to the other side of boredom.
I don’t know about you, but some of the best advice I received was from my girlfriends. From therapy to nap time sanity, I have some of my best friends to thank. Feel free to forward these ideas to any of your mom friends!