Today we're going to talk about fighting the boredom battle with your kids. First of all, I'm going to let you know that It is OKAY (even good) to let your child be bored. In fact, boredom can benefit your child. That is why I am going to share with you things to do when your kids are bored.
I'm going to give you some ideas about what you can do when your child says he's bored.
At Blimey Box, we are passionate about helping busy parents like you to have a big impact on your child's learning.
The Boredom Battle
A lot of times I find that my son tells me he's bored because he is fishing for some screen-time. He's hoping that I'll say, "Oh, do you want to watch a show?" Or "Do you want my phone?"
He knows that handing him my phone is a simple solution for me. It takes no time at all for me to put a screen in front of him. With a screen, he's happy and he's quiet. However, I know giving into screen-time when "bored" is not what's best. In fact, it is bad for him. It teaches him that the best way to fix boredom is to watch a screen.
Unfortunately, in the past, when he would say he was bored, I did give-in. Although, I don't give in anymore. I am a lot stronger and more stubborn, so he's going to learn how to deal with boredom.
My mistakes with dealing with boredom
Basically, when Brewer told me he felt bored, I would rush to the rescue. I would either let him watch a cartoon or give him suggestions of things to do. I was offering all these ideas and most of the time he would shoot me down (in the hopes I would eventually give him some screen-time).
Suddenly, I realized, I'm the one rushing to the rescue again. I am trying to solve his problems for him. And, if you think about it being bored, it's just another obstacle. It's another challenge. It's a problem that my son has to solve. And if I'm always there, rushing to the rescue, trying to solve his problem for him, he is not going to learn to creatively solve his own problems.
This is why it is so important for you to not try to give your child ideas about what to do when they feel bored. Don't rush to the rescue. Instead, here are a few things to do when your child feels bored.
My Solution to boredom
So now when he tells me he's bored, I say, "Awesome, you're bored! What are you going to do about it?"
I put it back on him because ultimately we want our kids to be creative problem solvers. Instead of rushing to the rescue to save them from their boredom, help your kids. Try taking a step back and asking them what they would like to do.
I'm not going to lie, you'll probably hear some whining. Kids don't like solving their own problems. They need training and coaching on how to do it. You're probably going to hear things like, "I don't know what to do." But I think that's awesome. Now you can let them know that you want them to try and figure it out.
Once they understand you mean business, they will soon figure out that they have to figure out something to do on their own. Stay strong and don't give in to the boredom battle trap! They will eventually know they are on their own to solve their own boredom problem. The benefit is that you will hear the phrase, "I'm bored" less and less.
My son still says it sometimes, but way less than he used to. And now I find that he is able to figure out something usually very fun and creative to do without my help.
Generally, I find my son is able to come up with creative solutions to his boredom on his own, which is what I really want. I want him to become a creative problem solver.
Give your child small opportunities to problem solve in a safe environment. It helps them to develop learning important learning skills.
How to help your child be bored
Here is a suggestion to help your child come up with his own ideas to solve his boredom. The boredom board. You can download your editable copy here!
You can use the boredom board to help you and your child brainstorm things to do when your child is bored. He should come up with his own ideas, and add them to the board. This way, your child has a list of ideas to refer to if he is ever feeling bored.
It's a good scaffolding tool to help your child come up with their own ideas on how to fix their boredom. Now go out there and be okay with your children being bored because you know what? It's ultimately going to help them to become more successful and independent. Have a fabulous day. Go out there and raise your smart kids.
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