| Parent Tip |
After our boy told us that he was bored, I ignored him while he ventured into the backyard. Armoring himself with a black and gold swimming life vest and a golf club from his father's bag, he began climbing around the grassy area, stopping every now and again to wield his club and shout at the trees. I watched for a moment and was somewhat annoyed. Why the swimming vest? What is he doing? Is he planning on swimming in the dirt or golfing in the pool?
I continued to watch as he jumped off the short ledges of the bricked in grassy area and climbed steep, short, inclines leading up to a row of tress and bushes. Knowing that he had homework to do and noticing that the sun was slowly approaching the horizon I slid open the glass door and asked, "What are you doing?" He was hunched to a squat poking at the dirt and didn't hear me at first so I shouted, "What are you doing?" Returning to his upright potion he came closer and replied, "playing pretend."
Being bored isn't such a terrible thing. When kids are bored it forces them to get creative. Before feeling the pressure to shove an iPad in their hand, begin another episode of Doc McStuffins from your recorded list of television shows, or create a verbal list of 62 things to do when you are bored, pause. Let them figure out an option, let them stroke their imagination, cause them to create, or to play a round of pretend. If after 10 minutes they are still incessantly demanding an option from you, give them something to clean: the dog, their toys, the tires on your car, the widows, the iPad screen. There is always something that needs cleaning--even if they just pretend.