The sign of a good summer…….lots of bandaids!
Summer is upon us and with the kids no longer in school everyday, parents are likely going to hear the profoundly irritating sentence, “I’m bored,” on several occasions. I have some tips around how to beat summer boredom, and they don’t include a list of games to play with your kids or outings to take them on.
- Don’t beat boredom.
That’s right, don’t beat it. It’s OK for kids to feel bored sometimes. They don’t have to be 100% stimulated 100% of the time. As my friend Alyson says to her kids, “Boredom is exciting because it happens just before you discover something fun and creative to do. Boredom inspires you.”
- Their boredom is not your job.
I see all you parents and your busy programing and activities. I see how you make it your full time job to keep the kids entertained. Here’s the thing – that’s not your job. Kids need to learn how to entertain themselves without an adult facilitating every move. Give them the opportunity to learn this valuable skill.
- Squash the sentence.
It is very annoying to hear “I’m bored.” Personally, that sentence makes me twitch with anger. My kids generally know not to say it because it inevitably leads to the assignment of a chore, or I give the response they most dread: “only boring people get bored.”
- Let them do stuff.
Stop over supervising them. They won’t be bored if you let them play in ravines, ride their bikes to the park, go around the neighbourhood ringing doorbells to see if friends want to come out to play hide and go seek. Parents who over-supervise and don’t let their kids explore the neighbourhood are raising kids who are not adventurous. Guess what? Kids who are not adventurous are themselves, boring.
So here’s your summer challenge. Let the kids be bored. Let them figure out how to entertain themselves and, for goodness sake, throw them out of the house, lock the door behind them and go all ‘70s style and tell them to be home when the street lights come on. If that puts you outside of your comfort zone, that’s OK! Parenting is never…you guessed it…boring.