When Your Child Says “I’m Bored!”

“I’m bored!”

“I don’t know what to do!”

“I’m sooo bored! This is boring!!”

What to do when your child is bored

When I was younger I learned, “It’s good to be bored. It teaches you patience. There will be times in your adult life when you are bored and there will be no one to rescue you.”

(No, that didn’t work for me either.)

So I started poking around the Web. Surely someone’s written about this.

The first thing I found said, “Figure out if she just wants your company. You’ll know if she rejects your ideas for activities she’d do alone. So invite her to chat with you while you pay bills or make dinner.” This may work for the child; less so for me. The boredom cries typically coincide with me having to work. So, indulge or not?

Then it said, “Suggest something unusual” like reading a story to the cat. This sounds more like a strategy for very young children. Mine would be perfectly fine playing more video games!

This one is most like what I learned years ago. “Let her be bored. Don’t rescue her as soon as she complains. Tell her you’ll help her in 15 minutes. By then, she may find a way to keep herself busy.” We’re getting closer, but something tells me Lucas will be back 15 minutes from now.

Child Boredom: A Gift?

Child boredom certainly doesn’t feel like a gift … but this article got me closer to where I started.

It says boredom is a chance for our child to develop skills that will help them leave the nest and lead a full and fulfilling life.

“Part of becoming a successful adult is the ability to problem solve and creatively live one’s life. When your kid says to you, “I’m bored,” what he is really saying to you is that right now I have no idea how to creatively fill my time. Not only is your child’s boredom not a crisis that you need to fill, but it is a huge opportunity for your child to create something out of that bored feeling that will be satisfying and help him develop and mature.”

I also liked the article’s perspective that in an increasingly scheduled and overstimulated society, if your child is occasionally bored, that’s a GOOD thing! “That means you have created some space in his life for him to grow and develop, and you will reap the rewards later if you handle the situation correctly!”

Did this article resonate with you? How do you deal with your child’s boredom?

Good luck from a fellow dad,

:: Joe Hage is CEO and Founder of medical device marketing firm Medical Marcom ::

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