Children, Family

It’s OK if they’re bored…

I keep telling myself…”it’s OK if they’re bored”.

fullsizerender-jpgAnd then, I want to fix it for them. And that annoys me. About me. No one fixed my boredom as a kid and because of that I can think of solutions on my own, I have a sense of the laws of physics, I can imagine and daydream, and I can create things out of other things…

For some reason, parents now feel the need to entertain our children? And I’m completely guilty here. Why in the name of Mike do my kids need a schedule of fun things to do on a Saturday afternoon?? Seriously.

So I tried something this past weekend and I’m not gonna lie…it nearly killed me. I told the kids to play in the backyard and I had this plan. [Side bar: I am a fixer, I am a solution maker, I am a smidgen OCD and I like things to be in order…clean, neat, etc.] I nearly died from biting my tongue, but here’s what I did:

Nothing.

Just take a moment and let that sink in…I. did. nothing.

At all.

Well, I did do something…I took my little crochet project outside and sat my tail down on the deck and worked on it. Oh, yes I did.

So…queue the bickering and whining…..here.

“I’m bored!”

“Mommy!!!! She won’t let me have the {insert object here}!!!”

For your reference, I’ve prepared a table of questions/ concerns from the children and my response so as to provide a clear and concise method to my Saturday afternoon childcare methodology and it is as follows:

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And let me tell you what happened…they built a see-saw out of a piece of landscaping edging we had stacked in the backyard. They had a game of rock em’ sock em’ with each other (blow-up shirts they put on so they can bang into each other without hurting each other). Then they helped each other climb a “tree” (bush). They collected “rare” gems (random rocks) and sorted them by their preciousness. And they identified bugs and made beautiful homes for them. They even chased the dog…when was the last time you saw kids chasing a dog?

And let me tell you what also happened: Mommy got to crochet on the back deck for a little while. I wasn’t serving my kids.

And even though I got to do something just for me for a little bit, what I was most proud of is the fact that for about two hours I didn’t try to solve my kids’ problems while they were playing outside. They worked it out, figured it out, played it out, rearranged the rules, adjusted the games, added steps…whatever it took to keep “play” moving.

And at the end of two hours, I had three children who had a great dose of fresh air in their lungs, dirt under their nails, exercised imaginations, blossomed creativity and maybe even a little bit of learning. It’s OK if they’re bored.

Best part…all free.

And it’s available in the backyard.

 

It's OK if they're bored. When your kids don't have anything to entertain them and there's nothing to do, can you be strong enough to do nothing?

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