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“I’m Bored!”

| Admin

Are your children BORED? The Apple Tree Learning Centers Can Help!

The next time you’re waiting in line or hanging out at the park this summer, look around you. You’ll see a bunch of parents texting, tweeting, Facebooking, or Instagramming on their smartphones. Chances are, you may also see a few smartphone-less children looking miserable.

The Apple Tree Leaening CentersIt might be our fault as adults. We adults have forgotten how to handle boredom. We’re never bored, because: technology. So it makes sense that our children—who follow our lead and are on their iPods or iPads or iPhones just as much as us—get used to always having something to attract their attention. They need something to do. 

These are monsters of our own making. We over-schedule and over-plan for our children so that they never really have any downtime. The problem with this is that they never really have any unstructured time. They don’t learn how to deal with boredom. It’s important for children to learn how to handle time on their hands. 

When some of your children come up to you and say, “I’m bored,” try to be prepared with a few responses. Here are a few of our dos and don’ts for responses:

1. “Wow. That’s really sad for you. Try to find a way to fix it.” Then turn around and walk away into another room. It sounds extreme, but it puts the burden of solving their boredom in their hands—not yours, and its ok, they are smart and they WILL figure it out. (Try to say this nicely.)
2. “Nice to meet you, Bored. I’m Mommy.” This isn’t helpful at all. 
3. “That’s so exciting! I can’t wait to see all the things you discover by being bored.” This one sounds good on the surface, but it can also be scary. Who knows what I’ll find later as a result of them curing their boredom?
4. “Well, you can clean the bathroom, do the laundry, bathe the dog, and organize the playroom.” This one is ideal. It usually gets a rousing “No way!” as they scamper off to find anything to do but chores.
5. “Then let’s find something for you to do in your bedroom.” Our suggestions would include things like changing the sheets, dusting, cleaning the blinds, picking up toys, or organizing the closet. This will probably be met with eye-rolling and moaning, followed by immediate disappearance.
6. “Oh good. I needed someone to help me clean up outside.” Being outdoors might change the way they see their situation and have a different scenery.
7. “Only boring people get bored. Interesting people find something to do.” Definitely a don’t!
8. “Read a book.” Which doesn’t always help. But it’s still a good, healthy, educational option.
9. “Maybe you should take a nap.” Perhaps children are bored when their body and minds are tired.
10. “The world if full of things you still have not done, use your imagination” This one is definitely one for you and them to remember. You can make such great memories out if new adventures. Try lending them a hand provide some tools for them to dream big!