Are you looking forward to those whiny days and nights in which your child tells you how very bored he or she is? Ah, Summer! Kids look forward to it all year long and complain about schoolwork, yet when vacation comes, they're bored about five days in. Don't you wish you had Summer vacation from your bills, duties, jobs, etc.? Yeah, I thought so!
The next time your little darling says, "I'm booored," here are some helpful and a few funny ideas for you to use with your "sweet complainers."
The Third-World Tour
The next time your son whines about how terribly bored he is, ask him if he would like to go visit a third-world country to work at one of the local sweatshops there. Tell him you will happily send him there.
Chances are he'll say no.
If he's a real pain in the you-know-what, take a Google or library (yes, library) tour to review these countries and what sweatshop conditions actually are! If he's old enough, have him write you a paper on the history of sweatshops as a punishment. If he's not old enough to write a research paper but able to write cohesive paragraphs, why not make a Summer essay "Why I Am Grateful I Don't Work in a Sweatshop" assignment to make the point hit home? It doesn't matter if the spelling is right; even a 7-year-old could crank out a few meaningful words. No matter what, I bet you won't hear a "word" about his terrible boredom again.
This a great, practical way to keep your kid entertained over the Summer. Ask your children what issues they happen to be passionate about, and see if you can find a local organization to nurture that passion and desire to help others. If your child is resistant to the idea, tell her she could volunteer . . . or lose social media time instead. Yes, threats stink, but they're necessary sometimes.
If you can't find an organization, get creative! Is your kid a budding environmentalist? Have him pick up trash on the shoreline or at parks. If your child loves children, "volunteer" his or her services to a local mom you trust to help her out for a few hours here and there.
If your kid is truly twiddling her thumbs, make her useful. Dusting, sweeping, taking out the trash, walking the dog, feeding the pets, and watering the plants are just a few chores that even little ones can do. In my opinion, kids don't have to be paid or rewarded to do these things. No one pays us for doing our own laundry, right? But if a little monetary or reward motivation is needed, build in Summer fun rewards based on how much "work" your child does.
Change Roles For the Day
Since you're so bored, kiddos, we will switch and you all can be the parents!
This is a great idea but will probably somehow end up with you cleaning up their messes later on or invoking some disaster. Still, it's a fun idea and could make the day go by faster.
Here: Have My Kids
Tired of the whining and sibling arguments? Why not swap kids with a friend for the day? You get your friend's kids, and she gets yours. Try to swap with someone whose children are tolerable. This will be a nice break for both you and your kids, especially if you're a stay-at-home mom. It's hard to not get at each other's nerves if you're spending too much time together, so it will be fun to take a break, and at the end of the day, you and your kids will miss each other.
Remember when you knew your neighbors? Yeah, me too!
If the kids are so utterly, devastatingly bored, go around the neighborhood door-to-door if it's possible and knock asking if your child can be of service. An elderly neighbor could use help around the home. A single mom could use an extra pair of hands with her children.
For older children, this can be a great way to show them the importance of being altruistic, and you may even make a few new friends!
Record Their Voices
Is your kid going on and on . . . and on about being bored? Record the whining. Then, when it's at the most hysterical and possible embarrassing moment, hit play. That's what our smartphones are for, don't you know? A kid might not realize how annoying he or she sounds until getting a listen on what that moaning sounds like.
Let's Get Physical
Get your bored kids in a fitness routine each morning. I don't care if they're only 3 and 4 years old; whatever gross motor skills they have, use them! Start each day with a little routine, and see if you can't exhaust them a bit so their complaints don't quiet up.
Doesn't your lawn need weeding or watering? Well, use those bored children to help lessen your unfortunate lawn load! A 2-year-old can snatch weeds (of course, you will need to supervise as she might pull the good flowers, too), and your big kid can set up the sprinklers.
The Bored List
Take a huge piece of paper or a wipe-off board, and list all the fun and nonfun things you can do to beat boredom. Whenever your littles start to protest of boredom, invite them to see the "Bored List" and check off items they can do in order to cure the boredom blues. If you use a wipe-off board, your kids can wipe off ideas they've already attempted.
The age-old complaint of boredom is one that lives through each generation, besides back in the dinosaur era, I'm sure. Combat the boredom blues with these ideas, and thank me later!