Things to Do When Your Kids Are Bored
“I’m bored” is one of the most common phrases a parent has to deal with coming from their child. Whether your kids are constantly complaining of boredom or if it only sneaks up once in a while, we’ve put together a few suggestions for what you can do when your child complains of being bored.
Mandatory Alone Time
This is a post about things you can do when your kids are bored, but it’s important to start with the reminder that, sometimes, the best thing you can do for your child is let them be bored.
In our fast-paced society (one often obsessed with immediate gratification), many kids (and even adults) have lost the skills that develop when we encounter boredom. Mandatory alone time for your kids may seem cruel or painful at first, but if you leave them alone in a room for an hour without access to technology, you will be amazed at the incredible things their imaginations can do. Creativity thrives when the situation demands we make something out of nothing.
In your homeschool, your kids are learning from you every day; however, they are learning much more than just the content you share. They are also watching and learning from you what teaching looks like.
Give your bored children the challenge of becoming a teacher for a day. Encourage them to become an expert in something that interest them. Then, have them teach it to you as if you are a student in their homeschool.
This is a great activity to foster a child’s natural curiosity and love of learning, and it can be quite amusing for you to observe your own teaching style mirrored by your student.
If you happen to be free (or at least not actively talking to anyone else) when your child complains of boredom, a fun way to engage them is to share your family history.
The history of yourself and your ancestors can be a grounding and inspiring anchor for your children as they grow up. Many young people feel overwhelmed by the question “who am I?” as they grow and learn to navigate their way through the world. Having a family history to hold onto during those years of self-discovery can be transformational.
Problem Solving Practice
When children complain they’re bored, it is often because they have encountered a problem and they want you to solve that problem. Decrease the number of times your child complains about being bored by helping them develop problem solving skills.
Present a situation where there is a conflict or problem and challenge your child to come up with a solution. “What if you were stranded on an island. How would you survive?” or, for younger kids, “You want to have a sleepover, but some of your friends are afraid of the dark. What do you do?” Don’t be afraid to make the problem more complicated for older children: “You want to help the homeless population in our town. What can you do?”
If you have multiple children, let them team up into “committees” or have each child make a proposal to be assessed by you for the most viable solution.