Have your kids ever said, "I'm bored!," in an exasperated tone? Acting like you are their entertainment coordinator and you need to pick up the slack.
Invariably ALL kids will say that at some point in time and some kids will say it much more than others (ugh). My husband and I started something when our kids were preschool age that has helped curbed that plea of exasperation.
We took a parenting course at a local Baptist church and one of our take-aways was to have our kids intentionally practice being bored at home. So we dutifully took to task. We set aside 2-3 nights a week to practice for 2-5 minutes being bored.
This is what it looked like. Our kids were 2 and 4 when we started. We had them each sit on their own blanket on the floor facing us. My husband and I were sitting on the couch. We told them we were going to practice being bored and defined bored (doing nothing with a happy heart).
Then we set a timer. We started small and worked our way up. Being cheerleaders all along the way. First we set the timer for 10 seconds. Yay!! They did it! Then we went for 20 seconds. Wow, what an amazing feat!! Then we repeated. Next we asked if they wanted to see how long they could practice being bored. (Wow, kids love a good challenge, especially if they are being praised along the way!)
Before long they knew what to do. We would be in public and all my husband or I had to say to our wiggly children was, "Practice being bored." It was like something clicked in their brain. Our lil' angels stopped, stood still, and were practicing what they had been learning. Strangers in the stores were amazed (and my confession is I was too!)
Six years later we still have to practice every once in a while (or at least threaten to practice it again). Our kids still get it - for the most part.
The premise of teaching kids to behave is that you have to practice it at home if you want to see it out in public. It's similar to when kids go to practice to learn a sport so they can play it on Saturday morning. So too parents need to teach or train their kids at home so the kids know how to act when out and about.
One last thing, it doesn't hurt to have an angel nearby to curb the bored blues. Got your bored blues busting angel?
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