Rules for being bored

July 19, 2012 in Hearts at Home,lessons for moms

Summer rolls on. Heat overcomes. Vacations end. And children get bored. What can I do?

I have boards on Pinterest with pictures of crafts I want to do with the girls. I know websites I can visit listing every activity in 3 nearby counties. I see Facebook posts about my friends who took their kids to a museum, stopped working all afternoon to swim in the pool with their kids, or made organic, no-refined sugar smoothies for their kids for breakfast. And I feel like an overwhelmed underachiever (too much comparison is a trick of Satan because I do spend time with my kids doing awesome stuff…just not constantly).

I am working to let it go. I am not supposed to spent every moment of the day with my kids. Every moment is not quality time and it is not my job to entertain them all the time. God calls moms to invest in their kids and to train them–not entertain them. Β There are no rewards for most crafts completed or even the most organic cook. God wants followers who follow Him…not Pinterest or Facebook.

So this summer, give yourself permission to not be the boredom rescuer. Around here boredom is a 5-minute state but while in it, there are three rules to get out of it….

You can’t let your girl learn to end boredom by eating. Bad habit. And you can’t let her end boredom by watching TV or playing video games. More bad habits. Train her to be creative. And if the way she solves her boredom breaks these rules, make her help you with the laundry or whatever you are doing. Following through with the threat is critical to effective parenting.

But, don’t expect your daughter to know how to solve boredom issues alone. Our job is to train our girls, and this includes instruction on using down time wisely. Give her some ideas before you institute rules. I sat down with my girls one day and we brainstormed a list of things they could do when they were bored. It had things like puzzles, baking cookies (baking is different than just eating) for neighbors, painting nails, climbing trees, cleaning their treehouse, asking neighbors if they could help with a project, building a fort, making a new guinea pig house, writing a letter, plan a lesson for an imaginary class etc.

The girls no longer tell me if they bored since they don’t want more chores. But sometimes, if they are laying around doing nothing, I apply the rules of boredom anyway. Now, go enjoy your summer without feeling like you need to entertain your kids.

Participating today with Hearts at Home Blog hop. The topic: How to beat summer boredom. Check out other ideas from bloggers on this topic.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Mandy July 19, 2012 at 11:35 am

This is a great list~ and you’re right, the comparison game is such a trap and only leads to more discontentment. Thanks for hopping with us today!

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Julie S. July 19, 2012 at 11:59 am

Pinterest crafts that my friends have done make me feel like a failure, I admit! And we don’t have a pool! And sometimes I catch myself saying well if we just had this, this, this…etc then the kids wouldn’t be bored. This post was a HUGE perspective changer for me! πŸ™‚ Thank you!

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Angie July 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Love your comment:

God calls moms to invest in their kids and to train them–not entertain them.

Thanks for putting it into perspective!

I enjoyed your blog!

Keep writing!

Blessings,
~Angie

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Susan Heim July 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Thanks for the reminder that it’s not our job to constantly entertain our kids. I wrote about that on my blog, too! I believe it’s actually more helpful for kids when we challenge them to solve their “boredom issues” by themselves. Thanks for a great post!

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Paloma July 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Such a great reminder! Thank you!!!! I really loved this post! Needed to “hear this” πŸ™‚

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redemptionsbeauty July 19, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Amen to this. I couldn’t agree more about not being the entertainment committee. They have to learn how to entertain themselves and not be dependent on us or anyone for that matter for avoiding boredom. Of course, I’m now in the land of teenagers where they don’t want me to suggest things they could do. πŸ™‚

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Julia July 20, 2012 at 3:40 am

What great rules! Those are fantastic!

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Alicia July 20, 2012 at 4:01 am

Oh, I love this. Thanks for the reality check. My kids know better than to claim boredom, too- I’ve got far too many unfinished chores to dish out to the first complainer. Your princesses have a great mommy!

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Chris Carter July 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm

What a wonderful blog post! Yes, satan can creep into our minds and bring us down with such discouraging ideas! I love how you choose to NOT entertain your children but teach them how to be bored and productive! We always talk about our motto- “If you are bored, it’s your fault.” And there is just too much “stuff” these days- high tech and all. So grateful when I find my kids doing activities that cost nothing and using none of the expensive toys we have!! IE: Climbing in a 18gallon tub on top of the bed and falling and tumbling to the ground together laughing. Over and over again! πŸ™‚

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Patty@homemakersdaily.com July 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Very glad to hear you say that it’s not your job to entertain your kids 24/7. So many young moms thinks that’s the way it should be. Kids need to learn to entertain themselves.

When my kids were still at home, they each came to me once or twice and said they were bored. I said: “You want me to find you something to do?” They politely declined and figured something out on their own. Once in a while they’d forget and say: “Mom, I’m b” and that was as far as it got. When they realized what they were about to say, they clamped their mouth shut and went on their merry way. My kids were awesome at entertaining themselves.

Visiting from SITS.

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Michy (lovingourjourney.com) July 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Love the idea of find something or help w/mommy chores! πŸ™‚ stopping by from hah blog hop!
Blessings!
πŸ™‚ Michy

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