We have arrived at the age when I am subjected to pleas of, “Moo-oom, what can I do?” AKA “I’m bored.” And I pulled up this excellent article from a few years ago to remind me what to do with this desperate entreaty.
Boredom is magical. I love the article’s suggestion of saying, “I love bored.” because boredom is something our kids need. It allows them to quiet down, hear themselves think, listen to that glorious imagination and ride the waves of creativity and self-motivated fun!
Don’t get me wrong though, getting there means wading through a lot of whining. I’m tempted to start suggesting activities, guide him toward constructive ways to fill his time. The problem with this isn’t actually that it’s not the “right” way to respond to boredom, it’s that it just plain doesn’t work with my guy. Whatever I suggest immediately falls in the category of “not fun” (usually). I’m 99.99% certain if he’d come up with the idea it would promise to be a blast and be met with smugness over his great brilliance and much enthusiasm. I can wear myself out trying to convince him to do something, or choose to remember that soon enough his boredom will drive him to spend 45 minutes sitting on the couch with some random toy just whispering, totally in his own world. Or suddenly decide to dig through the full recycling bin to craft a goofy looking robot out of an old Kleenex box. If I’m lucky, it’ll draw in middle brother’s attention and they’ll take off happily building DUPLO vehicles or raking the dead grass in the backyard into piles of “bread”. Maybe it’s being drawn to a book, or several! The best boredom-solver is time and space to let them come up with their own way to fill their time!
Remember, it’s our job to create an environment for ingenuity, creativity, and growth. It’s not in the job description to erase all boredom. Lean into it, and let’s go along for the ride as it takes our rocket babies the best adventures!