|

Why Boredom May Not Be So Bad

Accept the fact that creative activity is messier than watching TV. Be proud of a kid who wants to test the chemical interactions of dirt, dead flies and chocolate pudding, but set some boundaries so that you don't go crazy ("You can do your experiments in the backyard and the kitchen, but the living room is out of bounds because I just cleaned up in there.")

Don't beat yourself up if you're a working parent and you need to have your child in camp or other programs for much of the summer. Instead of feeling guilty, look for programs that recognize the importance of choice and unstructured time. Ask the director lots of questions: can kids choose their own activities? Do they have free time to goof around or read at night in the bunk before bedtime?

Remember that children, like adults, need time alone. When Kathy W.'s oldest son Jonathan complained of boredom, she allowed him to take refuge from his younger brothers in her study. He used the time to write a short story.

Understand and respect children's need for structure. Kids who live highly regimented lives from September to June will likely struggle with the open-ended ness of a summer day. Rather than judge feelings of anxiousness about the absence of a schedule ("You're bright enough, you should be able to think of something to do, especially with all those toys!") encourage them to feel resourceful and join you in planning at least some of the day's activities.

<< Previous: The "bored" game
|


highlights

8 Quick Tips for Curbing Your Family's Screen Time
Setting limits on screen time — and remembering to put down our own devices — is one of the biggest parenting challenges of our time. Use this guide to create healthy screen-time rules for your whole family.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

10 Best Beach-Themed Crafts and Activities
Sand, seashells, and stones can provide hours of family fun. Check out the greatest beach-related activities and crafts for toddlers on up.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks