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What to Do When Your Kid Says He’s Bored Again

What to Do When Your Kid Says He’s Bored Again

“Muuuuum… Daaaaad… I’m BORED!”

If this is a cry you dread hearing, then you’re in the right place.

Children get bored easily and need lots of stimulation.

It can feel really challenging to keep kids entertained, especially if you have other commitments.

You might be tempted to simply sit them in front of the TV, but that won’t help in the long term.

Your child can learn to entertain themselves, with a little help from you.

Following the steps below will make your child much less likely to complain of boredom – giving you some much needed peace and quiet.

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Work out when your child is likely to get bored

Is there a particular time or place your child often complains of being bored?

Perhaps it’s during long car journeys, or while visiting elderly relatives.

Identify the situation and start thinking about how it could be improved.

For example, you could try to avoid rush hour when travelling with your child, to keep the journey as short as possible.

If there’s no way to avoid the situation, try to plan activities that will keep your child occupied.

For example, if they’re always bored at grandma’s house, why not keep a few games or toys in a cupboard there? If it’s the car that’s the problem, plan some travel games, like ‘I Spy,’ and ’20 Questions’.

Being prepared is the first step towards beating boredom.

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Make your child’s daily routine more fun

If boredom seems to be a routine for your child, rather than a one-off event, you should look at ways to make their daily activities more interesting.

Here are some examples that will make your child’s morning routine a lot more fun:

  • Time how quickly they can get up and dressed in the morning – make it a competition.
  • Put on music and dance while completing chores.
  • Play underwater-themed pretend games in the bath.
  • Give them lots of choices – like what to wear and what to eat for breakfast.

Try to make things into a game wherever possible – you’ll find that your child is much more engaged and co-operative.

Break homework/chores into small chunks

If there are things your child really doesn’t enjoy but still has to do, try breaking them into small chunks.

Promise your child a reward and a break at the end of each section – don’t just force them to work for hours on end.

You could create a chart with planned rewards, which might look something like this.

One chore completed: a packet of sweets.

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Three chores completed: a trip to the park.

Five chores completed: an hour playing their favourite game.

Kids will be much more motivated when they have something to look forward to, and breaking tasks into pieces makes them feel less overwhelming.

Write a list of boredom beating activities

When your child is bored, it’s important that they learn to deal with it on their own.

After all, you won’t always be there to entertain them, and learning how to use their time is a valuable life skill. [1]

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help out with ideas.

Sit down together and write a big list of boredom-beating activities, then put them in a jar or box and tell you child to pull one out each time they feel bored.

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Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Draw a picture
  • Play in the garden
  • Write a story
  • Blow bubbles
  • Play catch
  • Do a jigsaw
  • Build an obstacle course
  • Make up a dance
  • Sing a song

Items like board games, toys, and play equipment can be kept a special ‘boredom box’ which your child can go to whenever they’re at a loose end.

Add new activities regularly to keep things fresh and interesting.

Ensure your child’s boredom isn’t due to depression

Boredom is generally harmless, but it can sometimes be a symptom of depression.

But how do you tell the two apart?

A child who’s bored will usually be excited to take part in a new activity or game, and will soon be back to their usual self.

On the other hand, a child who’s depressed may be uninterested, even in things they usually like. [2] They might continue to appear bored even while engaged in an activity.

If you’re worried about how often your child is getting bored, speak to a medical professional for help and advice.

Reference

[1]Aha! Parenting: Handling Boredom
[2]Healthline: Boredom

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Eloise Best

Content Writer

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Last Updated on January 6, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1]University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2]Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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