July 12, 2021

Ask Margaret - What To Do When Kids Say They're Bored

We love the freedom of summer, but with it comes the familiar complaint of "We're bored!” The simplest solution to kid boredom may be to do less. Structure the day with basic categories of activities, but leave lots of free time for “kids' choice.”

One of the most important lessons from the pandemic may be "It is OK for kids to be bored".

A lot of parents fear boredom because of the whining and complaining that comes along with it - but in this episode Margaret argues that one thing we learned from all of our downtime during the pandemic is that there IS something on the other side of boredom.

Resist the urge to become the "cruise director" all summer long. Structure the day in loose blocks (yes - you can use your white board!) such as:

  • Clearly defined screen times
  • Clean-up time
  • Reading time
  • Kids choice (but no screens)
  • Movie afternoon
  • Family book club
  • Kids only sports
  • Board game time (kids only)
  • Board game time with an adult
  • Outdoor time (yes - even it is raining!)
  • Parent/Kid time (a time when parents are fully involved and active in their kids' play)
  • Bucket list activity (a fun activity that your child or your family has chosen - i.e. 'make Harry Potter chocolate frogs')

It doesn't matter what these times are but these kinds of categories will make it easier to "fill" the day without always listening to complaining about boredom - or having mom being always in charge of "what's next". When mom's presence is requested you can point out out that you are busy right now - but you will see your kids at "Family Sports Time" (for example)

You'll be sure to have a couple of exciting fun-filled days (like beach days or pool outings or a planned vacation) and that will break up the monotony of less-planned days but don't fear those "boring" days! Lean in to the boredom a bit and see what your kids discover!

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