It is summertime and life for both parents and schoolchildren are supposed to be laid-back and relaxed. Parents are happier as they take a rest from the taxing routines of school, and the children should be enjoying their school holiday these days. But such is not always the case. Between sports activities and camp, visits from friends and vacation, no matter how occupied we make them; we can still hear common school’s-out whines like “I’m bored.”
What makes kids bored? It’s just part of growing up. As their body changes, along with their brains, children experience periods when they can easily find things to do – and times when they just can’t find one. And to make life easier for us parents, we need to do something. Fast.
There are a variety of ways to keep the kids entertained this summer. There’s no reason for them to waste the season vegging out in front of the television or stoutly holding on to their PlayStation controllers.
Young children often grumble about boredom when they yearn to spend time with you. When you hear your child complain, make time for her and ask her what she wants to do. Just looking around the house, you have a variety of options. You can put on personalized aprons (yes, personalized, to make it more special and exciting, not just a routine chore) and invite your child to help you with household chores – cooking a favorite dish, teaching him do the laundry, setting the table or dusting the furniture. This might not sound fun at first, but you can incorporate exciting activities into it, like playing a game with movie tickets as a reward, or a shopping spree.
A lot of children feel that they are trapped in a confusing stage – they are bored with their kiddie games yet they’re at a loss on how to shift to the “more adult” activities. They need help in looking for other options, and it’s your role to help them find their new interests. What gets her excited? Sports? Mechanics? Music? Art? Fashion Design? Help your child find an interesting book to read – bring her to a library or a bookstore, and see where her interests are. Or introduce her to DVD movies that are suitable to her age. Encourage her passions and support her interests.
You can also ask a friend or a relative to share their knowledge and know-how on new skills that the child can learn – they can put on their aprons and learn about baking, cooking, sewing, woodworking, or arts and crafts. Music lessons are great too – guitar, piano, violin, drums. Through this, you can ignite a fascination that could become a permanent hobby for your child, or even a career.
But do not get frustrated when they pay attention to only one or two sessions, as it is quite typical for kids at this age to explore varied activities and pursuits. They hastily change their minds, and it’s no use forcing your child to join an activity just because you spent money on it.
Looking for quality programs in your community that would allow your child to learn new skills and develop close affiliation with peers. Things that would allow her to do things that she is passionate about, allows her to help others and gets her opportunities to make little decisions for herself. Summer camps have great programs for music, language learning, computers, performing arts, mathematics, and even weight loss.
In doing all these, remember to go back to the basics – the activities are for your child, so no use stressing yourself out about her summer routine. You are there to provide balance and assist her with the things she wants to do in her life, not force her to do things that you want her to do. Explore, understand, and be supportive. And pretty soon, those “I’m bored” whines will never be uttered again.