I have been teaching for more than 10 years and I can’t anymore remember how many times I have heard kids say the “b” word. If your child whines, “I’m bored,” – the “b” word may not be the real issue at all. According to Carolyn K., an expert on gifted education, “bored is an adult concept.” The word bored is a grown-up idea unless someone tells the children that they are.
Sometimes boredom could mean lack of interest because a lot of kids crave for constant stimulation. It could also spell academic difficulty or perhaps it’s a way of saying that it’s not challenging at all. Dr. Danielle Kassow says that at times, children say they are bored because they need the direction or ideas from parents or teachers. Dr. Kassow also notes that it is also a child’s way of saying to their parents or even to the teachers, “I need you to pay attention to me.”
So parents often wonder why kids get bored. As parents, how do we respond? Here are just some simple ways on how we can lighten the moods of the children:
• Leslie Meisner, a program manager for early learning says that, if your child says that he or she is bored, they probably mean, “I don’t like what I am doing right now.” If that’s the case, then it is the parent’s job to come up with great ideas – like giving your child their favourite book or giving them a little project. In this way, you can redirect your child’s interest.
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• Listen to your child – accept that their feelings are real and important, even if they don’t make sense to you.
• Give your child choices of activities and a lot of encouragement. From time to time, children simply need a little help to try something new. Dr. Elizabeth Mackenzie, a child and adolescent psychologist says that boredom has also a lot to do with being independent and organizing activities.
• You don’t need fancy games and toys (or even TV) to excite your child. Watching TV or playing video games are indeed highly entertaining but passive activities. Have simple but meaningful ideas with them. If one idea doesn’t work – pull out another.
• Stay positive about what brings your child joy. Whatever they may are doing – continue to actively support and encourage those passions.
SOURCES : • What To Do When Your Child Says He’s Bored – by Dr. Elizabeth MacKenzie and Dr. Danielle Kassow • When Your Child Says, “I’m bored” – by Michele Ranard, M.Ed • Carolyn K., Hoagies Gifted Education