Battling Boredom: Taking the Fight Out of Your Kids
By Sara Butler
I’ve spent the last two months 24/7 with two tweens; if I hear “I’m bored” one more time, they’re going to need to make running their new exercise of choice. July is National Anti-Boredom Month and even though it’s nearly over, there are 11 other months you can spend trying to keep your kid occupied. It’s never too late to scoop up the tween or teen in your life and assist them in not being so bored -- and repeating that long drawn out “I’m bored” drone that seems to be part of their DNA -- with a few tips and anti-boredom tricks from the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic.
Why Are They Bored?
I know what you’re thinking -- your tween or teen has everything their little heart desires, so what’s up with the boredom? They literally have thousands of dollars’ worth of things. I guess that just goes to show you that the things you have are only as valuable as you make them. Deep, I know.
Aside from testing the bounds of your sanity, there is a psychological explanation for all that tween/teen boredom. When a teen feels bored (and lets you know it), it’s their brain telling them that they need to be engaged in something. In other words, their brains are looking for a little boost and you need to be the one to help guide them.
Don’t get me wrong, a little boredom isn’t a bad thing. It can be said that out of boredom comes some serious creativity. Maybe Picasso got his start as a bored teen -- or Leonardo Di Vinci. The point is, passing boredom is a good thing. It’s the protracted boredom you have to give them a little help with.
Instead of being irritated by your child’s chorus of “I’m bored,” try to view it as something akin to feeling hungry. Coach your child to ask themselves what their brain needs as nourishment and encourage them to find something healthy for their brain to snack on -- figuratively, of course.
A Few Boredom Busters
When your child proclaims their boredom, then help them to get their brain on track. You can go with the normal suggestions of going for a walk, playing with the dog, reading a book, and calling up a friend. Or you can help them to find a new hobby they may enjoy such as learning how to knit, starting a complicated puzzle, or learning how to cook or bake. The possibilities are endless and the food for thought isn’t bad for your parent-addled brain either.
It’s probably a good idea to have a mental refrigerator full of things to help your child satisfy their brain hunger. Think about sitting down with your child and making a list of fun or interesting things they can do when the mental hunger pains strike. Then, write them down on slips of paper and fill up a jar; that way there will be several ideas waiting for them when they need to bust their boredom.
As a parent, you want your child to be healthy both physically and mentally. Working with the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic is one way to cover the physical aspects of health and wellness, but don’t neglect your mental and psychological needs, even if the constant refrain of boredom you’ve heard all summer feel like nails on a chalkboard. It’s all about how you view their boredom and what you can do to help them get what they need -- and, in turn, get what you need.
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