“Mummy I’m bored!”
How many times this holiday have you heard “mummy I’m bored!”?
- Fun and laughter.
- Trips to the seaside.
- Social gatherings and lots of play dates for our children.
Happy children equal happy holidays but children are children and they can’t be happy all the time however hard we try. Maybe we’re just trying too hard. Young children are growing up with more and more entertainment arranged for them. Parents are under more pressure to keep their children happy and occupied.
Let children be bored!
Children do not have to be entertained all the time. In fact it is unrealistic, exhausting and expensive. Not only that, but children who have constant stimulation rely on that, instead of using their own imaginative skills to conquer boredom. Life brings boring moments and I think that it’s important for children to be able to experience boredom and learn to cope with it. Children will not simply stand and stare if they are bored. Eventually, they will find something to do. Parents don’t need to instantly pacify them by handing them their i pad or switching the T.V on or downing tools and taking them out. It’s at these bored moments that a child becomes creative and devises his or her own entertainment. As long as it’s not painting a Picasso on your bedroom wall with your Esté Lauder makeup! Children will eventually lose themselves in their imagination with a random toy or game, a discarded box or the laundry basket! They will talk out loud as they set scenes and make up stories. This is such an important time for children to develop their imagination and help them make sense of their world and who they are.
Happy Star’s tip No.1
Set time aside during the day for your child to be screen free and adult attention free, within reason, you don’t want the Picasso scenario! Sit them down with some
- Paper and crayons
- Empty kitchen roll tubes.
- Pots and pans.
- Anything that doesn’t need direct adult supervision.
Happy Star’s tip No.2
Set time for children to be outside. Research shows that physical exercise helps develop children’s
- Sensory systems.
- And even the ability to multitask and time manage.
Happy Star’s tip No.3
Remember that when children get bored. It’s not your responsibility to un-bore them! Don’t be too quick to jump to their aid. Boredom is a fact of life. Please don’t be one of those parents who takes their children out to dinner with them glued to a screen! Observing and communicating is key to a child’s emotional and social well-being. A dinner out is the perfect opportunity to instil good habits by communicating with your children. Talk about what’s on the menu, where it comes from, how it’s made. Talk about the surroundings and the people (an opportune moment to teach our children not to point!)
Happy Star’s tip No.4
Children need to learn respect for their parents and elders. If an event is important to you and you want your children to be present physically and emotionally, the threat of them being bored should not make you feel that you shouldn’t take them. As I’ve said, boredom is a fact of life. Obviously you are not going to want to make your young child sit through hours of wedding speeches with nothing to do. Whether it’s a wedding, barbecue, or bar mitzvah, take along some favourite toy figures or some crayons or picture books that don’t make your child “absent”.
Happy Star’s tip No.5
Role model creating your own amusement- Show your child that you don’t have to spend every waking moment in front of a screen to be entertained. Sit and read your favourite novel, complete a jigsaw, get one of those adult coloring in books or learn the art of Zentangle.
Happy Star’s tip No.6
Spend time with your child just being present. Just “be” with your child. Talk about your childhood, ask questions, joke, dance, sing, be silly, laugh, cuddle, sit with them whilst they play. Emotional well being is key throughout this long period. All children will show signs of angst, worry, fear, and sadness. The key is getting to the bottom of why they’re feeling that way. If you can’t get to the bottom of what’s wrong, try using My Mood Stars.
My Mood Stars are an emotion resource with a difference. They are soft, sensory toy Stars depicting different moods and expressions that children find really easy to relate to and talk to. The My Mood Stars work book is also available to help children who have difficulty verbalising their emotions. With a Mood Stars on each page and a space to write or draw, this work book is perfect for children who would rather relay their thoughts through writing or art.
I hope these tips have been useful – enjoy your children’s company this holiday and be sure to let them enjoy their own company too!