Friday, June 14, 2013

"I'm boooored"

What parent has not heard that? Sue Shellenbarger (WSJ, June 12, 2013) says today's parents take it more to heart than those of yesteryear.

I seem to remember my mother saying, "Well, go outside and play." And we did. Kids "played"--found things to do, ran around, went over to see if their friends were home, built a sheet fort, tried to trap a chipmunk under a box with a pencil and string (don't worry--it's impossible), ran through the sprinkler, something.

Now, these hyper parents jump to attention--bringing out the clay, the paint, driving to the amusement park, the pool, whew...

A 2012 study showed that kids who said they are bored are in a tense, negative state. They can't focus...

How about a martini?

Kidding!

Let the kids find their own solution, psychologists say. For "bored" kids time drags on endlessly.  They may not know what to do, so they say they are bored.

When a kid comes up with the bored routine, don't immediately call him or her lazy. Don't jump in with solutions--maybe just say, "The dog could use a walk."

Don't drag out toys right away--let them make up toys--a big carton or a jar of paperclips.

I like this one! Suggest a horrible chore that will make everything else suddenly very inviting.

Now that is parenting!

A father in the story also makes the kids drop down and give him ten. Bored? Time for calesthenics. I like it.

Or how about stuff we liked--a piece of clothesline for a jump rope? Or jacks! The other day, a 10-year-old neighbor asked me if I played jacks? Did I! Kids today don't know what they are missing.

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