"Mom, Dad, I'm Bored!"

Updated: Feb 17

The inevitable… “I’m bored” / “I don’t know what to do!”

It’s normal for children to feel bored or long for an activity to do at home– it’s a known fact that we humans get bored! Boredom is the root of creative expression, self-awareness and imagination. Parents can often think that because their child is bored they are not doing their job correctly, straying away from their child or lacking in the parenting department. BUT... boredom is a skill that all children and parents should embrace.

You’re probably asking yourself, but Miss Aja, how do I teach my child about boredom?

Embracing boredom is a core part of building problem solving skills, resilience, and creative expression within your littles. It is important to give children the ability to look for opportunities around the house. Sometimes when children are bored they often seek attention from you or get into something they aren’t supposed to. Children look to adults for guidance and prompts! Next time you're stuck for keeping the kids entertained, try giving them a cardboard box, empty recycled materials, and loose parts. Let their imagination go wild and provide the creative freedom for them to take it in their own direction. You can also suggest certain cues to your child that allow them to explore their interests and abilities.

For example, “Ooh! Today we are astronauts. I see you are on a mission to Mars and perhaps your only tools are this cardboard box, these milk cartons and markers! What can you build?!” Get your child excited about the prompt and watch their imagination fly. Children are totally capable of creating what they want with the supplies given!

Well Miss Aja, what if my child gives up right away and gets upset that I’m not playing?

Children long for attention- and rightly so! It’s important that children feel loved and seen.

Turn to your child for approximately 5 minutes, fill their bucket with some snuggles and connect with them. A great way to spark imagination and creativity through independent exploration is to ask questions, provide prompts, and let your child lead the way. Maybe they want to involve themselves in what you are doing. Your child might give you some ideas and that is where you come in to support them in a job they are interested in. “While I do my job, you can do yours beside me and we can get creative together!”

“I don’t know what to do.”

Little do they know, you don’t know what to do either!