I really couldn't believe what I heard coming out of my six year olds mouth, those dreaded words that no parent wants to hear. "There is nothing to do,"she complained. I stood there with my mouth open in complete shock!
I have never heard my daughter complain about being bored, mostly because she has very little downtime. During the school year I am generally shuffling her from one activity to another. She is ALWAYS and I do mean always on the go.
Mind you this stint with boredom came after we had completed a project at home, gone to summer reading, eaten lunch with friends and played in the play area in the mall following lunch. Hence the reason I stood in shock hearing those words.
What I came to realize in that moment was that my child was not bored, she was over scheduled! She does not understand what it means to have a moment where you do nothing. She expects to be entertained in some way, shape, or form every waking minute of the day and it is my responsibility to see to it that it happens. The realization of this moment was so important to me, I felt like Mr. Rogers all in her neighborhood (I'm so glad we had this time to-geeeether!)! It was now my time to right my wrong, correct my problem, reassess my parenting skills.
In an effort to make all things right, I started with a short but brief conversation about how we don't have to be engaged in an activity every minute of the day. I suggested several self satisfying activities she could do that did not require mommy or daddy's scheduling power, time or money. She understand and since she loves to read resorted to reading a book in her room that she hadn't noticed before.
I felt a sense of relief that things went so well after our conversation, I have yet to hear those words again since that day, and while some parents may assume I am an over the top and drama mama because I'm bored is said ALL the time in their homes ( and the kids might actually be bored so pay attention to YOUR warning signs), I just wanted to be sure I wasn't raising some hair brained, overly socialized kid whose every waking minute is spent with a friend, boyfriend, or gadget that she feels is necessary to keep her conscious.
Its funny how being a mother can also lead to being a psychiatrist (at least for those of us who have a psychoanalysis for everything)!
As for right now, I am forcing alone time/boredom on my daughter every day and guess what, she seems to like it! Just the other day I asked her if she wanted to do anything exciting today ( mind you we had already had a pretty busy week), her response...no thanks I want to stay at home and just read some books....YEAH! Mission Accomplished!
I told her its not about being bored...its about being balanced!
Signing off for now...Make it a great Mommy Day!