By Cathy Thurber
Well, it’s that time of year again: Summer.
Can I get an Amen?
I’m so thankful that warmer weather and longer, sunny days are here. However, it’s also another time of year at our house, perhaps at yours, too: the “I’m-bored-there’s-nothing-to-do” whine-fest from my children. Well, one has a job now, so she doesn’t whine quite as much. There’s just not as much time left to blow off in a day when you have to work.
Oh, we’ll be ok for possibly the month of June. Now that’s school’s out they will ride their bike or drive their car to see friends for a week or so. Then they go away to camp for a week. But once July is here? Watch out! It will be a litany of how bored they are, there’s nothing to do, all of their friends are on vacation (why aren’t we on vacation??), and my personal favorite: it’s too hot to go outside and play. What? My mother kicked me out of the house after 10am in the morning and didn’t want to see me until late in the afternoon. I was just expected to stop home and get a quick lunch and something to drink somewhere in there.
Last year, much to my children’s dismay, I hung up a sign at the beginning of summer that went a little like this:
You say you’re bored? Well, before you tell Mom and Dad how bored you are, you must have done all of the following:
B uild something. A fort, a Lego house, something crafty, the next “big thing” (as long as it’s legal).
O utside….it exists. Stare at clouds, dig holes, climb trees, do cartwheels…but do it for 40 minutes.
R ead a book for 20 minutes.
E xercise. Run laps around the house, take a bike ride or a walk, stay inside and do pushups. 30 minutes!
D id you see the chore list? More importantly, did you do your chores on the chore list?
Of course, my children are teenagers, so I don’t have to cater to them as much as when they were little. But these are good activities for kids of any age. I’ve also heard of parents putting ideas on slips of paper and then sticking those in a jar. Whenever they phrase “I’m bored” comes out of a child’s mouth they pick out a slip and do what’s on it, be it a chore or something creative or fun. I try to make sure it has nothing to do with screens (TV, Xbox, i-phone, etc.) this way it engages their mind more. So, the next time your child tells you they’re bored….point to the list or give them a slip of paper. It’s quite handy.
Cathy Thurber has over 10 years’ experience in the insurance industry and likes to think she’s learned a few things along the way, one of which being to not take herself too seriously. She would love to say she has as many cool expertise’s as her fellow blogger, Ken Kukral, but she’s just not as old as him. Cathy is a voracious reader and a total word nerd. Most importantly, she’s been married to her favorite person for almost twenty years and has two kids that she actually likes. However, the dog is her favorite child and she’s been wheedling for a cat for years. Perhaps this is the lucky year?