I’m Bored!

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.

cathyCathy 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?

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Two more years…

By Cathy Thurber

Two more years.  That’s all I have left at home with my daughter before she goes away to college.  I will then be the only female left in my household.  I am not anticipating a ton of enjoyment out of that, as the boys never seem to want to go shoe shopping.  I just don’t understand why not.

I am lucky that I have these next two years, though!  A close friend of mine just relinquished her daughter up to the care of a state university.  Said daughter is having the time of her life already.  My friend – for as much as she couldn’t wait to send her child out – is sad that she is gone.  And she worries about her daughter, of course.  If you are also one of those parents who just sent a child out to the great big world of higher education, I have some tips from Oprah’s website written by Daphne Oz:

  1. Remember that he/she is still a kid. Be prepared for them to make stupid choices occasionally.  But don’t worry, they will learn from them.
  2. They still need their parents. Call and see how they are doing, if they need anything.
  3. Let them learn for themselves. Give them the affirmation to be confident in themselves. Give them some space to let them grow.

If you would like to see the entire article (which is a good read for you college parents), here it is: http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Tips-for-Sending-Your-Kids-to-College

In any case, I wish all you parents out there some good luck as you release your children to the next phase of their lives.  It can’t be easy; I know I’m not really looking forward to it.  And good luck to all those teenagers ready to go out and conquer the world.  I hope you work hard and get everything you are striving for.