Curing Boredom

There’s a point in the lives of children where the favorite saying comes about. You know the one- “I’m bored!”. You could have several hundred items around the home to activate the mind and body, but for some reason or another your child wants you to become the activity or social director for the day to entertain their every wish and command.

When I was young, I learned how to do things by myself. Especially with an older brother who had older friends and could stay out later in the day to do activities than I could. I guess that’s why reading, music, and writing filled up a lot of my time. I would write up plots and story lines, create characters and develop them, write song lyrics- do whatever it would take to entertain myself without bothering my brother or parents. Especially for those times of the days when friends weren’t available- maybe early in the morning before school, the evening wind down time before bed or the larger chunks of time during holidays and vacations.

My wife and I both agree that it’s not my job to plan out every waking moment of my daughters lives. They need to use their imagination, they need to be creative and learn the critical skills to problem solve. Whether it means dancing to their music, writing in their journals, drawing, or any other host of things- it does us no good to schedule their day down to the last minute. All they will learn is other people control their time, and not the other way around.

I remember building forts outside during bad snow storms- or offering to help neighbors shovel snow. I remember walking to the bowling center and offering my services keeping score for other bowlers or teaching people about aspects of bowling. I think boredom was one of the impetuses to start a disc jockey service with my partner as a teenager- we felt that we could do a better job than the current service that was performing at our dances.

How did my oldest daughter cure her boredom today for instance? Spending time with different groups of friends, cleaning up her bedroom, and sleeping over my in-laws house. What works today may not work tomorrow, but I think she’s learning the art of being comfortable with oneself and that you can’t always be around people to keep yourself occupied.

Television watching would be an easy way to cure boredom, but I feel it’s a passive act that just takes your mind away. I would rather play a board game, card game, read or write to engage my mind and other parts of my body in an activity. It’s not that I dislike television- I just feel like I get a lot of time with it during my down time. That’s why book stores, music stores, concerts, bowling centers, etc. give me more of an energy boost. Being surrounded in an environment I feel comfort in, plus the chance to discover people with similar interests, helps alleviate any chance of boredom.

Communication with my family is the easiest way for me to not be bored. I love my wife and daughters, I love the types of conversations we have and they give me an energy boost when I’m feeling sad or angry at the world. Take the time to ask a series of questions about what others think, work on your listening skills and I think you will learn more about yourself and life in the process.

Have a wonderful day, I will talk more tomorrow!

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