"I'm Bored"

Kids are bored for the same reason we are – we believe we know what will provide pleasure/entertainment and fulfillment.

Presence is the simple cure for boredom.

Try it. In the next ten minutes, pay close attention to every detail of what you are doing. If you are washing the dishes, watch the soapy water slide over the dishes. Watch each movement your hands make. Watch the clear water wash away the soap bubbles. If you are at work, listen to each word you speak or have spoken to you, stay present to each step when you’re walking from one place to another. Watch your hands touch the keyboard or the hammer. Watch every movement you make. You will notice the boredom has disappeared.

  • But…big but. How do you teach kids presence? Do a demo with them. My granddaughter gets bored hanging up her clean laundry. When she tried this exercise, she came downstairs grinning instead of frowning!

Here are some other simple ideas:

  • Involve them in daily chores: cooking, cleaning and ask them how they would do it.

  • Stop enabling kids. You don’t need to be at their beck and call all the time. If you find your value in doing that, they will play the game and keep you hopping to keep them entertained.

  • Sit quietly and ask yourself why you want bored kids. Wait for the answer to rise up and feel the feelings that accompany the thought until they dissipate. You may get an answer like ‘I can shine as a parent if they are bored and I provide the entertainment’.

  • Introduce them to new activities that are inexpensive: collections, photography – Google it!

  • Teach them to sit still and feel what’s going on inside of them.

  • Give them lots and lots and lots and lots of attention just because – not when they are hurt or crying or upset. For no reason, give them attention.

  • Ask their opinions. You’ll love what you learn.

  • Let them ‘do’; cook, give you their ideas for cleaning, adventures, etc.

  • Teach them that when you are busy, they HAVE TO WAIT. When kids learn patience, they will automatically become still and less troubled human beings.

  • Teach them that when they get what they want (a new truck, a barbie, an old clunker first car – that that won’t cause long term happiness and then teach them what does.

  • Teach them that happiness is a choice; an inside job.

Brenda Miller

Author, Kid Code


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