Friday, July 5, 2013

Ramblings.. Teaching my kids how to deal with "b" word.. boredom

**Disclaimer: The opinions in this post are my own and are ramblings concerning MY children and how I choose to deal with them. They are not meant to make anyone defensive or make anyone feel judged. Everyone is different and this is one of those topics where my way is not the highway but well I was bored and decided to write a blog post about what I was thinking. :)**

A wiser older mother was giving me advice the other day on an issue with my son and she mentioned that parents spend a lot of time telling their kids what not to do instead of telling them what to do. It was related to a different issue but it came back to me while I had insomnia tonight when I started thinking about my kids and boredom. 

My kids rarely say that they are bored. But when they do, I have previously done what many other moms before me have done.. I make them clean. Seems reasonable, right? Ohh you're bored... let's clean! Now cleaning to combat boredom is not necessarily such a bad thing. I mean it does give them something to do and it's productive and well, depending on what I give them, they actually enjoy it. 

But the other day when my child was bored and stated the problem to me, I hesitated... see paragraph #1.. It was a "do not" moment. My first instinct was to say (in not these exact words) "No, you are not allowed to have the emotion of boredom".. Wikipedia says "Boredom is an emotional state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, and not interested in their surroundings. "  Well  is that really such a bad thing? If they view cleaning as punishment, do they really need to be punished for being bored and stating so?  Because yeah, sometimes I am punishing them. Sometimes it is the forbidden "b" word. 

I decided no.  Because truth be told.. I was bored. It was a boring day. It was raining. I had reached the end of the internet. I didn't feel like cleaning. I had no idea what to do. So I just sat there and was bored. And I decided that sometimes my kids need to learn to just be bored.  Because life is filled with boring things.  And spending 15 hours in a house is a long time to come up with things to do so it's actually kind of understandable that they were bored. 

Furthermore, I don't want my kids to view our house work as something that we do when we don't have anything else to do. I don't want them to think that we wouldn't have washed the mirrors if they hadn't stated they were bored. So really all this thinking made me think that I should never use cleaning as a consequence. 

So here's what I came up..   I am sorry that you are bored but there are a lot things to do in this house. You might even need to use your imagination to come up with them.  If you don't want to do any of them, that is fine but if you want to whine about it then you need to whine by yourself in your room.  I have a list of things that I need to get done today and you can help me with the list if you want to. 

Ideas from around the internet that also sounded interesting 

  • Have child or help child make a "What to do when I am bored" list and refer to it when needed. 
  • Maybe child is bored and needs adult interaction (gulp.. guess I should play that board game) 
  • Some children need to be taught how to entertain themselves - I have zero suggestions on how to do this but to all the moms out there that are tripping over their child who is following them around, I feel for you.. It's a hard stage! 
  • TV/video game exposure will increase boredom at other times. Being bored in a 15 hour rainy day is one thing but being bored 5 minutes after they turn off the TV would probably lead to a TV ban in my house. 
  • Have a boredom contest.. Sit facing each other and see who can be the most bored for longest.  Depending on your child and their age, this will either erupt in scowls or giggles. :) 

So there we have it.. new rules .. my kids are allowed to be bored. They are allowed to state that they are bored.  No whining allowed but that is a house rule.  And many houses have a you are not allowed to say you are bored rule.. And I totally respect that!! 

Oh and suggesting they take a nap.. always appropriate. :) 

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Year of Adventures - Part 1 (Aug 2012 - Nov 2012)

A Year of Adventures - Part 1 - August 2012 - November 2012

I don't think there will be another year quite like this one. I am pretty sure that this will be known as the year that we went on ALLL those field trips. Sadly, I don't have pictures for all our adventures but here is the first part of our year in review.

August 23, 2012 - Kicked off the year at Morgan Falls Park with JFBC Homeschool group. Met some new moms and a dad!  Beautiful park! Alas, no pictures.

August 25, 2012 - Bike Rodeo with Pack 710. Andrew is a Wolf this year.

September 3rd - September 9th - Make up date for our summer trip to Hunting Island (canceled due to Tropical Storm Beryl)

September 10th -  Chattahoochee Nature - Membership this year.. the first of many trips with a lot of great friends! 

Wed September 26th - Etowah Indian Mounds - Trip 1 of 2.. we went back in the spring.  Etowah Mounds was a great field trip. We learned about the mounds where the chiefs lived, the fields which was a burial grounds, their use of the gorgeous Etowah River,  and the favorite part by most - the weapons demonstration!! 

Sat Sept 29th - Peter turned 5 on September 21st and we celebrated his birthday the following Saturday with a party at East Cobb Park with a bunch of our friends. We made him a Lego Ninjago cake. 

Saturday October 6th - We went to Berry Patch Farms to get photos in the pumpkin patch. The kids enjoy all getting to take home one baby pumpkin. The boys cousin, Evelyn, is only 2 months old in this picture and the boys feel pretty special that they get to hold her and touch her. 

Tues October 9th - We grabbed our cousin Pearl and headed to Carlton Farms with the JFBC Homeschool group and had a fun fall day. We saw the cows out in the field and fed them hay, a baby cow getting milked, other animals in the petting area. Josh got bit by a donkey..he didn't like that part.  We split into groups and did the corn maze. They love the giant PVC pipe slide. There was a big bale of hale that the kids had fun running and jumping off. 

The "gang" 

October 19th - 21st- Chris is "camp masto" at Bert Adams Scout Reservation the same weekend at Atlanta Area Council's "Spooky-Ree". He was off telling parents to move their cars back to the parking lot while the boys and I enjoyed fall festival type events.  For this weekend, we get to stay in the camp master cabin which the boys love. 

October 26th - 28th - The very next weekend, we went back to BASR.. this time as campers with Pack 710 for Foothills Fall family camping. We stayed in a canvas platform tent which was fun and different. We made survival bracelets, hung out with a lot of new Cub Scout families in our pack, participated in an outdoor worship service, viewed the stars with Mr. Ellis' cool telescope, played tug of war.  Peter's favorite part is collecting all the trading cards. 


Saturday November 10th - Andrew celebrated his 8th birthday with a spy party. Many friends were able to come - James, Jordan, Jayden, Kyle, Isaiah and Christopher (np) and of course, the brothers - Peter and Josh.

Monday November 12th - Our play group had a joint birthday party for Kaley Savasuk and Josh. Kaley turned 4 on November 9th and Josh turned 4 on November 12th. I have know Kaley's mom, Tina, since she was Andrew's Sunday School teacher when he was 1.  Since then, I have been blessed with an amazing friend for both myself and my boys.  Josh is starting to get into being friends with boys now (esp cool older ones) but he still likes Kaley a lot. She is a super cutie! I don't have a pic from that party but here's a pic of our birthday buddy, Kaley. 

Thursday - November 29th - Southern Museum with GCA We met up with the Rowans and toured the Southern Museum in Kennesaw with other GCA families.  The coolest part is when they got to practice being in a line and holding a musket on their shoulder like the soldiers in the Civil War. I also enjoyed learning about their uniforms. As part of the field trip, they also shot off a musket. It was loud but not too bad. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera this day. 

December is pretty busy so it can get its own post. And then there is January through May 2013 where we were just as busy or even more busy than we were in the fall!