What To Do When Your Kids Say They're 'Bored'

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what to say when kids are bored

Think back: how many times did you say you were bored when you were a kid? Fast forward and now it’s your own spawn telling you they have nothing to do, and surprise, you have no time for it.

That’s understandable; I mean, who doesn’t know a mom who wouldn’t love to be bored? I’d kill for a few hours with nothing to do but alas, those days are over for me.

But the fact remains that our kids are going to be bored — legitimately or not. Here’s what we can do about it.

Validate Them

Juan Santos, a clinical mental health counselor, told Scary Mommy to listen to your child and validate them. “When your child approaches you and shares that they are bored, try to give them support in this space,” says Santos.

You can do this by putting your phone down, sitting near them and listening to them. Ask them questions. Don’t try to talk them of out of not feeling bored; let them know it’s okay to be bored.

Santos says, “By giving your child validation and healthy space, you are teaching them that it is okay to feel, they have support, and that it is important to listen to their mind and body.”

See If They Are Really Bored

Your child might actually be tired or feel disconnected. Santos suggest helping them explore how they are really feeling by asking them the following questions:

  • What other word other than bored are you feeling?
  • What does your body feel like when you are bored?
  • What does feeling bored make you want to do? And don’t want to do it?

I know as an adult there are times I think I’m bored when really, I’ve been going 100mph for so long, and there is a pause in a day or week, and I feel like I should be doing something for someone else so I feel out of sorts. Our children may feel the same.

Give Them A Slowing-Down Space

It could be a corner in their bedroom or the dining room.

“To support your child with boredom, you can help them create a space for slowing down,” Santos said. “The space can be used by your child when they are feeling tired, overwhelmed, or simply want a break from life.”

This space can be just theirs and they can go there if they need time to think or decide what they’d like to do next. Let them know it’s their space to collect themselves when they are bored and it may stop them from displaying restless behavior.

“Give the slowing-down space a theme,” says Santos. Make sure there is a comfortable chair, coloring books, crafts, or other items that bring your child comfort.

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