5 Reasons I Want My Kids to be Bored

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5 Reasons I Want My Kids To Be Bored This Summer

I have two tween girls, and I cannot tell you how many times I hear the phrase “I’m bored”. Seriously, I can’t even keep track. It used to bother me. I would instantly want to “fix” their boredom….but now, I encourage boredom. I look forward to the times when they come whining to me that they are bored. Why? Because it means that they aren’t attached to an electronic device.

I never hear them complain that they are bored when they have an iPod in their hands. But the moment the device is dead, or we institute an electronics free day, the cries of boredom begin. This generation of kids no longer know what to do with themselves when they aren’t constantly stimulated. It’s a shame. Opportunities for day dreaming and creativity are traded for whining and crying.

We finally said “enough is enough” and gave our children an hour a day limit on electronic devices {iPods, computers, televisions, etc}. We decided that we want our children to have opportunities to be bored and here’s why:

  1. Boredom leads to creativity. Great ideas are birthed when our minds have time to wander. Who knows what kind of amazing ideas our children could come up with if they weren’t constantly on social media, playing video games, and taking selfies. Oh, don’t even get me started on the selfies…that is another post for another day.
  2. Boredom leads to deepened relationships. I’m talking real relationships. In person relationships. Not online acquaintances. The growing device addiction in our country is producing children who are more isolated than ever.  You want to see sibling relationships grow? Take away the electronic devices. When I was growing up, I constantly had friends at my house. We were always together. Now, it seems like kids are happy to facetime, snapchat, and text instead of actually being together face to face.
  3. Boredom leads to completion of household chores. My kids have slowly learned not to tell their father that they are bored. The words “I’m bored” are almost always matched with “okay, empty the dishwasher” or “the living room needs vacuumed.” “Either you can find something creative to do with your boredom, or we can assign chores. You pick.” That typically solves the problem.
  4. Boredom leads to increased movement. Kids complaining that they are bored? Send them outside. They’ll find something to do and will be moving while doing it. According this article by Forbes, tweens {ages 8-12} spend an average of 6 hours per day on some sort of electronic device…and number increases to 9 hours/day for teens. That is 6-9 hours per day that children are sedentary. What is that doing to their health?
  5. Boredom leads to increased literacy. Have you ever claimed that you were bored while completely consumed in a good book? No? I didn’t think so. It’s just not possible. Since we began drastically limiting our daughters’ screen time, they have magically developed a love of reading. Coincidence? No way.

Summer is right around the corner and with that comes the freedom of open schedules. No more rushing from activity to activity, couple that with the fact that we will continue with the one hour per day screen time limit for our children and we can already hear the cries of “boredom” coming our way, but we are okay with it. Not only are we okay with it, but we are prepared! We recently got our hands on a wonderful book called 101 Ways to Have Fun: Things You Can Do with Friends Anytime. If you have tween or teen girls, then this book is a MUST-HAVE for you! Anytime your child complains they are bored, grab the book and  have her to pick an activity. There are certain activities that she can do on her own and certain activities that can be done with a friend or sibling. If you are looking for some great ideas for your tween girls, check out the book 101 Ways to Have Fun from the editors of Faithgirlz and Girls’ Life magazine. Click here to learn more.

We decided to take a few ideas from the book, 101 Ways to Have Fun, and combine it with a few ideas of our own and create our own boredom blasting jar for tween girls. Now whenever we hear complaints of boredom, all we have to do is have them pull an activity from the jar and suddenly they aren’t bored anymore. We took a lot of time in choosing the activities for our jar because we don’t want them to be doing “something” just for the sake of doing it. We want the activities they are doing to increase creativity, growth, or service to others.

If you would like to create a Boredom Blasting Jar for your children you are welcome to use our activity ideas {simply click the link below to download the list of activities and then cut them apart and place in a jar}, or feel free to create your own activities for your children.

28 Boredom Cures for Tween Girls

Our Boredom Blasting Activities for Tween Girls list includes: {click here to download a copy of this list}

  • Complete a household chore for someone else
  • Write a letter to someone
  • Give the dog a bath.
  • Pull weeds from the flower bed.
  • Bake a treat for your family.
  • Make a craft.
  • Create a dance routine.
  • Build a fort.
  • Wash the car.
  • Play a board game.
  • Write a story.
  • Have a scavenger hunt with your sister.
  • Have a lemonade stand.
  • Play ball with the dog.
  • Learn a new skill.
  • Have a water balloon fight.
  • Rearrange your room.
  • Plan a picnic.
  • Plan and have a yard sale.
  • Connect with an old friend.
  • Find a volunteer opportunity.
  • Invite a friend over.
  • Exercise.
  • Do yoga.
  • Brainstorm ways you can make money.
  • Paint a picture.
  • Repurpose an old piece of furniture.
  • Put together a 1,000 piece puzzle.

What are your thoughts on your children being “bored”? Do you try to “fix” the problem or do you allow them to explore entertainment options on their own? I would love to hear your thoughts!

I am a ZonderKidz Brand Ambassador and I was compensated for this post. All ideas and opinions expressed are my own.


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Yup! Bored kids either find something to do or get given something to do in our home. We’ve been on afterschool break for a couple weeks and start back into our new school year/summer schedule next week. One summer I made a list of activities similar to the one above and we pulled one out of a jar every morning. That gave use something to do or plan, but then the rest of the day was free for the kids to do creative things. Even my babies entertain themselves better in their pack ‘n play when they only have a few toys rather than a whole bunch.

  2. Great ideas! I have a similar list posted for our elementary age daughter. Last summer, we put her in day camp and it wasn’t what we expected. I herd I’m bored almost daily. Her list of activities include chores, readings a dozen books, a father’s day craft project, a recycled craft project, making birthday cards for friends, among other things. We even visited the new yogurt bar and tasted every flavor before selecting the one we liked. Thanks for sharing your ideas…I will be modifying our list.

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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