- intermittent depression?
- long faces?
Do they exhale long sighs, roll eyes, and utter questions, such as,
- "I'm bored!"
- "I have nothing to do!"
- "Why don't you ever take us anywhere?"
Your child may be suffering from the malady of Boredom. This pernicious condition can develop with subtle symptoms before a parent realizes that a full-blown case has taken root in the child's spirit.
This condition is diagnosed as a syndrome, a cluster of symptoms without other explanation.
(1) Does each day begin with the child asking sullenly, "What are we going to do today?"
(2) When you explain that the family will be doing its regular homeschool in the morning and its regular day's chores, then the whole rest of the day will be free for playing, are you greeted with anger, resentment, and a flopping body? Do you hear protests of "That's boring!" and demands of "Why don't we ever do anything fun?"?
(3) When you remind the children that
- they are enrolled in lessons for musical instruments, art, choir, and soccer . . .
- they have a home library of probably nearly one thousand age-appropriate books plus access to the local library . . .
- they have a home full of lovely, imaginative toys like a doll house, a play kitchen, Duplos, Legos, Lincoln Logs, Electro-Circuits, Magformers, and much more . . .
- they have a shaded backyard with a jungle gym, slide, climbing wall, climbing dome, three swings, as well as sports equipment such as bicycles, roller blades, balls, weights, and jump ropes . . .
- they get taken on day trips, adventures, and travels routinely each month . . .
- they get to watch TV in the morning while Mama exercises and in the afternoon while Mama makes dinner and NO!!! they are not going to be allowed to watch more . . .
- they get to eat out at a restaurant more than once per week . . . and that
- they have a closet full of high-quality art supplies, a garage full of woodworking supplies, a sewing room full of fabric and knitting supplies, and a cupboard full of board and card games . . .
. . . DO THEY RESPOND IN SEEMING AGONY THAT THOSE THINGS ARE ALL "BORING" AND THAT THEY HAVE "NOTHING TO DO"?
(4) Lastly, do you find yourself going through this conversation each morning, often while trying to wake up with a steaming cup of coffee?
If so, the pernicious malady of Boredom has infected your child (as it has done mine). Please take heart that this illness strikes even in the best of families and you too, along with me, shall find remedy.
Thankfully, there is a first-line treatment that is quite effective and solves all but the toughest cases (which must be treated with removal of all privileges until attitude improves).
This home remedy is created by filling a jar with slips of paper on which are written many chores that routinely need to be done. The chores should be able to be completed by the child in question without much preparation or supervision by the parent.
Directions for use: When the child next complains of "being bored," direct the child to obtain one chore from the jar, comforting the child that his affliction will, sooner or later, through diligence of treatment by his loving parents, be cured!
Side effects: Your house may be much cleaner and more orderly than usual during the period of treatment.
And remember to say with a smile, "Bored people are boring people!"