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Why You Should Let Your Child Be Bored This Summer

The benefits of boredom for children and why you should let your child be bored. Why being bored is good for your child. 

The benefits of boredom for children and why you should let your child be bored. Why being bored is good for your child.

Our children are growing up in a fast-paced environment. With all of the modern conveniences we have before us, we rarely have to wait for anything. We don't even need to wait for commercials before continuing on with our show. If we want to talk to someone, we can pretty consistently get a hold of them via text, cell phone, or social media pretty instantly. If we want to know the answer to a question, Google is right in our pockets. We have endless opportunities for communication and stimulation.

Because of this, our children rarely have a chance to get bored.

We also live in a world where we can compare ourselves to thousands of people very similar to ourselves (and millions of those dissimilar). While we used to only be worried about keeping up with that Jones family, we now have families all over the world we can try to keep up with. So we mothers look around on our favorite social media sites (it doesn't matter which one) and see what at least hundreds of other mothers are doing with their children. We don't look at ONE mother, we look at hundreds. Then we try to keep up with as much of what they are doing as a whole as we can. We try to take the best highlights from so many people that we completely overbook our lives with fun ideas.

Because of this, our children rarely have a chance to get bored. 

Then someone writes an article about how you only have 18 summers with each child, and 18 is a very small number. We then feel a level of panic that yes, we really do need to pack these amazing things in because 18 isn't very many and time is running out! 

Because of this, our children rarely have a chance to get bored.

Today I want to tell you why you should let your child get bored. Let your child get bored this summer, next weekend, and any other day of the year. It is not only okay to let your child get bored, it is good

Boredom leads to imagination and creativity

When you have nothing scheduled to do, and you are faced with either doing nothing or creating something to do, you are going to create it. Your child will not choose to sit and be bored for long. She might try. She might stage a sit-in, proclaiming her feelings of boredom as she tries to wear you down so you will solve the problem for her or at least default to electronics. If you hold your ground, and make it clear that you don't mind if she is bored, she will find something to do. Studies have found boredom leads to more imagination and problem solving. 

We do a technology fast for one week of every month, and during that week, my children are the most self-driven. They try new things. They play with each other more. They make up games. They draw. They read. They end up having a really great week!

When you are bored, you are motivated to try and solve problems. Humans are great at solving problems if they will give it a try! Boredom gives time for people to need to solve problems. 

Boredom leads to interaction

Along that same thought, when my children are bored, they will turn to each other to come up with something to do. Even 12 year old Brayden will find something mutually enjoyable to do with 5 year old Brinley when it is just the two of them and they are bored. A big part of that is Brayden wanting to make Brinley happy; the interaction strengthens their relationship and bond. 

Boredom forces you to face yourself

I read on Psychology Today that:
"So what boredom does, effectively, is to open the shutters on some very uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, which we normally block out with a flurry of activity or with the opposite thoughts or feelings."
I mean, I love that boredom forces us to face things. Burying thoughts, feelings, and emotions is not healthy, and if boredom helps us have to face those things, I call that a win for mental health. It is also a great way to get to know yourself. If you are forced to find something you like without another person directing your efforts, you will be more apt to find something you enjoy and get to know yourself better.

Boredom can lead to finding new hobbies

When you have nothing to do and want to find something, you will be more willing to give things a try. This might lead to you finding a new talent or new joy in life. 

Boredom fosters independence

Think about it. If your child never has a moment to figure out what to do with himself, how does he learn how to function alone or independently? If your child gets bored, he has time to learn how to function on his own. 

Conclusion

When your child tells you he is bored this summer, don't let yourself feel guilty. Don't run through the hundreds of things you could be doing but aren't doing. Instead think, "Good. I am glad I gave you that opportunity." Your child will develop his imagination, his creativity, hobbies, and perseverance through working through boredom. So as you plan out your schedule for this summer, leave time for boredom. Don't be afraid to keep openings in your schedules and let your children really know what bored feels like and let them work through that.

Dare to let your child get bored. 

Related Posts:

Why a Solid Chore Schedule Can Save Your Sanity This Summer

Why a Solid Chore Schedule Can Save Your Sanity This Summer. Reasons to have your child do chores during summer.

Why a Solid Chore Schedule Can Save Your Sanity This Summer. Reasons to have your child do chores during summer.


As the school year ends, I cannot wait for summer to get here and the crazy of May to end. I think that is the Lord's way of making us willing to take on summer, just like how the end of pregnancy completely sucks and you will do anything to get that baby out.

Just as childbirth leaves its mark, so can summer. It seems amazing, whimsical, and lovely as we look forward to it, but as the days settle in and kids get "bored," you start to realize summer isn't as perfect as you thought it would be. I love my kids! I love spending time with them and making fun memories, but summer is not 100% packed with fun times and memories. Some days, we do nothing extraordinary. I am not only okay with that, I think that is important. I want my kids to know what "bored" feels like and know that is okay. 

If we want to all like each other as much as possible while staying home together all day, every day, for three months, I find a little structure can go a long way. One of my favorite structure items is chores. Chores are a great item to add to your every day to keep your sanity this summer.

Here is why I love chores:

Chores help spread the load

A person can make a lot of mess all by themselves. Even a really, really clean person who always cleans up after himself contributes to overall mess by wearing clothes (more laundry), eating food (more dishes), and spending time in the bathroom (it just gets dirty with use). Let's face it, few humans are really, really clean and always clean up after themselves. So not only do we have the inevitable messes that come on, but we have the nice little messes left behind here and there. When everyone helps with the chores, it helps spread the workload so not one person (ahem, Mom) is spending tons of time cleaning up after people. I always say I want my kids to help clean up, in part, so that I have more time available to do things other than chores, including spend time with them. If I have to clean it all, I can't spend time playing with the kids. 

Chores help teach skills

Odds are high your child will one day need to do his own laundry and clean his own house. These are life skills your child needs to learn and you will benefit your child so much by making sure that happens. You want chores during the school year, but you can add in even more chores during summer to help focus on learning life skills. 

Chores help teach responsibility

When your child has chores he is required to do and is held accountable for doing them, he learns how to be responsible. If you have rules that chores have to be done before your child can go play with friends, and you stick to that rule, your child learns an invaluable lesson about natural consequences and how to stay on top of your own responsibilities.

Chores need to be done daily

This adds stability and structure to your days and weeks of summer. You can have something consistent about your days because chores literally never end and always need to be done. Structure means you have days that are predictable, and that helps you keep your sanity. 

Chores give you a motivational tool

Summer days can get lazy. It is easy to fall into a lazy trap and think, "I will do chores later" or "I have endless time to get that done" or "I am so bored all I can think about is electronics." Chores give you a tool to use to require your children to get up and moving before fun things can happen. 

Conclusion

Having a solid chore schedule can really help you maintain some consistency, predictability, and order this summer and keep you sane. Let summer be as painless as possible so those memories, however boring, can be sweet and not painful.

Related Posts about Chores on This Blog:
Why a Solid Chore Schedule Can Save Your Sanity This Summer. Reasons to have your child do chores during summer.




Why a Solid Chore Schedule Can Save Your Sanity This Summer. Reasons to have your child do chores during summer.

The Best Products to Help Your Baby Sleep

The Best Products to Help Your Baby Sleep. Get great naps and have baby sleep through the night. 

Having the right tools can help you get a job done easier. This is as true with getting baby to sleep as it is to fix a flat tire. Obviously a baby is not a tire, so using the tools correctly won't guarantee all sleep goes perfectly. Baby is a human and might respond in unpredictable ways, but these products have proven over and over to be helpful to get baby to sleep.

The Best Products to Help Your Baby Sleep. Get great naps and have baby sleep through the night.

If you want a chance to win ALL of these products in one prize pack, head right over to my Instagram to enter to win! This is an amazing prize pack. The ladies of the BFBN and I teamed up to bring you this amazing prize pack. Collectively, we decided what our favorite items were for helping baby get great sleep. Here they are. This post contains affiliate links. 

On Becoming Babywise

We must start with the obvious--On Becoming Babywise! This is my favorite book to get baby sleeping well.





Muslin Swaddle Blankets
The Best Products to Help Your Baby Sleep. Get great naps and have baby sleep through the night. Muslin swaddle blankets are great for swaddling the younger babies. It can also be great for wrapping your baby up when you are out and about. 





Swaddle Blanket
The Best Products to Help Your Baby Sleep. Get great naps and have baby sleep through the night. A swaddle blanket is a great way to help baby sleep well. I love swaddling babies. The Woombie is great because it is convertible and breathable. Read my post on Swaddling for more.




White Noise Machine
The Best Products to Help Your Baby Sleep. Get great naps and have baby sleep through the night. A white noise machine is invaluable for getting baby to be able to sleep without being interrupted by random noises. There are a lot of great white noise machines out there. The Homedics is one and the Dohm is another great one.  Read all about sleep props here




Travel Sound Machine
Travel Sound Machine for great baby sleepIf a sound machine at homes makes sense, then so does one on the go. This can be helpful in the car seat or stroller.






Gripe Water
Gripe WaterThis is one of my favorite products to help baby sleep well. I used it with my last two babies and it made a world of difference for both of them. Read all about how to help a baby with gas pain here.





Gas Drops
Gas DropsGas drops are just as helpful as gripe water to help baby sleep if your baby is gassy. Only two of my babies were gassy and needed this, but it was necessary for those two.





Car Seat Canopy
The Best Products to Help Your Baby Sleep. Get great naps and have baby sleep through the night. A car seat canopy is a great item to have to help baby sleep on the go. Babies sleep so much that there will be times your baby is out and about during nap time. This helps block out the physical stimulation to give baby a better chance at sleeping on the go. Add in the travel sound machine and you have a winner!



Pacifier
PacifierA pacifier can come in handy when you are trying to hold baby off for a feeding or get baby to sleep while out and about. Some people use pacifiers for sleep regularly. Read all about sleep props here.



Baby Sleepers
The Best Products to Help Your Baby Sleep. Get great naps and have baby sleep through the night.
These are handy just in general but also helpful for sleep to keep baby cozy for sleeping. Read how I recommend to dress baby for sleep

Brinley Summary: 5 Years 9 Months Old

Inside: Five year old girl information. Five year old schedule, five year old chores, and five year old hobbies.

Brinley Summary: 5 Years 9 Months Old

This is a summary for Brinly from 5 years 8 months to 5 years 9 months old.

Things are going well with Brinley overall. She is maturing quite a bit and is eager to do more and more on her own.

SLEEP
Sleep was great! Everything went well.

EATING
Eating went well during this time period. Nothing major happened during this time period. She ate well and ate at meal times. 

EMOTIONS
Last time, I talked about how Brinley has eased out of being emotional. She continued to ease this past month. Nate commented just yesterday that she is much less emotional lately. It is so relieving to be coming out of the emotional roller coasters!

CHORES
I added in an extra chore in her life this month. She now empties every garbage in the house into our main garbage can once a week. This is in addition to her regular chores of keeping her room clean, dusting, and vacuuming her room. I will be adding some additional chores during summer months soon.  See 
HOBBIES
Something I love as children get older is coming to know who they are as individuals. Brinley has always had a knack for gardening. She is natural at it and has great instincts. She is obsessed with flowers. She loves to look at them, buy them, and plant them. She stuck with me for two solid hours planting flowers in our yard. She enjoys watering them and talks sweetly to them. Flowers are not a passion of mine, but I am nurturing her love and helping her learn how to care for them. I think parenting is a job full of sacrifice on many levels. We sacrifice time, sleep, interests, our bodies, and more for our children. While we don't want to lose ourselves, I think a huge part of parenting is sacrifice and service. Those things help us to grow into better humans. So I do things I don't even really like, such as work extensively with flowers, because my daughter loves it and I want to help nurture her interests. 

EXTRA CURRICULAR
This is what Brinley did out side of school. 
  • Swimming lessons: She continues to make improvements! She passed off her backstroke all  together. At her last lesson, she swam 100 meters on her back in 7 minutes. Swimming is pretty hit and miss for us in April and May because of soccer season and end-of-year activities. We hit it consistently in the summer so I am excited to see where she goes during those months.
  • Gymnastics: She really enjoys gymnastics. I think we will take summer off. This isn't a good idea if you are really into gymnastics and really want to progress, but we aren't looking for her to do more with gymnastics than to grow and have fun.
  • Dance: Dance is great! She is getting ready for her recital. She had her dance pictures this month and loved getting all dressed up for them. 
  • Piano: Brayden is her new piano teacher. Our teacher had to move all of a sudden. It was too bad; we love her so! Teachers are just full around here, so we decided to hire Brayden out. They have had a couple of lessons so far. It will test Brayden's patience for sure! I think it will be good for him. She just adores him and is thrilled to have this long span of time of attention from him all at once.
  • Soccer: She started up soccer during this time. She has a lot of fun with soccer. She has scored some goals, but she isn't a super star. At this age, Kaitlyn asked to sit out constantly, so I don't pay much attention to how they play now and equate that with how they will play in the future. There is much to see. 
BOOKS
Brinly is still fully obsessed with the Princess In Black (affiliate) books. 

SCHEDULE
7:00-7:30 AM--wake up, get ready, eat, scriptures, practice piano
9:00 AM--school
12:30 PM--home and eat lunch. Homework. Then she can watch two 30-minute shows on PBS  and has independent playtime if desired. Two days a week she has her extra curricular activities. I scheduled her stuff during the other kids' school day so we didn't have our family time so interrupted. 
4:00 PM--Siblings home. Sibling play and family time. 
5:00 PM--Dinner in this hour
7:00 PM--Bedtime process begins.

How to Get Your Baby to Nap

How to get your baby to take great naps. Tips for getting healthy sleep.

How to get your baby to take great naps. Tips for getting healthy sleep.

It can take a lot of work to get baby to take great naps. You ultimately want your baby to have most naps each day be 1.5-2.5 hours long. Some babies will easily fall into nice sleep patterns, but others take more troubleshooting and work. This post outlines the basics for getting your baby to be able to take great naps. 

Keep Waketime Length Appropriate

If you want your baby to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep for a nap, you need to have waketime length appropriate. Waketime length is the amount of time your baby is awake from the time she wakes up to the time she goes down for the next nap. This time includes the amount of time spent to feed and diaper her. For help with this, see:

Watch for Sleepy Cues

When you are working on getting waketime length right, knowing sleep cues is invaluable. Watch for sleepy cues so you know when your baby needs to go down for a nap. This helps you time things correctly even when your baby needs to go down at a different time than usual (this can happen when baby is sick, having a growth spurt, etc.). See this post for help:

Have a Sleep Routine

A sleep routine is something you do before each nap or bedtime to help set the stage for sleep. This triggers to your baby to know it is time for sleeping. The routine can be different for bedtime and naptime. For help finding the best routine for you, see:

Set Up the Sleep Environment

You want the place your baby sleeps to be conducive to a nap happening. You want it to be quiet (this is a great sound machine - affiliate). You want the lighting to be right for your baby. Some are okay with some light while others need it quite dark. You want your baby dressed comfortably. You want the room at the best temperature. See these posts for more: 

Teach Baby To Sleep Unassisted

Sleep training is invaluable to getting your baby to the point of taking great naps. There are many sleep training methods out there and you can choose the method that works best for you and your baby. The goal is to have baby capable of falling asleep alone and unassisted. The method you use to achieve that goal is not important. 
Here are some resources I have to help with naps:
The Babywise Mom Nap Guide how to get baby to take naps

Add to Cart

The Babywise Nap Guide is my newest eBook. It is full of every detail you need for setting up amazing naps for your baby. 

The Babywise Mom Book of Logs

This is my Book of Logs PDF. It is only $3, which is a major steal! This is invaluable to troubleshooting naps, night, and other problems you encounter with a baby. To read more about it, visit this blog post. To purchase, click the Add To Cart button below. You will then have an instant download. It is that simple. NOTE--if you are clicking and going to Pinterest, click the side of the button rather than the middle. The Pinterest "Pin Now" button is sometimes getting in the way.
Add to Cart View Cart


Babywise sleep helps

This is a link to my comprehensive sleep page on this blog. This page lists every post you need to get your baby sleeping well. Read about the best products to get baby sleeping here. 

How to get your baby to take great naps. Tips for getting healthy sleep.


3 REASONS IT IS OKAY TO NOT LIKE BEING PREGNANT {Guest Post)

Inside: 3 REASONS IT IS OKAY TO NOT LIKE BEING PREGNANT . Pregnancy is not always fun and it doesn't make you a bad mom to not enjoy it. 

3 REASONS IT IS OKAY TO NOT LIKE BEING PREGNANT . Pregnancy is not always fun and it doesn't make you a bad mom to not enjoy it.

I've often seen harsh comments made by some that say a woman has no right to complain about being pregnant. I understand the sentiment. As a whole, I don't like to complain. I like to try and see the positive to things. However, I also see that for some reason, complaining about pregnancy is equated to being ungrateful. Of course, there are exceptions to the majority, but I would say that in general, this assumption is false.

Pregnancy Is Hard

You can be fit and healthy but pregnancy can still be super challenging. There are the obvious physical ailments such as morning sickness, the extra weight to carry around, swollen joints, round ligament pain, etc etc. However, so often the unseen things are excluded. Hormones play a huge role in how we feel. Did you know that there is such a thing as antenatal depression? No one knows how pregnancy is going to affect them, but I would say that most women wouldn't say it is a walk in the park. (Read about the 5 things that surprised me during pregnancy -- HERE)

Pregnancy Is Unique

I admit that I get easily frustrated when women push their experience onto someone else. Just because you didn't feel a certain way doesn't mean that another woman can't or won't. Pregnancy is so very individual. We experience things differently. Our situations are different. Gosh, I've been pregnant three times and they've all had their own unique symptoms. If you had an 'easy' ride, then that's wonderful, but don't brush away the feelings of others just because you didn't personally experience them. Some women feel like goddesses during pregnancy. Their skin glows and they feel like the essence of femininity. Others (like myself) feel sick and totally unlike themselves. While I greatly value what my body is doing to grow my child, I don't feel feminine...I feel more akin to a beached whale.
3 REASONS IT IS OKAY TO NOT LIKE BEING PREGNANT . Pregnancy is not always fun and it doesn't make you a bad mom to not enjoy it.

You Still Love Your Baby

If I'm being honest, if I listed out the things I would miss about pregnancy, and those I would not, the 'would not' list would be significantly longer. I don't love the fatigue, the hormone swings, the weight gain, the morning sickness, and the general lack of control. I struggle with not being capable of some of the basic tasks of daily living. HOWEVER... I still love my baby. I don't love being pregnant, but I'm so excited that I get another child out of it. The nine months of challenges are outweighed by that moment when I get to hold my precious child in my arms for the first time. Do I complain about the pregnancy during those nine months? You betcha! However, as much as I struggle with my body image and mental health, I still have the utmost respect for the ability my body has to grow and nurture a human into existence. So, it's okay to not love being pregnant. I remember my mother saying that if a stork could just drop the baby off, that would be great. Ha! However, I think there is a difference between not enjoying something and not being grateful for it. I don't love it when it rains, but gosh I'm thankful that it makes the country I live in so green and lush!

Christine Keys