Are you currently, hearing the phrase “I’m bored” uttered around the house? Boredom is a description of mindset rather than the circumstance. What one finds boring another may find extremely engaging and exciting. If you are hearing this phrase a lot at the moment, then maybe it is time to take some of the following actions:
- Look beyond the reaction
Saying “I’m bored” is not usually the result of conscious thinking but more often it is a reaction of the mind in a moment. We need to get interested in more than just the situation and look at the context, what is the want, desire or need that the thought, ‘I’m bored,’ has sprung from. Once this is identified, we can address it at the cause rather than at the symptom of the statement,“I’m Bored.”
2.Jointly create something to do
When children feel lost, lonely or are craving your attention, their way of communicating this is through the language they know and the phrase, “I’m bored,” is an easy go to. Depending on the context, will depend on what they are actually communicating. Ask yourself, do they want some one on one time with you? Do they want your help in thinking up an activity they can focus on? If yes, then now is the time to open one of the arts and crafts presents they got for Christmas and get creating and building together. They will get the attention, time with you, focus, creativity and enjoyment all in one. For an activity that will be long lasting, create a Mindfulness Jar together. (For instructions, go to #zenergykidsyoga and scroll to the mindfulness jar.)
- Use it as a starting point
Use “I’m bored” as a starting point to create something different. Don’t argue with the statement “I’m bored” or tell them they “shouldn’t be bored”. As Jung said “Resistance causes Persistence.” If you create the resistance, they will persist in being bored. But if you use it as a starting point, you can move out of boredom together. Instead of telling them what to do to not be bored, ask questions, “What would you like to do so you won’t be bored?”, or “How about we make a list of 5 things we can do today that are are fun and interesting.”
- Create a boring/not boring list
As part of moving beyond the reaction, work with children to understand what they actually mean by “being bored.” One way to do this is to compare activities they enjoy to activities they find boring and come up with a list of what makes something ‘boring’ and a list of what makes something ‘fun, interesting, or exciting.’ With these lists in hand, whenever the phrase “I’m bored” comes up, we can look at what is making it boing and how to shift it into something fun and enjoyable.
- Manage the network of conversations
Do you or other family members, say “I’m bored” on a regular basis? The conversations that occur with a group or family setting are often contagious and build upon each other. If they don’t hear it being said, the less likely they are to say it and the more they hear it, the more is becomes encouraged.
Banish the phrase from your conversations. Every time you hear anyone in the family utter the words, “I’m bored,’ press the imaginary eject button and rephrase. Turn the ‘thought’ of I’m bored into a positive. You could make this a fun game by implementing a 5 star jump rule for every time the words are spoken, or to say one thing you are grateful for. Once awareness builds and the thought is switched, it won’t take long until the phrase is deleted from everyone’s conversation. Have fun introducing it to all the friends who come over to play too.
- Switch from a mindset of describing circumstance to creating circumstances
Very often we speak from and think from a mindset of describing the circumstances we are currently in, rather than creating the circumstance that we want. For children, the phrase, “I’m bored” is very often just that- ‘a description of a current circumstance,’ and it creates an opportunity for us to start to develop a mindset that says, if I don’t like my current circumstance, I have the power and ability to create something new. Isn’t it better to develop a mindset early that says I get to create my circumstances rather than being constrained or defined by my circumstances.
We all love a list and a Top 10 Fun List will prevent the post-Christmas blues. The list consists of 10 activities that are fun, interesting, creative and that your child would enjoy. For example:
- Colouring Mandalas
- Making Yoga statues from play doh and then teaching you the class
- Creating or writing their very own relaxation
- A favourite craft activity
- Making a collage from precious pieces of nature they collect from the garden or a walk
YOGA JOURNAL FEB/MARCH 2019 – ISSUE 73
Loraine is a leading authority on yoga for children and teens. She has trained thousands of people around the world on how to teach yoga to children in a way that is educational, meaningful and fun. www.zenergyyoga.com