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kids- never enough

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Gottagetthrough posted 6/30/2013 09:50 AM

I'm going thru this with kid #1. She wants to do EVERYTHING and nothing is good enough for her.

Example, yesterday she came home from her friends house upset that we don't have a pet. Crying, etc... And of course the IM BORED complaints, even after play dates, pool, park, amusement park...

I think she needs more NOs, what else do you all make your kids do (1 hour of reading a day, chores... ) how much home time do you all have?

Dd is 7 & has been a great kid, super nice, cares about others, but this year she got an attitude... Don't know if that's from school, or just part of growing up, or living with siblings & not getting 100% of my attention like she used to.

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 10:08 AM, June 30th (Sunday)]

LA44 posted 6/30/2013 10:23 AM

Ggt: My kids are 8 and 6 and I find my youngest needs to be CONSTANTLY entertained/have friends around. My BF's daughter is 7 and she said the same thing just the other day, "it is never enough!" This same friend has an 11 and 15 year old so is always going this way and that for various activities.

When we were younger my mom certainly wasn't scrambling to find something for us to do. We went outside, we coloured, I read a lot and we had our friends. I wanted to spend more time with her. Prob why I over-due it with my two.

I fear we are raising entitled kids who need constant stimulation.

At some point today I will say (or yell), you are on your own for the next hour. Find something to do that you enjoy that doesn't involve the garden hose and dirt!

Bobbi_sue posted 6/30/2013 10:50 AM

I think some of them are born that way! When my youngest two were about 10 and 12, the twelve yr old DD gave me her Christmas want list...It listed glue, colored pencils, tape, yarn, a crochet hook, writing paper, the whole list could be bought for under $10. While the same year, the 10 yr old boy listed things like the latest video game console with a long list of expensive games, new guitar, latest greatest of everything. And yes, my son was more the type to show signs of suffering from any type of boredom (and he had no problem creating drama on a regular basis).

I can't think of even one time that either of my DDs moped around saying they were bored. They seemed to know how to keep themselves productively engaged even in childhood.

Kajem posted 6/30/2013 10:52 AM

When my kids got like that (there are 4 of them older now) it usually signaled that they needed one on one time with me. I usually grabbed the obnoxious kid and ran an errand with her. Others were old enough to leave home for a bit. It helped.

And YOYO translation You're On Your Own is a favorite term in this house.... especially for dinner.

StrongerOne posted 6/30/2013 15:02 PM

Try what my mom always said: you're bored? *i'll* give you something to do! And then out would come the list of chores. The very long list of very boring chores.

Very very boring chores.

Trust me, no one was bored for long. Unless they were doing chores.

Thanks, mom! I've used this one with my kid! He's awfully good at amusing himself now.

Nature_Girl posted 6/30/2013 15:07 PM

I tell my kids that if they ask me again what to do, or if I hear them say anything that suggests they are "bored", I will assign extra chores. That usually quiets them right up as they find something to occupy themselves.

I do make sure they have plenty to occupy themselves, though. There are books galore, art supplies, the computer (if they've earned that privilege), physical fitness (they have to do their fitness before they're allowed computer), and of course there's always "the backyard" in which they can play games or just sit & observe nature.

Sad in AZ posted 6/30/2013 16:53 PM

This was the blessing and the curse of having an only child--he learned to amuse himself, but I suffered some amusing consequences. Like when he was home for Christmas break while I was at work (with his father, of course, who never kept an eye on him). He rearranged my kitchen cabinets--put all the round things in one and all the square things in another. The problem is I had my baking supplies in one cabinet and my regular cooking ingredients in the other. Took me months to fix it

MyTurnATL posted 6/30/2013 20:33 PM

“I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.”
― Louis CK

“Boredom comes from a boring mind.”
― Metallica

“Only boring people get bored.”
― Ruth Burke

“When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.”
― Eric Hoffer

letitout posted 7/1/2013 09:45 AM

When I was growing up I lived on a farm. There were always things to do. Collect eggs from chickens, feed the horses, milk cows next door, weed and collect vegetables from garden, etc... I didn't see them as chores. I wasn't board.

But it's funny, raising my own, I really didn't give them many chores and I wish I had because now they were are not only board, but messy.

At your kids age, we lived in a neighborhood that had lots of other kids their same age, they were messy (with the garden hose and dirt!lol), But I felt I had to work hard to keep them from being board and it was exhausting.

Now that they are driving they have more control over their lives and their boardom. I'm glad I'm not their entertainment director anymore. Go out and find something to do!

Hang in there until they are older. It does get better.

tushnurse posted 7/1/2013 11:58 AM

Ah the summer doldrums.

This can be difficult when they are that age. My oldest would say he was bored often when he was that age, what that really meant was my mind isn't being stimulated. So out would come the legos, with instructions to build something new, and to make up a story that went with it. I wouldn't see him for the next 3-6 hours. Seriously.

My DD on the other hand....I'm bored means pay attention to me. So I would do things like have her learn how to cook something, let her do the majority of it, with me instructing, and trying to do some laundry or something while overseeing.

Lets face it, summer break is too much down time for many kids anymore. I love the mandatory reading time, and chores. I am a big fan of these myself. I do still keep a list of Bigger to do chores, these are optional, but doing them, and doing them well will earn you cold hard cash. These include things like sanding the deck, restaining the deck, powerwashing side walks, cleaning the space between the windows and the screens, Cleaning the light fixtures. Weeding the flower beds, mowing, and weed eating. So some really big jobs, some kinda big jobs. The problem I have now is they are both teens, and unmotivated to do anything unless it benefits them. I alsmost wish I had the I'm bored problem again.

Sad in AZ posted 7/1/2013 12:48 PM

Do you keep a tight leash on the kids? Can they go out to play by themselves? If not, is there a reason?

Also, now would be the time to get them involved in hobbies--anything! At that age I was already doing cross stitch and crocheting (fostered by my grandmother and aunt.) At age 8 I started birdwatching (my idea). I could spend hours out filling my 'life list' (yes, I'm a nerd. Nothing wrong with that ) I also started sewing my own clothes at age 8.

Remember--impressionable little minds...

[This message edited by Sad in AZ at 12:58 PM, July 1st (Monday)]

Crescita posted 7/1/2013 13:10 PM

I still struggle to find ways to entertain myself. It's not that I don't enjoy anything, but I get stir crazy after 2 hours or anything. Maybe if you force a break every two hours to help you with something for 15 minutes they can stay engaged in their independent endeavors?

idkam posted 7/1/2013 13:53 PM

Excuse my ignorance but how is it a 7 yr old knows what bored means?? Lol!! Children today want to be entertained they always want to have something to do...

Growing up my brother and i couldnt those two words ' i'm bored' my mom would say " i can find something for you to do, vacuum the rooms, dust the living room.. Etc... Other times she would say go outside and find something to do, if you cant do that go take a nap...
She hated the summer time...

GabyBaby posted 7/1/2013 14:00 PM

My parenting is sometimes labeled as "old school", but in my opinion, it is not your job to entertain your kids! When I was growing up, we had plenty of chores to keep us occupied and when those were finished we made ourselves pretty scarce lest Mom found something else for us to do.

On the occassions that my kids complained to me they were bored, I gave them a chore or two to do. They rarely come back and complain that they're still bored and will find something to do on their own.

DD is and has always been a reader, so that's her "go to" activity when she isnt otherwise engaged with something family oriented or school related.

DS is more of a video game nut and I find that I have to actually limit this or he'd be on XBox or Playstation from the time he wakes up til the time he goes to sleep.

IRN2006 posted 7/1/2013 22:55 PM

Well, I have my older two kids 2 days a week, and all 3 for one half day. I'm flexing my hours and taking vacation so we can avoid paying for a sitter for the older two while DH works (he works 20 hours a week)

My older kids are 9 and 5. My 5 yo is super independent, and it took her a month to deprogram from school (ie, play by herself for an hour). Our kids were done with school at the end of May, and it wasn't really until last week that she started playing by herself.

We really don't "make" our kids do anything, really. Chores are simply expected, because I'm not my kids' maid. Fine if they don't want to help, but even the 5 yo knows that help is a two way street. I also don't believe in using chores as punishment.

The 5 yo sort of reads (she did 4K this year), and sometimes the oldest will read 2 hours a day if he feels like it. Sometimes, not at all. We are also doing math, because it's a harder subject for him, and I don't want him forgetting everything he has learned.

Otherwise, we haven't done anything exciting. But, yet we are. Because of my work schedule during the school year, I don't get to spend much time with my kids. Last week, we had a picnic in our living room for lunch. The kids were thrilled with that and have asked for that again. Our budget needs to be a bit tighter-so we are doing things for cheap or free for the most part.

My kids haven't complained I'm not dropping a ton of money, and they've already said they want me to do the same thing again next summer.

That said, we are busy with activities. One kid has one major activity and a couple of camps. The other is in 3 different activities.

It also helps that I work with low income kids. I mean, really low income kids-where there are 9 people living in a two bedroom apartment. Or, there's not enough money for 3 square meals a day. Or the home life is unstable (baby daddy is out of the picture, grandparents are raising the kids because mom would rather be out with a boyfriend than be a parent..and mom has told her child that the man de jour will always be more important than the child). I do tell my kids about these families-so they don't take ours for granted, and so they understand why we give, and why I work one of my jobs.

If your youngest hasn't volunteered much, maybe this might a good time to look into it.

[This message edited by IRN2006 at 10:58 PM, July 1st (Monday)]

Gottagetthrough posted 7/2/2013 04:28 AM

thanks for the ideas! (just want to let you all know im reading... keep 'em coming! =) )

I think this has a few aspects of all your posts-- maybe more mommy & me time needed with this kid (she younger sibs who are potty training now, taking a lot of my time)

plus deprogramming from school

need for something like chores, plain old nos, etc

and just her personality. younger kid can play for an hour or so alone with toys, she's never done that. always needs people around

StrongerOne posted 7/2/2013 08:33 AM

A couple years ago I did "mom camp" with some friends. We each took all the kids on one day. For my day, I found a great deal at the local go kart/putt putt/ laser tag place ($10 per kid, unlimited use of facilities). I made pbjs, hauled them to the fun palace, took a book and some written work. After a few hours, I took them home and threw them outside to play.

The other moms took them to museums, took them on a hike, tossed them in the backyard with a hose, etc.

The boys are all teens now, and nostalgic about Mom Camp. They get together and do this stuff on their own.

Or we make them do chores.

ninebark posted 7/2/2013 09:22 AM

I have an only child so he is pretty good at entertaining himself. He tried I am bored once. My response was that he has more toys than walmart, a computer, ps3, bike..etc.. If he is bored of them then I will make sure to get them to some child who will enjoy them. Then I present him with some chores that I need assistance with.

He never mentioned boredom again. However he still does help with the chores when he is bored, he likes to clean the car and stuff. lol

These comments are less now though, he is in the U13 paddling program at an aquatic club so he is paddling and swimming all summer. He comes home pretty tired.

Faithful w/Love posted 7/2/2013 13:15 PM

Our kids are older now but when they were younger, they had to do there chores first (just make beds, clean up), then they would have to read for 1 hour and have to write what they comphended.
Then they could go outside and play. They could go to the splash pad or when older to the pool with friends or when they were little I would take them.
We would go for walks, watch movies, make food, have water gun fights or water ballon fights, play hide and seek, make forts,

I also got them involved in Boys and Girls Club and they were in summer sports.

They were really good but when I would hear "I am bored", I always told them "I am not your entertainer", so go find something to do with all your toys and books. Or go outside and play somemore. They really never got bored but sometimes.

Faithful w/Love posted 7/2/2013 13:21 PM

My youngest is a people person.
That is why he was always in sports. He was also my roll buddy. He needed time with me and still does.

My oldest is a independent and likes to be alone unless she wants to be around you.

Look into City Rec sports if they have them there. We have swimming lessons, T-ball, Baseball, and others stuff.

Each child is different. And you will drive yourself nuts trying to keep all from being bored. Find out what they like as they get older and (now) get her involved.

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