Sweet R, my almost 7-year-old, said the B word the other day. Yep.
You should have seen how fast the room cleared of children, my older two boys whispering that "ooo, she's in trouble now..." as they ran up to their room. They knew what was coming.
"What did you say?" I called from the kitchen.
I waited for her response, to recant what she knew I knew she said.
"I'm so bored!" She yelled back.(it really sounded more like "bo-hoar-edddd.") Sweet R was on her back, her arms outstretched, and was pushing herself across the floor using her feet.
Oh, dear internets, I almost came out of my skin. I bit my tongue, and even covered my mouth with my hand. My inner tiger mom wanted out. I wanted to tell her about the struggles of immigrants and how the B word was not part their everyday life. I wanted to explain the meaning of Hustle, and how she was born of two people married to the concept. I wanted to pull up university college websites to show her that she has to conquer boredom to get there. Did she really want to be a clothing designer mogul? Then she couldn't be bored; in fact, she should be sketching and thinking of marketing strategies for the new generation of fashionistas.
And that wasn't all!
But I kept it all inside of me. I let it all play in my head as she continued to push herself around in the kitchen, still on her back. I ate a couple of Hershey's kisses, and decided on a strategy.
I brought her to the table, and had her peel the paper off of old crayons.
And I started her official lesson regarding the word Boredom.
I told her that I didn't want to hear the B word in our house. In my opinion, there's no such thing as being bored, just the lack of imagination.
I told her that there is always something to make, to fix, and to dream about. So much that there is just enough room to rest in a day's 24 hours.
I talked to her about the difference between rest/relaxation and being idle.
And now that she is older, her awake hours shouldn't just be for fun, or just for her. She needed to help those around her. Like keeping her area clean, helping Mom with household chores, and playing with her little sister. Did she want to help other people outside of her family? (she nodded) I told her to make a plan for it.
grease tins with vegetable oil
250 degrees for about 10 minutes (or until it all melts)
I told her I would help her find things to do, if she was really stumped. But I wanted for her to come up with most of these ideas on her own.
I said that if she felt like she needed ideas from me, she should say:
"Can you help me please?" or "What can I do next?"
not "Aaaa, I'm so bored," with an apathetic look on her face.
I told her to wipe that word out of her vocabulary.
What I didn't tell her was that, for me, Bored ranks in with others such as Stupid and Dumb, and the magic phrase of I Can't Do It. These words, if said too often, becomes a state of mind. It won't happen under my roof, I tell you, as much as I can help it.
My answers to those words are OF COURSE YOU CAN
GO FOR IT
(I say these words to myself everyday in front of my mirror, by the way. It starts from within.)
After an hour, and a bunch of homemade crayons later, I think she understood where I was coming from.
My boys thought she got off pretty easy. Apparently their experience was a little more intense. :) But I'm hoping it worked nonetheless.
I hope you all have a great day!