Creative Chores: Relief for BoredomSuzanne Broadhurst
Boredom is scary. It conjures up images of out of control toddlers and green-lipsticked teenagers. But boredom is also a gift. Boredom creates a vacuum in a child’s soul.
There are two ways to relieve a child’s boredom.
- Give the child something to do
- Let him find his own way out
The key is finding just the right time to plug in to their soul with an activity or an assignment.
Chores are Our Friends
My children learned over time not to whine the words, “Mommmmmy, I’m borrrrred” because they knew I would hand them a mop, broom, or a dust rag. I wasn’t being cruel, I was giving them something to do since they were bored and I was overwhelmed.
Chores aren’t a replacement for boredom; they are friends to join our boredom woes.
Invite Creativity and Curiosity
How can sweeping – left, right, left, right, left, back, forward, back – relieve the boringness of boredom?
One simple way is to encourage the children to tell you what they discover while doing chores.
“Mom, I found a quarter!”
“Mom, I found my teeny tiny toy that I lost a long time ago! Oooh, when I get done sweeping, I’m gonna play with it!”
From the porch, “Mom! A lizard just ran across the front porch while I was sweeping!”
Bring in the creativity:
Mom joins the excitement: “Wow, a lizard! What do you imagine he was thinking as he ran? No, no, keep sweeping and tell me.”
“He said, ‘Who do you think you are sweeping my porch! I have lived on this porch for 152 years and you can’t make me leave!”
“Oooh, that sounds like a good story starter! When you are finished sweeping, you could write a story and read it at dinner tonight.”
Connect Creativity to Boredom
As parents connect creativity to boredom — via chores or other life tasks — children will begin to make the connection on their own.
Even as the words form on their lips, “Mommmmm, I’m borrrr …” they’ll know there is more life to live.
They will also begin to appreciate all you do and their value in helping.
When children make those connections, they skip the whining. And what parent wouldn’t be up for a little less whine?