Summer Holidays

.. are a good time to impart my grandfather’s wisdom to a seven year old who has cranked the whine waay up to “BUT I’M BORED!!”

“Then you need to be getting more creative, developing a richer inner life.”

“Whats an inner life?”

“The life you live inside your mind with your thoughts. When your thoughts entertain you and keep you busy. And when you put some of those thoughts down on paper, maybe make it work to music or movements, build something.”

“Why?”

“Because I already have a job description. It doesn’t include entertaining you 24-7. Get busy.”

Really. When did summer holidays become about constant regulated activity and camps? When do kids tap into their inner resources? Learn to figure out what to do with themselves and their own time? How do they learn how to turn boredom around? Read a book because the rest of the world has decided to ignore them?

I’ll be damned if I’m on program director duty for four weeks.

In between the fun stuff we do, you’re on your own, kids.

Mamma will be over there in the corner. Yes, behind the book. Right next to the martini cart. Call in event of SOS only.

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28 Comments

Filed under holidays

28 responses to “Summer Holidays

  1. I likes the martini carts. very much. :-)

  2. Sandhya

    Oh how so very apt! this is almost like our discussions at home nowadays! The constant whining of BEING BORED when there is a shelf full of unread books, many unopened d-i-y crafts! Still..for kids in this part of the world it is sad..with most of their friends back in their home countries and the heat so high up there…what is there to do staying inside 4 walls for the better part of the day!

    • Mom Gone Mad

      Are you referring to the middle east? Because I do get how it can get crushingly boring there – especially without friends. I used to spend summers in Oman myself, but luckily by then, my brother and I were older and pretty self-sufficient.

      This is really more about some moments of boredom than the long protracted boring parts.. they should be able to handle having nothing much going on for half a day!

  3. The fertile meadows of boredom need to be given a chance to grow:)

  4. my son too complains about boredom and i am a lot calmer with my reaction than i used to be. cant stand the word bored. and i tell him the same things- go find something interesting, use your imagination and also add, you create boredom yourself with inactivity-a line my parents used on me long time ago.
    you know this summer, we decided NOT to enroll our 6 year in a full summer camp. so he spent the first 4 weeks with his g’parents, hanging,chilling out with them, bonding even more. .. there was no structure, he did whatever he felt like doing but with his g’parents around. the only restrictions he had was no TV for more than an hour and he had to complete one set of activities everyday before doing anything else. he loved it.
    summer camps are good to keeping kids occupied but we get so obsessed about engaging them in all kinds of activities that we often overlook the simple joys of life.

    • Mom Gone Mad

      Your last point. Couldn’t have said it better. We re such a schedule obsessed generation. I loathe that.

  5. btw love the header! you have a green thumb!

  6. when i told my grandma i was bored, she looked at me in disdain and said “Only idiots get bored.”

    that helped

  7. PS: in the good old day. about 3 urls ago, kodi’s mom and i spent 5 days debating boredom on my blog. it ended with a troll cursing me and saying my kids would end up beach bums. ah the good old days..

    • Mom Gone Mad

      Cool. Then you and OA can give up the pretence and join them in all your beach-bummy glory.

      Oh, you know you want to!

  8. Pri

    It’s a very interesting thought. I’m always finding ways to entertain my 16 month old and it’s exhasuting the heck out of me. He wants me to be with him ALL THE TIME!!! I am thinking of putting him in classes just so I can keep up with his demand. I want him to have his own time, but when I give it to him and he actually does feel like he can be by himself for 5 minutes, I wonder if I’m not spending enough time with him to keep him entertained, educated, not taxing his brain enough to learn new things… am I crazy? am I thinking too much into this with a 16 month old? am i not letting him live his childhood? am I really nuts!!! I was thinking of putting him in some classes and now, you have me all confused – grrrr…

    • Mom Gone Mad

      Pri: One word. DON’T. He’s 16 months! Show him how an egg fries. Sing a song. Cuddle. Then sing another song while you go about your business.

      But I’m a big believer in just letting kids be. Making them find their own resources. Mine learnt to pretend play early out of necessity. Neglectful mother and all;-)

      Start being the main source of entertainment now and it’s a slippery slope. Note: I’m talking about the parents becoming the main source of entertainment – of course you should spend loads of time with your precious baby!

      • Pri

        You know you’re darned right, but I’m just insanely tired. My biggest problem is I don’t know how to let go and let him find his own source of entertainment. I’m the source of all my trouble…

        • Mom Gone Mad

          Hey, we are always in our own way. Not to worry, you will figure out what works best for you and your baby.

  9. nat

    oh yeah – i’ve become quite the pro at ignoring those ‘im bored’. refrains. Except suddenly instead of books, there’s enough ipods n pads and macs around and thats not what I was aiming for!! i chucked the pods n pads out of the way but where dyou fling the mac?

  10. I have the opp prob – my son spends waaaay too much time lost in his own dreams and made up worlds. All day long you hear him wielding a sword / beating up baddies etc. He isn’t one for sitting down and colouring or quietly reading – unless it is Calvin & Hobbes. sigh.
    Wanna swap?

  11. Sue

    When Rahul is bored, he amuses himself by climbing over the nearest parent. No matter where they are or what they are doing. Or coming up and asking to be read a story and then making a shattered face when told to go away and amuse himself.

    I perfected the snarl that told the boy to leave me alone. The boy perfected the guilt trip that got me to give him time. *sigh*

  12. Oh, how I love your blog. As you know.

    My kids are (as you also know) younger. But boy, they can be BOOOOOOORED. Which leads to pronounced destructive behaviour. Throw/knock over/hit sister/parents/television.

    However what always helps is to undress them… let them run naked. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them bored when they’re undressed. SOmething about that freedom, I guess. Suddenly, they start running around, jumping, fighting… and hopefully not peeing.

  13. My husbands smart mother drilled it into him that smart children never get bored. So as a kid, while his single mother was busy, he found things to do instead of getting bored.This habit has stuck…but its annoying when I am bored and all I get is a raised eyebrow and a ‘do something then’.

  14. Orange Jammies

    Yeah, how come MY mum never considered it her moral duty to tend to my every free moment? I didn’t even remotely expect her to! Even when the younger sibling trailed around whining “I’m bored, I’m bored”, they didn’t scramble for things for him to do. I’m with you on this one. Kids figure it out if you let them. But when I intentionally keep my summer camps short so kids can run free at home, the parents complain! :(

  15. Just peeping in to wave ‘ello!

    Come back pretty please.. and quickly :)

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