The Home Front

A Better Response to Children’s Complaints of Boredom this Summer

Rather than getting annoyed when your children say they are bored — or feeling guilty that you are not providing them with activities — new research suggests that parents should look at what may be the real problem.

Kids who complain of boredom aren’t necessarily lazy or slacking off, but are actually in a tense, negative state, says a 2012 study in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Frustrated and struggling to engage, they often find themselves unable to focus their attention or get started on satisfying activities.

The overwhelming majority of kids turn to video games when they can’t focus, but overstimulation is the last thing they need. Instead, parents should talk to their kids to determine if anything is troubling them and encourage them to figure out a plan of action.

But for those times when your child really does need to fill their time, planning ahead is key.

Planning in advance can help kids get through the mental paralysis that comes with boredom. Dr. Laura Markham recommends helping a child make a “Boredom Buster Jar,” a bottle of paper slips with the child’s ideas for things to do. Such a tool can also help guide nannies or sitters who need ideas.

Suggesting a little drudgery can spur a child’s imagination, too. Try saying, “I could use a little help cleaning the closet,” Dr. Markham says.

Time to draw up a few lists . . . 

 

Most Popular

White House

Democrats in Peril

I will just make a prediction and try to keep out of the swamp of Trump-obsession as the weeks unfold. The anti-Trump movement is now in inexorable decline; it is a little like the Nixon defense forces after the Saturday Night drama in October 1973, with the departure of the attorney general, his deputy, and ... Read More
World

Canada Is Attacked Again

Media coverage of yesterday’s monstrous van attack in Toronto, which as of this writing is responsible for ten deaths and more than a dozen other casualties, was punctuated by political press conferences of the sort that are now an inescapable part of the dark theater of public tragedies. At his first ... Read More
World

Trump and the North Korean Tipping Point

The world has been stunned by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s announcement last week that he was suspending his country’s nuclear tests in preparation for the impending meeting with President Trump. Even critics have had to concede that Trump’s bellicose rhetoric since last summer regarding the North ... Read More
Politics & Policy

E Pluribus . . . Gridlock

A mantra we hear everywhere these days is that diversity is a good thing. And no doubt, it is. Diversity facilitates an exchange of ideas and opinions, and it promotes economic growth. Moreover, the alternative to diversity is to suppress the views and opinions of some subset of citizens, which is completely ... Read More
Economy & Business

Trade Misunderstandings

I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More