Lesson 38: What to Do When Your Kid Says, "I'M BORED" For the 9,000th Time

Being a Mom 37

It’s the end of summer and the only thing said around my house more than “I’m hungry” is “I’m bored." The “I’m hungry” doesn’t bother me as much because it’s usually me saying it defensively to my cats while I’m eating chocolate directly out of the refrigerator, but the "I'm bored" is starting to drive me entirely fucking insane.

If you’re hearing a lot of “I’m bored” around the house it’s a pretty good indicator that you have a kid home for summer. You almost never hear a grown-up say I’m bored, and yes, some could argue that that’s because grown-ups have access to cars and porn, but I think it’s more than that. I think it is one of those bad habits you have to break your kid of when they’re little so they don't end up grown and saying it to their boss, or to their spouse in the middle of sex. YOU’RE HELPING.

So what do we say to make kids stop saying “I’m bored”?  Here are just a few suggestions:
  1. Summer Camp And by “Summer Camp” I mean “sweat shop.” That way they learn the value of a hard days work.  Plus, it’s really good for their pores.
  2. Gambling  Put money on which of your cats you think will poop next. This way the kid has something to do and they can stalk the cats all day. Now the cats and the kids have something to do. At the end of the summer the person with the most wins gets to enter Gamblers Anonymous. The loser gets their thumbs broken.
  3. Tell them you’ve hidden a ticket to the local amusement park in the house and that if they find it while they’re dusting they can have it. When they find it, “notice” the ticket has expired. Pretend to hide a new one.  When they finally give up just tell they must not be dusting well enough.
  4. Make up an imaginary monster that eats the hearts of children who say: “I’m bored.” They may start complaining about being “melancholic and full of ennui” but at least their vocabulary will be improving.
  5. Tell them you’ve hidden a landmine somewhere in the house. It’s like a never ending game of “the floor is made of lava” and you may never have to mop again.
  6. Tell them to go outside  Then change all of the locks.
  7.  Right before they say that they’re bored, yell “I’M BORED” and then look at them with the same pleading look they give you. This will only work once but it’s fun to see the baffled look on their faces.
  8. Play a game of Cinderella with them. Dress them in rags and make them clean out all of the fireplaces with their tiny little hands.

And if all else fails you can just play with them. After all, those guilt-laden parenting commercials always say that “you’re your child’s favorite toy,” but to be fair that’s probably just because you haven’t bought them an Xbox yet.

activities, family, kid activities


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the4m... the4mutts

Cuuuute! #4 reminds me of something I told mine a few weeks ago.

My DDs pretended to be afraid of the dark one night, in an attempt to stay up later. So I pulled a Dane Cook.

"Oh, those noises under the bed? That's just your hopes & dreams whispering you to sleep. <3 but stay away from the closet, THERE'S SOME FUCKED UP SHIT IN THERE!!"

And I slammed their bedroom door.

The result? They were up half the night telling eachother where the "fucked up shit" was, and giggling. But at least they weren't pretending to be afraid :-/

Zamaria Zamaria

When my kids whine about being bored, I give them something to do, like sweep the floor, scrub baseboards, etc. They don't complain about being bored anymore. They find things to do on their own. :) works like a charm!

tnyangel tnyangel

My high school boyfriend told me his parents used to tell him and his brothers that a parade was lining up to go down main street and would have to pass by the house on their way. The boys would line up at the curb and wait, and wait, and wait. When he told me the story he was still angry about them lying to him, then he was more angry that I laughed hysterically. Ha, laughing now just picturing their little faces waiting for a parade!


These are genius! I love them.

Nicole Jordan

Oh, Jenny...thank you for making me laugh...again.  I had been crying from a previous story that I read and you made it all better.

AK2013 AK2013

These are great ideas maybe they'll work for my 8.5 yr old soon to be step son.

momto... momtolittleg

I like #2.  I mean, I like the 2ND suggestion.  I don't really like my cats' #2.

nonmember avatar Staje

So, when I was a kid, something between say eight and twelve years old my mother had the same problem. She told me that 'being bored is a sign of immaturity'. I have no idea why being mature mattered to me at the time or if she said anything else important but I'm now forty fucking five years old and I still won't say it.

Melissa Pulliam

hahaha I'm totally trying #7 with my 7-year-old!

Venae Venae

My parents made us pick up sticks out of the yard.  You learned not to even utter the word bored.

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