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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Jcoth... Jcothrine

chores and more chores.. never a reason to be bored...

you'll never hear it again.....


evilj... eviljoyspeaks

my spawn have learned "I'm bored" = cleaning toilets.

They rarely say it anymore.....

Babujai Babujai

If chores are done and they're tired of TV and video games (if actually happens sometimes) I make them write letters to their grandparents or aunts and uncles about how bored they are.

MomOwl MomOwl

yup, you complain you are bored, you get given chores to do.

nonmember avatar Guest

When my kids say their bored I always get really excited and say I can't wait to see what comes next because "bored" is what the most creative things come out of. They roll their eyes and then usually come up with really cool things to do that I would have never thought of for them.

Although, my fireplaces are looking a bit grungy... I may mix it up with some of your suggestions! :)

nonmember avatar nikki

i have a printout in pretty font of a saying i first heard betty draper say ( while smoking casually ) to her kids on "Mad Men" :

"only boring people get bored"

i usually just point to it without further comment and

my son gets really pissed off and leaves the room.


AirFo... AirForceWife18

Luckily my daughter hasn't pulled the " I'm bored " stuff yet but she's only 4. Does everyone else have older children? Is this one of the joys I have to look forward too? We try to stay busy because quite honestly I'm the one who is bored.

nonmember avatar Nat

My childhood was like most other commentors. My mom basically sent me outside in the morning, brought me in to feed me lunch and sent me back out again until supper. If I should dare darken the door in between with whining or saying I'm bored, then it was trimming the shrubs or raking the yard. Needless to say, that only happened once or twice. I learned to roam our little town on my bike. Ahhh, the good old days where we didn't worry about being abducted. These days I'm scared to let my kids out the door!

JessRex Cool

Ahahahahaha!!!!! Omg hilarious! And just reading the comments is even funnier...I started the "who wants to help sister get potty trained??" game...yea they stopped complaining abt being bored after abt the 4th time of having to clean her mess off the floor lol

nonmember avatar Megan Mulligan

When I was about 12 my room was a disaster (I still don't care for cleaning my room) and it was around summer time and my father told me he hid $20 in my room somewhere (yeah right) and that if I cleaned it I would find it and could keep it... cleaned it... no money.. but it worked Hahahaha

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