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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Genevieve Levin

#9 is totally legitimate! When I was a kid, my aunt used to play "Mean Babysitter" with us, and she'd get us to do chores and stay out of her way and we loved every minute of it. When I got older, I invented a new version to play with my little sister when she had friends over and they got bored - "Mean Orphanage Lady." This was even better because I had an entire little workforce! =)

I do not know why little girls enjoy this, but we begged to play it, and my sister begged to play it in turn. The nonstop giggling can't be denied.

nonmember avatar Lisa

If you don't realize that Jenny is a satirist (someone who writes with irony or sarcasm, not meant to be literally taken), for humorous reasons, you need to back up and look a little harder...

nonmember avatar mel

Please. Please tell me there are not really people in the world who are so humourless (and also stupid) that they can't see this is tongue in cheek and not something Jenny would seriously do? Also loving the 'oh my child is never bored-because I'm so wonderful of course. " I love the i nternets-there are so many special people on it.

Akiko White

My writer/illustrator friend Debbie Ohi has a really cute children's book titled "I'm Bored" http://debbieohi.com/bored

nonmember avatar Dee

Nope! You never uttered those words in our house when we were growing up. My parents would put our asses to work until we dropped.

nonmember avatar caida

i wish it would not say these words: fucking, porn, and sex.i am only 8 and i should not be hearing these words.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Allison Marie Fehrman

My mom used to play a game with me called "pretend you are the mommy". It involved me doing all the chores while she would say "mommy, my clothes are dirty" or "mommy, no one has fed me yet" and I would run around cleaning and feeding her. I thought it was the best game ever, until I was about 11 and realized I had been had all those years. My sister never fell for it, but my mom had me hook, line and sinker! I have to say in her defense, I did have fun! <3 my mom!

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