Few phrases make a mom see red as quickly as "I'm bored!" Maybe because it's usually delivered in a long, loud whine that resembles the whistle of an approaching freight train. Or maybe because we know just how many toys our darling children have, lying discarded or broken on the floor of their bedroom closet. (And we can mentally tabulate how much they cost us.)
Still, whether it's summer vacation, spring break, a long weekend, or a rainy afternoon after school, you will be subjected to the plaintive wail of A Child Who Is Convinced He Has Nothing To Do And It Is All Your Fault. Here, a few mom-approved ways to respond, none of which require pulling out your hair in frustration.
1. "Oh, good. I was looking for someone to empty out the dishwasher."
2. "Hi, Bored. I'm Mom." (Hold out hand to shake.)
3. "Really? You look like [insert name] to me."
4. "Great, now you get to find something new to do."
5. "Want to trade places with me? You can go to work, make lunches, clean the cat litter box, and do the laundry instead!"
6. "You know what they say....Only boring people get bored."
7. "Hope it doesn't last long, because being bored is soooo boring!"
8. "Already? How old are you again?"
9. "Good thing you're not shipwrecked on a deserted island."
10. "Interesting. I didn't know your father was a tree."
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11. "Excellent! I've been hoping someone would try to set a world record. Will you let me know how long it lasts?"
12. "Maybe if you cleaned your room, you'd think of something to do."
13. "Great! Then we can sell your LEGO bricks, Nerf guns, Play Station games, and soccer balls. They're obviously no good."
14. "Uh-oh." [Feel forehead.] "Should I call the doctor?""
15. "Me, too! Will you think of something fun I can do?"
16. "Let me show you how the vacuum works. It's fascinating!"
17. "Hi, Bored! You must be the new pet exerciser we hired. Our dog's been waiting for you!"
18. "Should I call your teacher and ask for more homework?"
19. "Lucky! Enjoy it while it lasts."
What do you say to your kids when they complain they're bored?
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