Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'm Sooooo Bored

Maya's pre-teen angst has been building of late.

The sighs. The flopping. The whining....

"I'm bored....."

She says this in the middle of concerts at the park where there is enough stimuli to put someone with ADHD in a fetal position just to get away from it all.

She says it at home. No computer, television, shelf of books, room full of toys or sister's room full of toys can persuade her that there is something to do.

It makes me crazy.

We had a long talk while the chicken was barbecuing tonight about attitude and boredom. She is grounded through the weekend for acting like a bored and pouty brat to her nanny and I am already feeling the repercussions of the I-am-grounded-and-pitiful boredom

And, oh, let me tell you.....I will not take it lying down.

I pointed out to her in a 15 minute lecture that the two things in the world that you can have total control over is your attitude and your level of boredom. It is entirely in her 9-year-old power to find something to engage her and maybe, just maybe, make her happy at the same time.

She was tearing up and angrily wiped tears from her cheeks during my tirade. But she was not going to vocally cry. She was forcefully holding it back.

I asked her if she could think of anything that might change her mood and put her in a better one. She, suprisingly, couldn't think of anything.

So, helpfully, I suggested (in a terribly goofy voice), "Fuzzy wittle bunnies? Pink poooodles?"

And finally, FINALLY, she smiled.

It actually turned her around I think. The rest of this evening has been full of both girls playing happily. No flopping dramatically on the couch, no tears, no sighs.....it's great.

But the best part was, when we were bringing the chicken in from the BBQ I said, "Since you are so bored, you can set the table!"

She looked a me for just a moment, her eyes sparked a bit, and she said, "Hmmmm...I chose not to be bored anymore."

Touche.

10 Comments:

At 6:33 AM, Blogger Christine said...

Oh dear God...the preteen years. I am NOT envious. I was a holy terror. And I didn't even do anything 'bad'...but I was of the whiny, unhappy, mouthy variety. I am sure I will have 5 like me as my punishment for putting my parents through it.

 
At 7:00 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Just waltz into her room and start removing books, games, tv, whatever is in there. When she starts screaming at you for doing so, say, "but you are bored, so you must not want these things anymore. You aren't using them..." Sometimes, surrounded by so many things, they stop appreciating them.

You handled it very well. Giving her a thorough explanation and some ideas was a great gift!

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger This Girl I Used to Know said...

My mother always made us clean things when we were bored. The whinier we were, the larger the thing we had to clean.

We usually found some way to amuse ourselves.

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger anika said...

Ah you're the best mom ever.

I, too, had to do chores when I was bored. Subsequently, I wasn't bored much.

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger KOM said...

Well done.

Sadly, even if I chose not to be bored, I still ended up doing a lot of table setting and dish washing and lawn mowing and...

woe is me :)

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger trinamick said...

Whenever we cried that we were bored, my grandmother sent us outdoors to pull weeds. We quickly found ways to amuse ourselves.

 
At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Shannon said...

Holy shit. You are (a) Mom.

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger rennratt said...

I have a whining five year old. When she tells me that she is bored, I either say

a) Good. A little boredom is good for a person.

or

b) You must be tired. Why don't you go take a nap?

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger tiff said...

"There's nuuuuthing to dooooooo!"

Hell yes there is - laundry, cleaning, bills, dinner, cat box....take your pick.

Then watch them run!

 
At 3:41 AM, Blogger Squishi said...

My mother had a great cure for boredom, she made us stand in the corner with our hands on our head until we thought of something better to do. Funnily enough, none of us stayed there very long :)

 

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