7 steps to take if your child always complains that she is bored

By Hannah   — December 08, 2016
  • What to do when your child complains she’s bored
    1 / 8 What to do when your child complains she’s bored

    It’s the school holidays, and your child whines that she is bored and restless whenever she has a free moment. She seems unable to play independently, and you are fed up with her regular “I’m bored, Mum” complaints.

    You know that you could keep her busy by letting her play with a tablet all day, but you want her to use her leisure time more purposefully.

    Follow these steps to beat the boredom blues, says child psychologist Dr Richard C. Woolfson.

    Related: 10 signs you’re spoiling your preschooler

    (Click on arrows in photos to read more.)

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  • Develop her ability to use free time effectively
    2 / 8 Develop her ability to use free time effectively

    Because most of her days are so structured at nursery school, with lots of pre-planned activities, she may not have learnt how to keep herself busy when she has free time. So it’s time for you to teach her to find things to occupy herself – without getting into trouble or burning the house down, of course!

    Related: 5 things not to say to your kid when you’re angry 

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  • Ask her to come up with ideas
    3 / 8 Ask her to come up with ideas

    Instead of telling her how to occupy herself, expect her to contribute some suggestions. Have a chat with her about the sorts of games and toys she can play with. Make a note of her ideas so that you can refer to them later  when she struggles to find something to do.

    Related: How playing with you rchild can increase his IQ and future earnings 

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  • Review her toys and play materials
    4 / 8 Review her toys and play materials

    The chances are that your preschooler’s bedroom is so full of toys and games that there are many she has forgotten about. At the start of the holiday period, tell her to sort out her playthings into neat piles so that she can access them easily. She’ll be surprised to discover that she has a lot more to play with than she thought.

    Related: 8 best toys to inspire creativity in children 

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  • Set up a schedule
    5 / 8 Set up a schedule

    Look at her free time for today, or the next couple of days, and then ask her to compile a list of the leisure activities she could complete during that period. With this approach, she knows in advance that she has to fill up those lull periods. If she plans ahead, she’ll be delighted when she finds that she isn’t bored.

    Related: Why does my child have an attitude prroblem?

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  • Ignore moans and groans
    6 / 8 Ignore moans and groans

    True, your little one might complain when you suggest that she should plan her own play schedule, instead of waiting for you to organise games and toys for her. But stick to it anyway. You’ll find that her excitement builds quickly once she realises that creating a play schedule means making the holidays more enjoyable.

    Related: Why fathers should bond with their children 

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  • Don't be too ambitious
    7 / 8 Don't be too ambitious

    It’s best not to chart her free time for the entire holiday all on the first day! Start off by planning just for the first morning, then build up to an entire day. Remember, she is still quite young and isn’t mature enough to organise an entire week’s worth of activities. However, keep an eye on her to make sure she follows the agreed plan.

    Related: 3 things to do when your child can’t make decisions 

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  • Praise her successful planning
    8 / 8 Praise her successful planning

    With your support, your kid will start to take some responsibility for managing her leisure time so that she isn’t bored. When she does this – for instance, she decided to play with the paints today without asking you first what she should do – give her lots of encouragement. Tell her how proud you are that she did this on her own.

    Related: 10 ways to have fun with you kids

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

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