Frustrated with my child always being bored

Ashley - posted on 08/23/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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hello my names ashley and i am 23 a full time college student raising a 7 year old boy alone. i am about to go crazy lol my son is constintly saying he is bored and wants another sibling which is impossible at this point i am to busy trying to earn my degree and give every other minute i have to him any advice would help i have tried telling him to give friends at school his number so i can speak with their parents and maybe he could go for a play date or possibly a sleep over and he still says he feels alone being an only child i have to admit i dont know what to say anymore im young and learning about my child the other he gets

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At our house, the kids aren't allowed to get bored. If they can't find something to do on their own, I will assign them something to do.
reorganize the closet, clothes drawers, toy shelves.
sort item to give away.
clean - dust the furniture, vacuum, sweep out front,

If your toilet IS clean, you can let them clean the bathroom using plain white vinegar. It's antibacterial and not poisonous. (I've never allowed a kid younger that 12 clean the bathroom with chemical cleaners.)

Anyway, you get the point. ind yourself something to do or I'll set something relatively unpleasant for you to do.

(I never assign dish washing because both have liked that, and I don't assign their regular chores when they are bored, unless they have not completed those yet.)

Susan - posted on 08/26/2010

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Hi Ashley,



First of all, congratulations on both being a mom and also going to college - I've done each of those "jobs", but never at the same time, and I can only imagine how busy and stressed out you must be! Stress isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course. But I hope that you have a lot of resources to help you out along the way to your goals.



Many of my friends have "onlies", as do I. Mine is also a boy, who is now 14 years old. I have several things to add to the very good ideas of the other moms who have posted here.



One thing your son could do, if he's the kind of kid who might enjoy such a project, is for him to do a questionnaire of his friends - "what do you do when you feel bored?" He might get some good suggestions from his peers, new ideas from this, and additionally he might come to realize that everyone gets bored now and then, it isn't just him.



I also suggest that "being bored" isn't really about not having things to do, as much as it is a state of mind. Many kids who express that they are bored, when presented with a large list of toys, games, books, or other activities they might get involved in still respond "I don't feel like doing any of those things."



When your son expresses to you that he is bored, do you immediately go through or present a list of possible activities with him? If so, maybe you could instead encourage him to talk about it - try asking him what being bored means to him - how he feels when he says he is bored, what is that about?



Something I've recently started saying to kids (and not usually my son, I can't even recall the last time he told me he was bored) is this: "You're bored? That's GREAT!!! Out of boredom comes daydreaming, inventions, writing, artwork, music - when you feel like you have nothing to do - just do nothing for a while. See what you come up with. It's like you've got this big empty canvas of your day - see what you can create!" I don't know how your son might respond to this, but give it a try. I wish you much luck. Please let us know how it goes!



Sue Cochran

Laura - posted on 08/23/2010

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First of all, Ashley, keep up the good work in college! You have a tough schedule with raising a child too--I admire you for that!

Your on the right track with encouraging your son to reach out to his classmates for companionship. While he may say he wants a sibling as companionship you need to discuss the reality of what that would actually mean: A baby that would require much more of YOUR attention! He may be thinking that a little brother or sister would automatically be old enough (about his age) to play games with him. He's already 7 years old and he will always be 7 years older than a sibling. Kids at this age don't have a developed sense of time or age, that's why it can be so darn cute when you ask a little kid to guess a grown-up's age--there as likely to tell you that you must be 100 years old! : ) So understand that his perspective of reality with the request is very different from what actually would happen. Try discussing this in terms that he might grasp: that for you to "make" a sibling for him (forget the need for a dad!) it would have to start out as a baby. Babies can't play with him and a baby would take even more time away from him because they need special care. Tell him in no uncertain terms that the sibling issue is over and that it won't happen. Be firm with this option.

THEN sit down with him and brainstorm acceptable options for campanionship: restate the classmate option; check local organizations for after school programs--the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Boy Scouts, etc. as other options. While cost is a consideration, some of these groups might have specials or "sliding scale" fees--it can't hurt to ask. You might want to look into Big Brothers Big Sisters and see if you can set him up with a mentor that would provide him with a positive male role model. Your local library or parks department may also have some fun programs at no or little cost that he could get involved in. Finally, he may just be lonely for his mom. Try to get him to express his feelings about this. I know you have a crazy schedule with college, but set aside a little time for just the two of you to do something fun on a regular basis-simply going to a local park and playing catch with a ball is all it would take. And it would be a great way for you to find a little stress release (swings were always my favorite!). If you set the expectation that he needs to be responsible for helping to find a solution to his problem (loneliness) then he will be more likely to be satisfied with the outcome and more likely to participate because he will have invested himself in the finding the solution. I wish you good luck with school and with helping your son develop some friendships!

Esme - posted on 08/24/2010

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Please do not get a pet, it already sounds like you are maxed for responsibilities and time. I would go for the sports thing or after school care where he can get to know and spend time with kids. And if you have relatives and / or friends close by , think about involving them , ask for help, you're only human. Good luck .

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Carol Ann - posted on 10/28/2013

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Go to part time student and full time Mom. When my son would say he's bored if give him a list of chores to do and I made him do them. He never said he was bored again! Lol. He's an only child to

Brittany - posted on 10/24/2013

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hello my name I Britttany I have 3 kids my oldest is 9 in the 4th grade and twins boy/girl/2years old.


Kenzie the girl 2years old is the 1 that no matter what we do she is always never happy. like today is wanted to come play outside so we do we get out here and she doesn't last 5 mins without asking to go to store or park....even when I do the thing she asked its never enough. and also my main thing is whatever we do that she asks to do doesn't ever last more than 5 mins...so at this point my is always trying to keep her happy...which iget nothing done. I could use some help! lol thanks

Syndee Rose - posted on 09/05/2010

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My son was like that, too. At first, everytime he sighs and says "boring!", I get rattled and tried to think of a million things for him to do. It got expensive for me, since I had to gather his cousins and bring them somewhere. Then I introduced him to reading, it wasn't easy. I started in buying books and everytime he said he's bored I try to usher him to the unread books I jusst bought, I love to read and when I do, I let him sit beside me and read excerpts to him and explain what it means. It was a slow process but a month or 2 later. when there is no school, and no tv, he reads. And there are even times then that he prefers to read than watch tv. He's 14 now and he loves to read Good luck to you, don't worry, you'll find a way, mothers always do. We are cool like that, even if our kids seldom think so. :)

Michelle - posted on 09/04/2010

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I do much the same as MaryEllen, boredom means I'll find you something to do. After a few rounds of that I hear much less boredom - she starts to say I'm bored, I say, oh really, and she says, oh wait, I'm not and finds something to do!
If there are kids around for play dates you might see what you can encourage. Are there low cost options for activities? Around here the Park District has really cheap classes that can give a few hours of fun for kids and they are close, I can walk her there & back and still have time to do what I need to get done.

Elizabeth - posted on 09/01/2010

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Hi Ashley! That is a big problem! Have you tried the Circle of Moms play date organizer they just made for us? I have not used it yet, but I intend to! I think you could organize a play date, and do your homework while the kids are playing! Here is the link and you can create a new play date for your area: http://www.circleofmoms.com/playgroups/2...

Kathy - posted on 08/27/2010

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I, on the other hand, am getting older and the time for having a second child is running out!
I am married and we could, at a push cope with it , and my husband would give his eye teeth! But, I had a Head Injury 7 years ago, and I battle with tiredness alot! My daughter is desperate for a sibling!
My advise is that you get very organized and speak to all the parents you can. Even without your son getting the numbers. Ask him which friends you should organize for himw to have playdates with, and get the numbers of the parents. The school should be able to give them to you, or just hang around the kids till the parents show up.
Also family is a great sauce of friends even if they are slightly older or younger.
Good Luck!!!!! It is alot of hard work, which is a pain in the arse, but it is worth the extra hasssle!
I am a fine one to talk, sometimes I am just too lazy to organize properly!

Jessica - posted on 08/26/2010

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Hi Ashley, I agree 100% with Laura. My son, at the age of 5 (he is 6 now), would ask nearly constantly when me and his father would give him a brother or sister to play with. We wondered if we had made the right decision by chosing to have only one child until we sat down to talk with him about what having a new baby in the house would mean. He immediately changed his mind and said he didn't want any babies in the house - he wanted a brother or sister he could play with. He's now very happy playing with school mates and neighborhood friends. We also have him enrolled in an "Adventure Club", and a few other activities where he can socialize and meet other kids his age. I can't say that he doesn't get bored at home as an only child, but I can say he doesn't ask for a brother or sister anymore. LOL. We also keep a lot of crafts, projects, books, etc. available for him in our main living area so he always has something to do during down-time. In addition, we also have a quiet, calm, senior dog he can walk anytime, and two parrots. Personally, I think all of the animals are too much, as his father works out of town and mostly shift work, while I work full-time myself. I think it's also very important to have that special set-aside one-on-one time together. Every morning, my son and I have 5-10 minutes of morning snuggles and then head out for a walk (5:30, usually) before we start to get ready for our busy, hectic day. Since we're both morning people, this works out great and really gives us time to talk, stay connected, and spend quality time with each other. Worth every second.



I commend you on raising a child and attending school at the same time. That's an amazing effort, and it sounds like you have a good handle on things. Stay strong!

Ebony - posted on 08/24/2010

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Get him a dog. That will keep him busy. I have a 8yo and he gets bored also a lot. I porposly look for friend with kids around his age so he has someone to play with when my friends are over and try a sleepover once a month. If you have family around you with kids his age then start there and maybe branch out every 3 months with friends from school. Take his to the park more to lay, if time permits, or have him play a little league sport. That will take his extra energy and give him plenty friends to play with.

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