How To Deal With Summer Boredom
Some of us have reached the point where our kids are getting bored with summer. Who’d have thought that after the long anticipation of being free from the confines of learning our kids would become bored and long for some of the challenges and social interactions that school provides.
Sometimes, we parents avoid this ‘summer boredom syndrome’ by packing our kids off to camp. Or, at the least, we try to fill our children’s days with activities while we are off at work. Unfortunately, kids at home without a ‘game plan’ may find it difficult to entertain themselves without turning to iPads, computers and TVs. So, here’s my quick soapbox speech about electonics.
TV, video games, computers, tablets, iPads, Nintendo DS, and phones are not bad things and, to a point, can be incorporated into our children’s lives so they have some common ground with their peers. However, 8 hours a day, or more, on electronics is not healthy for anyone. Especially kids who need to be out and exploring and expanding their brains and motor skills. I recommend guaranteeing a specific amount of electronics time (1-2 hours per day) and then after that has been ‘used’, kids must ‘earn’ more time with their electronics.
So, how does one setup up a merit system of electronic usage? Here’s some suggestions to do it for your kids!
1) Spending an hour, or more, outside: Playing in the yard, riding bikes, a trip to the park, walks with them in the neighborhood or in a nature preserve or, if possible, hitting the pool or splash pad as a family.
2) Make something! An hour creating something is well spent as it fosters imagination and inquisitiveness. Art, music, crafts, writing, building legos, using their imagination while playing with toys or stuffed animals or even some ‘big people’ hobbies like gardening or building a bird feeder. Creative activities are the perfect opportunity to teach the importance of growing vegetables, connecting and caring for nature and many other activities that can bring a lifetime of enjoyment.
3) Give it a rest! Quiet time is quality time. It doesn’t matter what they do (reading, napping, resting, etc.) they just need to have some relaxation time where everyone in the house is calm and resting.
4) Ugh…! Chores! Okay, most kids don’t like their chores but if approached correctly, chores can be fun, educational and fulfilling. Specific chores that are completed equal a specific amount of time on electronics. Or, there can be a set list of things that the family needs to get done today (bathroom cleaning Monday or laundry Tuesday) and once that list is completed the kids can engage in electronic activities for a specific period of time.
5) Game Time: When we were kids this was the go to activity on a rainy day. Playing games can be a little more difficult with a group of kiddos of mixed age but finding games that kids enjoy can be a lot of fun for all involved. And, games are not just for indoors, remember ‘kick the can’, ‘red rover’, ‘capture the flag’ and ‘tag’?
6) FREE Stuff! Trips to free things and happenings in your area: There are tons of free activities and events all over. The local library, park districts and other places offer free activities for kids and their families. In Barrington, and the surrounding area, check out https://barrington.macaronikid.com for free activities and to get some other great ideas on how to deal with boredom in the summer.
7) Play dates – Parents Band Together! Have meetups with other parents and their kids to help make the summer boredom disappear. Taking turns at each others’ homes or meeting up some place else can help the kids burn off energy playing together and the parents get social time together.
The thing is to be creative. There are so many activities in your area that can provide plenty of action for your kids and a bit of serenity for you!
Barrington Behavioral Health and Wellness has many therapists on staff that specialize in child and adolescent counseling and family support. If you would like to know more about how we can help, contact us at 888-261-2178 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dr. Genevieve, Nehrt Psy.D.
Dr. Nehrt utilizes multiple therapy modalities to better assess and treat a family’s needs. Her goal is to help each child and family develop positive skills to improve and enrich their lives.
Dr. Nehrt conducts individual, family and group therapy with children as young as four years of age and addresses issues related to anger, attention and focus, depression, self-injury, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, low self-esteem and adolescent substance abuse.
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