School is out (or almost out) for kids in traditional schools. I bet your teens are THRILLED!
Inevitably, the “I’m bored…” statements will start after a few weeks. For many of the parents I work with, this is incredibly frustrating. After all, can you remember the last time you were genuinely bored? Adulthood and parenthood changes our views on boredom. Sometimes I wish I had time to be bored!
I digress. The fact is that kids do get bored and it is our job to help them learn to manage that feeling and experience. Here are my suggestions to help them learn to deal with being bored without over-doing the video games, Netflix binges and fights with you or their sibling(s).
My hope is that these suggestions help avoid lectures and statements like these:
Teen: “But Mooooooooom” or "But Daaaaaaaaaad."
Teen: “But there is NOTHING to do here!”
You: A lecture on the merits of downtime and not being busy.
I also hope these tips will help strengthen your teen’s ability to identify their feelings. They can help your child practice brainstorming and planning (with your help at first).
And maybe, just maybe, it’ll get a few of those summer chore lists done, too.
Give these a try and come back and tell me how they worked for your family!
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Bethany Raab is a Denver-based social worker who loves helping teens and their families be happy and healthy!