Wednesday, June 6, 2007

WFMW Boredom Edition: Go to the Ant.

Today is the day to announce to the world what we do when someone whines "I'm bored."

I must confess that my almost-five-year-old hasn't every told me that he is bored. Maybe he's just not to that age yet - or maybe he's extraordinarily good at entertaining himself - but boredom isn't a common complaint for him.

However, when his way of entertaining himself is, for some reason, not acceptable to me, I send him outside. Because most of the time, whatever he was doing that wasn't acceptable in the house (running in circles, climbing on bookcases, jumping on the couch, singing "Hey Diddle Diddle" at the top of his lungs) is perfectly acceptable in the backyard. And if his previous unacceptable activity isn't acceptable outside either, it usually involved mistreating a brother or someone else's property - both of which are difficult if he's in the backyard (where most things are indestructible and the baby brothers are currently not allowed to be without an adult). I'll send him out as long as it's not below freezing or over 100 degrees - appropriately clothed for the weather, and with a water source if it's hot.

Here's the kicker: if he gets sent out, he has to stay out until I call him in. Most of the time, if I send him out, he sits and pouts until something - usually an ant - captures his attention and gets him busy doing something.

It's not like being put outside is torture - he has a play structure, a sandbox, another climbing area, and a dirt pile. He's a boy. He thinks the backyard is heaven - particularly if it's warm and sunny and he is allowed to turn on the hose or is given a bucket of water or a squirt bottle.

You can read about other families' methods of alleviating boredom at Rocks in my Dryer, but know that sending the bored outside to watch the ants Works for Me - today at least - I'm sure it will fail at some point.


Mel said...

Your probably too nice a person to teach him how to fry the ants with a magnifying glass... a favorite pasttime for my boys:)

Joyful Days said...

Climbing bookcases--I don't think we've done that yet, but couch launching and swinging and LOUD--yup!! Good outdoor stuff. I wish we had a swingset, but dirt is a really good toy. LOL

Our Peculiar Life said...

what a great idea!! I have never told my kids that. I may have to try it. ;-)