Here's the pressing question that is on my mind today. Is it my job to keep my children entertained? I want to say the answer is 'No', but my children seem to think otherwise. Then I have to ask myself, 'Have I led them to believe that when they are bored they can count on mom to find something for them to do?'.
Don't get me wrong. I think it's important to take time out of the day to play games with them, read stories, or play outside. But shouldn't they also be capable of doing these things amongst themselves?
It's especially frustrating to me when I consider how MANY toys, games, books, etc. etc. my children have. And they are STILL bored! Obviously the answer is not more STUFF.
If I am not able to play with them then they ask if they can watch TV or play on the computer. I do allow some tv & computer time during the day, but I'm trying to limit how much. My boys would happily sit and veg out in front of the tv or computer for HOURS if I let them.
Usually what happens next (when I say no to tv or computer) is that they follow me wherever I may be and lay on the floor or drape themselves across a chair moaning about how bored they are and 'What can they DO?'. I often make suggestions, going through a checklist of their many toys & activities. This is met with more groans and declarations that it's all so BORING.
This makes me want to march upstairs and gather up all that boring stuff and get rid of it! I've even threatened to do exactly that. Of course this is met with horror. How could I get rid of their things?!
All I know is that when my sister closest in age (I have another sister 12 years younger than me) & I were young we entertained ourselves. I don't remember relying on our mother to keep us from being bored. And, if we did complain about boredom, she probably sent us outside.
Believe me, I try this tactic with my boys as well. But, they always want me to come outside with them. Sometimes I do and sometimes I can't. I still have the baby to care for, laundry to do, meals to prepare, etc.
So, please, if anyone out there has any suggestions or words of wisdom, please pass them on to me. I want my boys to use their imaginations, get creative, and entertain themselves. It would be one less job for me.