"Let your kids learn to have fun at being productive, and then purge the things in the home that function as 'mental junkfood'-things that satisfy their boredom without delivering any benefit."
This spoke to me at many different levels. First of all, I had to start with good ol' me. Do I use "mental junk food" to satisfy my own boredom? The answer was yes. I couldn't deny it. Sometimes there will be a dead space between my chores or homeschooling and I just want to "veg" a little. I'll run and check my email or Face Book. Maybe a BLOG or two. Now there is nothing really wrong with this choice, but my kids are up. They could use a little attention from mommy. Maybe I could read a story to the little ones or maybe I could do a short Bible study with the older ones? Maybe I could even slip into my prayer closet and have a meaningful conversation with my Lord? I need to choose the "better" thing.
Second, when I hear my children say "I'm bored, there is nothing fun to do around here." I often will put that child to work. They just don't want to take the effort to entertain themselves. I grew up not having a TV. I became an AVID reader! I also had a great imagination. Our children now days need to use their imaginations more! They can't do that when they are always "vegging" in front of the TV or in front of a video game. I am listening to my children and paying attention to what they want to "default" to. I am learning that when they are bored, they will always ask to watch a movie or play a video game. When this happens, I try to offer some different suggestions like "let's play a game, or go toss the football with your brother, ect." If they don't like my suggestions, I then say, "You figure it out, I'm not the entertainment committee!" I have a list of "Things to Do" if they just can't come up with anything on their own.
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