August 4, 2009

It's the summer holidays...,

...and I know I should be enjoying it, but I do feel like I'm fighting a loosing battle here.  A battle against these words.

"I'm bored!"

I am enjoying the freedom, the time with the kids (when they're not bickering), not having to be up and out of the house at a certain time.  But I browse other blogs, and as well as feeling inspired, I also do feel an air of inadequacy.  Why aren't my children happy skipping through fields, chasing butterflies and picking the odd wild flower?  Part of the reason why, isn't down to them though, it's because, here in the UK, a) the weather is rubbish, we've had rain most days for the last few weeks and there's only so many times that getting wet is fun, and b) for health and safety issues, you're not allowed in the field for fear of someone tripping, hurting themselves and suing either the local farmer or the council!

We've done stuff, cinema, swimming, visited friends, playdates, made playdoh, and other crafty activities, and yet, they still say they're bored.  I've come to the conclusion, that although I'm exhausted attempting to keep them entertained, the thing they are happiest doing, is whining!  My only hope is that, rather than being inadequate, we're actually, dare I even say it...,


In a weekend bid for some happy children, we did set to a crafty playdate.  I was contacted by a UK craft supplier a week or so ago and asked if I would like some craft items to have a go with and review.  While I don't normally go in for advertising on my blog, summer holidays, children and the offer of free supplies was too good to turn down!   So, armed with a pack of plain tote bags, fabric paint and pens, and also some spinning tops, I went into battle with the boredom.

The girls eagerly decorated t-shirts and bags,  Lucy's very happy with hers and the paint dried pretty quickly too.

(Design wise, we've gone through the High School Musical phase and have now entered Hannah Montana zone) 

While the boys tinkered around with the spinning tops.  These were great fun actually, very effective.  Cheap too, and there's 12 in each pack.

(Alternative uses for spinning tops!)

I think I may have won.  Slightly.  OK, just a little!

The war rages on, next round is paper mache, what fun!

(All supplies from Baker Ross


Jenn S said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I get so intimidated by the happy, creative children I see in other Mom's blogs. We live on a gorgeous island, with ocean beaches and lake beaches and mountains and bike paths, and we have a nice house with lots and lots of art supplies because Mommy is an artist, and lots and lots of peculiar and interesting things (for the same reason), and they are bored! Once they've had their hour of 'screen time' the whining starts. I look at blogs and think, maybe I just need to try harder to get them interested in making things. Gosh, maybe they just like whining! You are awesome. Thanks.

Needled Mom said...

I always kept a jug of "chores" on hand for when someone complained about being bored. The answer was to "go to the jug and grab a chore." It definitely stopped the "I'm bored" statements at our house.

Prue said...

Tell them they are responsible for their own fun. So if they are bored it's their fault.

Colette said...

Stop worrying. You are 100 % normal. Mine still moan and 16 & 14 that they are bored. I think it has become such an easy word for children these days. What you do with your children always looks fun and exciting. I too look at other blogs and think that I must be a rubbish Mum, but in reality, I do the best I can. As we all do.

Take care and hope the sunshine this week helps. How about a den under the table, fix up a sheet, put lots of cushions in there and let them camp under it for a night or two. I think I used to enjoy that more then my children!!

Mrs Jelly said...

At least your whiners are willing to try something ....
I've got only one to entertain so he hasn't even got anybody to bicker with ...
Anything I suggest to do is met with a "no 'sboring"
I've arranged for a school chum to come round tomorrow so I'm hoping there's lots of showing-off going on and that I don't need to be involved!
(And we're only 2 weeks in !!)

The Calico Cat said...

Thanks for the honesty. You only feel inadequate because some blogs only show the sunny everything is bright & rosy parts.

(Occasionally even they admit that what they blog is filtered.)

Yarni Gras! said...

my kids are high energy too so I've always kept lots of tinkery things around...stuff to create and destroy, etc.
Once they got old enough to entertain themselves a bit, the teacher in me came out. I told them if they use the word bored then they must write a report on the word, define it etc.
They are 11 and 13 and now they warn THEIR friends(jokingly)not to use THAT WORD or I'll make them write me a report.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

you are the second blog I've read today along the same theme...
And I have to admit to being much the same...

We all want happy smiley children (am I the only one who sighs releif when someone else's child shows off in public, at the supermarket, walking round the shops, in a restaurant?).

I think there is so much pressure to be a domestic goddess or stepford wife nowdays! And I think we are ofter fearful of admitting we are a bit fed up or that we really would like 5 minutes peace in case we are accused of being bad mothers.

Well I for one am having a fed up day!

And I also think you have done a million and one things so far to keep your children entertained!

I wish you some domestic peace soon! XXX

Rose XXX

Lyn said...

I use to work in After School clubs. Children like to make dens have you though about giving them a big sheet and lots of cushions, under a table or use some garden canes? Letting them dress up in some unwanted adult clothes? Baking with them and letting them make their own sandwich creations or fresh fruit salad (can double up as lunch) make 'gulp' out of cornflour and water-it's horrible stuff but they like to play in it!
A good book to get is 'I'm bored' by Suzy Barrett and Polly Beard they also did a follow up called I'm bored again or something like that.
Just a few ideas-Good Luck!

Gluten Free Store Ltd said...

Inadequate? Um I dont think so! My poor kids dont get Mum spending ages doing craft stuff. My solution to bored kids is to give them something boring like work to do. they soon find ways of entertaining themselves! Yes you are echoing mothers concerns across the globe, but dont worry you are doing brilliantly. Its a worry when the kids ARE skipping happily through fields picking the odd wild flower!!

Gluten Free Store Ltd said...

PS we have a new series over here, called The Politically Incorrect parenting Show, with Nigel Latter. Its brilliant, and is a no nonsense attitude to parenting, but funny. if you could get it online or something, have a look. you will realise you are doing just fine!

lyn said...

Just for the record, my kids are driving me up the bloody wall.
But then they are able to do that to me even when it's sunny.
: )

Maggie said...

My two children are 6 and 4 and it is amazing how they complain about being bored! We can have a day when we are out and busy doing fun things for them all morning and the moment they are left to themselves, my 6 especially will start with the I'm bored thing. I've come to the conclusion that it's not me, it's them! I do my best but and I'll give her plenty of idea's but I think sometimes it's good for them to have to figure out ways to entertain themselves.

I also agree that after a while it can be a bit overwhelming always reading great things on some blogs. I have a couple favorites that I have found myself avoiding lately because I started feeling like nothing is really that idyllic. At least certainly not here and I just needed a break. Your honesty is very much appreciated and you are certainly not the only mom who feels this way.

Kriza said...

Oh, it was a relief to read this post and the comments! I have a 4 year old girl, and 2 boys, aged 8 and 10, and unless we entertain them at all times, they keep repeating those infamous words too. Either we go to the beach or sailing or fishing or cycling with them all the time, or all they want to do is watch TV, which is strictly limited...
And it seems now that the children are the same everywhere all over the world!
I love the jug of chores idea, I'll try it next time they start complaining! :-)

Miaou said...

Oh I so agree with you - I think the summer holidays are the equivalent of swimming uphill through custard! It is really hard to entertain kids for such a long time, particularly when the weather is so poor. The bags and spinners look great though!

By the way I have finally conceded defeat and set up a new blog on blogspot, so you will be able to see what I'm up to again!

LunaMoonbeam said...

Mama, you are so normal...don't worry about it! Any frolicking children you happened to see pictures of? The only reason those pictures were POSTED was because the mother was giddy that she had caught a picture of the one moment during the summer when her kids weren't bickering. ;-)

Great bags!!

Unknown said...

I dont think so! My poor kids dont get Mum spending ages doing craft stuff. My solution to bored kids is to give them something boring like work to do.

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