How to respond to “I’m bored”

The end of school holidays is in sight, and my boys are bored.

We’re saving for an overseas trip so we haven’t been away and movie trips and café lunches have been thin on the ground.

I know what you’re thinking. You’ve probably read about it too: it’s OK to be bored. Parents don’t need to ‘fix’ it. Our sons need to learn to be bored. It helps them be more creative.

To be fair, up to now I’ve met my sons cries of “I’m bored” with “It’s OK to be bored”. And they’ve met my responses with eye rolls.

But I’ve got to the point where the pithy quips – “Nice to meet you bored.” “Shall I give all your toys to charity then?” “When I was a kid I had to play in the mud with an old sack and a potato…” – are making me feel less ‘good’ mum and more ‘mean’ mum.

So mums and dads, I’m giving you permission to respond to your sons’ boredom. Because sometimes it’s OK to help our sons out a bit. And because finishing a cup of coffee while it’s still hot is one of life’s greatest pleasures. And because maybe, just maybe, you want your son to not hate you by the start of term 3.

These 52 responses to the phrase “I’m bored” won’t give your son all the answers but hopefully they won’t be met with quite as many eye rolls (well, except maybe ‘Be helpful’ and ‘FaceTime Grandma’).


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