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Parent Helpers

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Boredom Busters

Parents often wonder why kids get bored - and how to respond. Here are simple ways to lighten the mood and (hopefully) get kids smiling again.

  1. Start by offering your child a chance to vent.

    For kids (as well as adults), boredom may mask other feelings - sadness about something that happened during the day, worry about something that may happen, or simply hunger or fatigue. The first step to breaking the boredom blues is just to listen to your child, and to accept that her feelings are real and important to her, even if they don't make sense to you.

  2. Give your child a choice of activities and a little encouragement.

    Sometimes kids simply need a little help to try somethng new. If your child likes art, try coloring with Arthur, or Barney. If he likes music, dance to some Dragon Tales tunes. Remember that children have varying attention spans, depending on their age and personality. kids need quiet activities, others actually need to blow off steam and run around before bed.

  3. You don't need fancy games and toys (or even TV) to excite your child.

    Simple activities often do the trick, and you can find many online. Try making homemade bubble solution. Have alternatives in your back pocket. If one idea doesn't do the trick, pull out another. Mister Rogers' peanut butter and banana sandwiches are an easy treat kids may like to eat.

  4. Start a project together, but let your child take the lead.

    In some cases, the less you direct your child, the more he may begin to use his own imagination.

  5. Keep a "rainy day" box or shelf filled with special toys and books.

    Rather than keeping all of your child's toys available at all times, hold some in reserve for these moments.

  6. Try a change of scenery.

    This may be the right moment to take a trip to the bank or spend an hour in the park - even if you were planning these outings for later.

  7. Remember that all kids need down time.

    Today might be just the day your child needs to cuddle with you on the couch, listen to a song or story tape, or sit on your lap and read a book with you.

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