That 'B' word is banned in our house. To me, its a useless word that does more harm than anything else. Even if a child feels like they don't know what to do with themselves, I don't think they should have a convenient word like that to verbalize it. I've banned myself from using the word for years now and I find that when I do feel that way, its uncomfortable, but somehow, choosing not to verbalize it forces me to do something about the situation.
I get particularly irritated when children's storybooks use that word. Thats how Aaron initially learned the word and this morning, I was reading a new book from the library to Adrian and again, I came across the word in the phrase: "cave baby was bored". It was a wonderful book with beautiful pictures and was about a toddler cave baby who liked to paint. I didn't read that word out but I later heard Aaron reading to Adrian and he read it.
Children don't know how to be bored until they are introduced to that word. And also, I think that very often, some of the things we do as parents, lead a child to that feeling of not know what to do next. Here are two situations that I try to avoid because it often leads to Aaron having the word 'bored' flash in his head - he knows not to say it out loud.
1. The biggest thing for us is any sort of screen time. It doesn't matter if its the TV, Wii games or playing with my dad's HP Touchpad. If I let it go on for longer than 30 minutes, Aaron will firstly become a little rude when asked to stop and then after that, he'll just sit around not know what to do next. Nothing is exciting after screen time, not his books, toys, puzzles or even gardening.
2. The next situation is when I start they day by giving Aaron a choice of the things we could have fun doing. For example, "Hey Aaron, what would you like to do? Go to the park, play monopoly, do some drawing?" I've noticed that if I do that, we'll have a great time doing whatever it was, and then he'll come and ask what we're going to do next. If I leave him to start the day with something that he initiates and then come by later with a suggestion, he seems to be able to go back to doing his own things after that.
So, I try my best not to get myself into those situations but as you can see from what they are, its a bit easier said (or typed) than done. There are movies that I've enjoyed as a child that I want to share with Aaron. Wii is also a lot of fun for the whole family. And with the second situation, it happens when I forget the outcome. I'm often excited about spending the day with them, especially during the school holidays.
Anyway, the bottom line is that I believe that the word should not be read, heard, spoken or even thought. It is such a limiting word.