A look back on Summer Boredom

My most popular post this summer has been 281 Ideas to Beat Summer Boredom.

281 summer boredom busters

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I’ve received comments thanking me for an amazing list.

For those readers, thank you.  I love your feedback.  I hope the list helped you when you needed it most.  I figure it  kept a low level of fun going all summer long. Either that or you had a great weapon to use when your kids got whiney and rejected every single suggestion you could come up with.

I’ve received comments telling me it was a list of the most lame and boring ideas that could ever have been compiled.

For those readers… yep. You’re right.  It was a list of  everyday stuff.  There wasn’t a single high budget or high effort idea on the list.  If you were looking for a list of ways to amaze your kids with cool stuff like day trips to water parks, road trips to the museum of french fries, and Pinterest worthy crafts then you were disappointed.  It wasn’t intended to be that kind of list.  I never pretended otherwise.

But I didn’t get any feedback on whether or not the list actually worked.

If you remember, I started the summer with a simple premise.  My kids need to be bored.

my kids need to be bored really

Yes.

I intentionally set out to create summer boredom.

I bet you’re wondering how that worked out for me and if I’d do it again.

There’s at least one woman out there who read my post extolling the virtues of letting your kids be bored who laughed her head off at the idea and said “been there, done that… never again.”

If that’s you, I’d love to hear from you.  I’d love to get a full blast of “I told you so.”

Bottom line?  Yes.  I’d do it again.

  • It was our best summer financially.  We ate at home for 90% of our meals.  There were no weekly trips to the Lego aisle.  It’s easy to not spend money when you never go places.
  • It was what my kids needed.  It wasn’t until the first week of August that they got tired of swimming, playing Legos, and chasing the cats.  Since we went back to school the second week of August, that’s not bad.
  • It accomplished the goals I had for the summer.

Bottom line?  I’ll prepare better next time.

  • Blogging was impossible this summer.  In case you hadn’t noticed, I missed quite a few days!  I just couldn’t string words together.
  • My house is a disaster.  It’s much easier to keep a clean house when no one is home.
  • I was drained.  I’m just now beginning to recover from my summer of dry.
  • It was hard work.  Boredom isn’t easy.

How did my kids react to summer boredom?

By the middle of summer, they HATED the list.  They hid the jar in their closet, so I just printed out another copy.  I liked it better as a list because I could just pick and choose based on my mood.  I was always in the mood for that list of chores.

Did I mention that my kids edited the list?  They took a sharpie marker to it and removed the ones they really objected to.  (like that list of chores.  hmmm…)

By the middle of July, they were trained.  They would come to me and say

mommy, I’m bored.  what can i do?

I knew what they wanted.  They wanted me to offer forbidden foods.  They wanted me to surprise them with extra video game time or a spontaneous trip to eat fast food.  They hoped I’d offer to buy them new stuff. They wanted easy.

I didn’t cave in.  Instead, I pulled out my trusty list.  One look at the thing and my kids both started responding

never mind mommy, i just remembered a book i wanted to read

or

i think i hear my brother calling

or

i’ve decided to ride my bike for awhile

I was totally OK with that.   My whole purpose in the list was to be prepared and to NOT give in to easy.  My whole goal was to avoid those unplanned (and unbudgeted) trips to find entertainment.  I didn’t want the added clutter.  I didn’t want the expense.

I persevered.  I didn’t just use the list.  I used every bit of advice I gave in that post on summer boredom.  Boredom is hard work.  It took all I had.

The best thing that happened this summer was that my children found contentment with what they had.   

I’ll trade the missed blog posts and messy house for that in a heartbeat.

I started the summer seeking boredom for my kids.  I thought it would teach them to be creative and think.  They learned contentment.

How about you? Did your kids find contentment in boredom this summer?

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. I didn’t get to read your post about having your kids survive a summer of boredom. However, I can tell you this summer has been the worse summer I’ve ever endured in my entire life. I was not able to take my kids to anywhere fun all summer long because of only having one vehicle and my husband having it all summer. Then on top of that it rained most of the summer and the mositequoes (spelling is not my virtue) were horrible!

    However, I will say that I think my kids learned to contentment too. Thanks for sharing your summer results with us.

  2. Sorry to hear this was such a tough summer for you. I’m not sure there is an easy summer.

    My friends who had their kids scheduled in camps every week were worn out from the time spent in the car and were in shock at the final bill. My friends who traveled to every relative were just ready to sleep in their own beds and face the laundry. My friends who worked and left their kids in some variant of child care were guilt ridden over a long list of things.

    Summer doesn’t make my list of top three favorite seasons. Ever.

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