Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How not to be bored

Last year, about this time, I realized that more than half the teenagers that I know were spending a LOT of time posting on Facebook about how bored they were.

Now early on, as a parent, one of my pet peeves was the whiney intonation "I'mmmmm bored!!!!"

I made my children the ultimatum that if I were to so much as hear the B word (bored) that I'd be arranging for them to do the very many things that I could think of that needed doing.

And as they are smart children, it did not take very many times for them to 1. learn to entertain themselves better and 2. develop a widely ranging vocabulary of words that were synonyms for 'bored'.

Anyway, last  year, I wrote out the following and issued it as a challenge to the group of kids that I love most in the world.  I'm sharing it here, because we're right at the cusp of summer, when so many parents will begin to hear those fateful words... I'm so bored...  

Share the list... and share with me the amazing things that happen when you employ the list...

Things to do to prevent boredom

I am discovering, thanks to FaceBook that lots and lots of teenagers haven't been given the dictate that is in force at the Weaver household... "If you use the word 'bored', even a single time, I will FIND something for you to do!"

Here you go, kiddo's... and I don't want to hear anymore about being bored!

1. Take your UNhappy little hinney outside for a walk, a run, a bike ride.
If THAT bores you, then pick up a broom, a rake, a shovel and rearrange dirt, dust or landscaping (check with parents first about that last one). Walk the dog, brush the cat, teach them new tricks. Take a nap under a tree, camp outside overnight, even in the back yard. GET OUT!

2. RUN, do not walk, to the next nearest home of an elderly person (do NOT mistake 50 for elderly!)
Knock on the door, introduce yourself, and then procceed to 1. sit and visit and 2. ask them what they need help with. then DO IT! This should keep you busy for quite a while... and you will learn some valuable lessons and loneliness will be averted on more than one count!

3. Find a kid... preferable another kid that is being bored... Not one your age, but one younger than you. Think (*yes, you can do that in the summertime) of 3 things that you know, or can do that this kid cannot and TEACH them. Spend some time making, building, working on something. Take them on a walk and see how many different birds you can identify. Teach them to make lemonade. Build a sculpture of found objects. Get creative!

4. Pick a new skill,,, something that YOU want to do, or have been interested in. Get your parents on board here... do some research... figure it out. implement a plan for learning about your new passion and be better for it at the end of the summer!

5. Do a good turn daily... a good deed... even small ones... You will smile at yourself when you're all alone. Pick up some trash and put it in the proper place, return the shopping cart to the store, smile at the angriest person you see. YOU will be better for it.

6. Go fishing (catch and release), take a hike, a serious hike... there's a state park IN THIS COUNTY with two trails 2 1/3 miles) that is free for you to walk. Take a bottle of water and explore the outdoors.
(THEN you will not die of heatstroke that first two days of band camp!) Ride a bike.

7. Make a plan for your family and implement it... how can you reduce and recycle? Your parents are tired of telling you to turn off the lights and not waste stuff... they get worn pick up the charge for a while and see the savings (of finances AND the planet!).

8. Be an official volunteer... The local hospital has need of volunteers,,, the local nursing homes...
take your instrument and simply practice in the day room at the local nursing home... get three friends together and play together...brighten the day of all who live there and all who work there. Smile while you play!

9. Thank people... thank a police officer, thank a teacher, thank the folks at the YMCA, thank the person who checks you out at the store. If you have time to be bored, you have time to sit down and write a thank you note,,, to your parents, your grandparents, your friends, the mailperson!

10. Catch up with folks who have moved away. Sit down and take pencil and paper in hand and WRITE a letter.

11. Clean your room! Move the furniture around (amazing what you find under the bed!) REdecorate. Do a good job and your parents will be stunned... stunned, I tell you!

12. Clean something that is not your room... the fridge (do you KNOW how happy this makes parents?)
the laundry room, the utility closet... Your parents will wonder what is wrong , but they will NOT question this!?!

13. Go the public library and use this free resource... read magazines while you're there and read a BOOK A WEEK over the summer. (some of you can do way better than that, and if you do and report it to me, we shall find a treat!)

14. Practice that instrument DAILY. Annoy your family, the neighbors, the animals in the neighborhood. Practice early and late and in between. Become the BEST at what you do!

15. LASTLY, Study for the SAT... I don't care what age you are, what grade you're in, what you're doing after highschool... go online to the study places and DO it. Go to the public library and check out the study books. DO NOT ROll your eyes... you KNOW I'm right! If you each send me (or post) a word of the day from the SAT lists, then we're all gonna learn a lot of new words this summer!

Do not waste the summer! Wake up each day, every single day, and make a plan.
Dont' get to the end of it and only be able to say "I was so BORED!".

Report what you're doing... I shall be so proud and you shall not have to work at Camp Weaver all summer!

hugs all around,

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