Why Your Kids Need Never Be Bored ~ Ever Again

Why Your Kids Will Never Be Bored Again

Have you heard this lately?

“I’m bored; there’s nothing to do.”

It is so frustrating to hear this when you’ve just returned from a family vacation full of all sorts of activities for your kids.  Or you’ve had them in special camps at home. (And most likely they haven’t thanked you.)

Instead, now they have a few free minutes and they expect you to entertain them. It’s enough to make a tired, unappreciated mother scream!

We are raising our kids in an “entertain me” culture.

However, making sure our kids are always entertained is not our primary job.

In fact, always having a planned, structured day or an ever-ready TV show or “device” can rob our children of the ability to develop creativity.

Kids don’t need more toys; they need more encouragement to make up their own games, to create things out of nature, to devise plays, write poetry, create art, hunt for treasures (like worms!) in the backyard.

Some time ago we created a list with our grandkids.

It says: We never say, “I’m bored at the farm.” Here’s a list of things to do by myself or with another child.”

So far we have 54 things on our list and the kids keep adding to it. It has become a game to see how many more things they can think of.

So now when a child says, “I’m bored,” we send them to the list.

Our We-Are-Not-Bored List

OUR WE-ARE-NOT-BORED LIST

  1. READ
  2. CLIMB TREES
  3. PLAY FOOTBALL
  4. COLOR
  5. PLAY FREEZE TAG
  6. WORK A PUZZLE
  7. LOOK AT PHOTO ALBUMS
  8. PLAY TEA PARTY
  9. SLEEP
  10. PLAY SARDINES
  11. BUILD A FORT
  12. PLAY BINGO
  13. LAY ON COUCH IN PARTY BARN
  14. PLAY WITH ARMY MEN
  15. BUILD SOMETHING WITH HAMMERS AND NAILS AND WOOD (GET SCRAPES FROM HOUSES UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
  16. PLAY DRESS UP
  17. WRITE IN JOURNALS
  18. COLOR ON FLOOR IN BASEMENT WITH CHALK
  19. KICK SOCCER BALL
  20. PLAY IN THE ROCKS WITH TRUCKS
  21. COOK
  22. PLAY VOLLEYBALL
  23. GET A CUP AND COLLECT WORMS AND BUGS
  24. PLAY HOPSCOTCH
  25. DO HANDSTANDS
  26. PLAY BOCHE
  27. BUILD A TREE HOUSE
  28. PLAY PING-PONG
  29. SIT ON THE BENCH AND READ
  30. PLAY SCHOOL IN THE PLAY HOUSE
  31. ROAST MARSHMALLOWS
  32. MAKE JAM
  33. PICK BERRIES
  34. LOOK FOR STARS
  35. PLAY IN THE CREEK
  36. FISH
  37. PLAY WITH RIDDLE DOG (THROW HIS BALL)
  38. MAKE A SECRET TRAIL IN THE YARD OR WOODS
  39. CREATE A SCAVENGER HUNT FOR THE FAMILY OR FRIENDS
  40. MAKE A PLAY OUT OF A BIBLE STORY AND PREFORM IT
  41. BUILD A FORT IN THE WOODS
  42. COLLECT ROCKS AND PAINT THEM
  43. PLAY IN THE SECRET WARDROBE
  44. CREATE AN OLYMPICS COMPETITION
  45. PLAY IN THE SPRINKLER OR LITTLE POOL
  46. GET A BAGGIE AND COLLECT THINGS GO HAS MADE
  47. PLAY WITH TRAINS
  48. WRITE A SONG OR POEM
  49. PLAY WITH BLOCKS
  50. GET LARGE CARDBOARD BOXES (FROM AN APPLIANCE STORE) AND CREATE PLAYHOUSES OR TRAINS OUT OF THEM
  51. PLAY HIDE AND GO SEEK
  52. COLOR PICTURES AND SEND THEM TO GRANDPARENTS
  53. SEE HOW MANY DIFFERENT LEAVES YOU CAN COLLECT. (IRON THEM BETWEEN 2 PIECES OF WAX PAPER AND HANG THEM IN THE WINDOW. )
  54. SWING IN THE HAMMOCK WITH A BOOK
  55. …?

Why Your Kids Will Not Be Bored Again

Creating Your Own We-Are-Not-Bored List

Gather you kids and begin brainstorming together.

And make it a family fun time.

Turn it into a contest to see how many you can come up with and then post it. You can then let them add on to it over the weeks ahead.  

Rather than get frustrated, simply say,“Honey, you are so creative. Go look at the great list we developed and find something to do by yourself, or I bet you can even create something new!”

A wise parent doesn’t always entertain your child, but gives him or her an opportunity to grow and learn and create.

Blessings,

Susan 

Printable of 50 Fun Things for Kids to DoHere’s another list for further inspiration: Free Printable: 50 Fun Things for Kids to Do

*What kinds of things would you include on your We-Are-Not-Bored List? Please share your ideas!

 

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The Best Way to Parent That Very Unique Child of Yours

The Best Way to Parent That Very Unique Child of Yours

Peanut butter and jelly.

Peanut butter and honey.

Jelly. No peanut butter.

Tuna fish.

This summarizes the lunch hour in my home.

Gym shorts.

A dress with a bottom that can spin.

Purple sweatpants, orange ruffle tank top and a pair of watermelon colored flip flops.

Any variation of leggings and a too small t-shirt.

This is the morning wardrobe.

Bubbly.

Blunt.

Observant.

Fearless.

A brief description of their everyday personalities.

Get the picture? These are my four girls. The differences between them are endless and make our days together a priceless mystery.

As a young mom, I watched my girls play. I examined how they learned and related to each other and I was continually amazed that it was possible to be born to the exact same parents, raised in the exact same family structure and somehow exude so many differences.

And then I remembered who their Creator is and wondered why I should expect anything less.

Our God is creative.

He does not skip generations and He does not stop with height and hair color. His creativity is unconstrained and limitless. There are over 7 billion people in our world, all created by the One True God, and not one person is the same as another. Not even the ones sharing a bedroom, whispering secrets and calling you “Mom” or “Dad.”

Understanding this attribute of God gives me the desire to know my children and it drives me to direct my parenting according to the way their Heavenly Father has created them.

Now, please know that I do not adhere to every preference or want of my children, however trying to understanding their God-given uniqueness gives me the opportunity to lead them in a way that they can relate and easily grasp.

With each new season I find myself learning how I can best parent them according to their innate differences.

4 Things to Remember About Your Unique Child

So, when everything else about them seems to be shifting and developing, here are a few things I know to be true and I try to keep these things in the forefront of my mind and theirs!

  1. My children are intentionally crafted by the Creator of the Universe.

 Psalm 139:13

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

  1. My children are different from my neighbor’s children as they are different from each other. God did this on purpose, for His purpose.

   Romans 12:6 

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;

  1. My children are God’s gift and they are to be treasured and treated accordingly.

   Psalm 127:3 

  Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.

  1. As their parent, it is my responsibility to know them, love them and train them in the way that they should go.

   Proverbs 22:6

  Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

And just for a little encouragement, here are a few helpful ways you can get to know your children individually!

  1. Date your children and have a desire to know them intimately. Spend quality time with each child individually in order to get to know them not just as children, but as God’s special creation. (30 Ways to Date Your Daughter!)
  1. Be flexible and willing to adjust. Core values and principles are the foundation; however how they are taught and applied sometimes requires custom lessons and methods.
  1. Be the ultimate living example of God’s Truth. Continue to evaluate your values, standards and desires according to His Word.

Blessings on you and your unique child!

~ Wynter Pitts, ForGirlsLikeYou

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Here’s One Thing I Do Not Want to Pass Down to Our Children

Mom, Don't Pass Your Fears Onto Your Child
Recently my oldest daughter and I were staying at my parents’ home while they were away on a trip. Just she and I alone enjoying a private retreat at the home I grew up in.

Everything was so peaceful . . .

That is, until she told me she was going down to the basement to exercise.

I gulped. I was very uneasy with her going down there all by herself.

Yes, even though she is going on 20 years.

The girl read right through me and started laughing.

What, Mom? Are you afraid the Monsters are going to get me down there?

And she wasn’t too far from the mark. Here I am, a grown-up adult – a very grown-up adult – and I’m still afraid of that dumb, dark basement.

But she sure wasn’t.

She was unafraid.

Just like we’d raised her to be.

And I thought about how freely she lives.

And how that’s what we want for our kids.

And how I want to live as well. Fearless.

Because it’s only the Enemy who wants us to fearful. To be afraid to try new things or step out from our comfort zone. To worry about what might happen and what scary things might be out there.

But not our God…..

You can hop on over to TheBetterMom to read the rest of this article (click link below)!

Mom, Don’t Pass Your Fears Onto Your Child

I hope to see you over there!

In His grace,

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The Prayer of A Mom Whose Nest Will Soon Be Empty

The Prayer of a Mom Whose Nest Will Soon Be Empty

An adaption from Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me and You know me.

You know when I sit in the crawlspace looking through my son’s Rubbermaid full of childhood.

You know when I rise and start the washer, so that he has clean clothes to wear to graduation.

You perceive my thoughts about the day we’ll load his car and drive him from the top of Montana to the center of Texas for college.

You hem me in –standing behind me when I saw the positive pregnancy test 18 years ago and standing before me when I wonder how we’ll fund four years of college.

You have laid Your hand upon me,

the way I laid my hand upon his forehead while he was sleeping.

the way I laid my hand upon his backside when he was naughty.

the way I rested my hand on his arm during Saturday night church.

Your hand upon me

–such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Where can I flee from Your presence?

If I hold a newborn in the crook of my arm and admire the dimples in his hand, You are there.

If I see that child in my rearview mirror come August, You are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn and find his bedroom uncomfortably empty,

if I settle on the far north of the continental U.S. while he is in tornado country,

even there Your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness of missing my children will hide me and the empty nest years become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.

You know me.

Your hand is on me.

You are there.

Amen,

Christy Fitzwater

Christy and Son (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Guide to the Empty Nest*Available: Barbara & Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest: Discovering New Purpose, Passion & Your Next Great Adventure

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How To Teach a Tween Who Already Knows It All

How to Teach A Tween Who Already Knows It All

I don’t know everything.

That’s a fact.

However I do like to think that I know more than an 11 year old.

Apparently that’s become questionable. I have an 11 year old…

and she doesn’t always believe me!

She is indeed a very gifted, intelligent and knowledgeable girl. With a little time and very little guidance she can figure most things out on her own. She has always been able to do that and lately, “I know, mom,” has become one of her favorite phrases.

I am convinced that she has known how to walk and talk since day 6, she just needed to wait for her legs and mouth to catch up!

In fact, I have a very vivid memory of her being obviously frustrated as a 5-month old. She just would not stop bellowing a tearless, yet ferocious cry. This was not just a once in a while occasion, this was sort of her way of life.

Unpredictable, inconsolable, adorable, delightful and persistent!

Beyond the obvious—a diaper change, sleep or food—I could never fully figure out what she needed, what went wrong or how to fix it.

Welcome to motherhood. 

Was It Just Me?

As a new and fairly young mom, I just did not know what to do with her. Surely something was wrong. It had to be.

So I did what I had to do.

One day we hoped in the car and went for a 2 hour drive back home to my family. When we arrived I handed my unhappy baby over to the capable hands of my aunt and immediately found an empty bed and crashed—I needed a nap! Shortly after, I awoke to the oohs and ahhs of a delightful 5-month baby girl. I was so confused.

Was it just me, her mother, that she didn’t like?

My sweet aunt must have recognized the look on my face because she looked up at me and said, “This baby girl is going to be just fine. Nothing is wrong with her, she just knows what she wants and can’t wait to tell you what to do!”

At the time I did not quite know what to do with that information. Eleven years later however, I completely understand what she was saying.

This girl of mine knows exactly what she wants…even when I know better!

Now that she is learning to express herself verbally, think logically and behave rationally (mostly), I find myself trying to balance between a few things.

Between her strength as an amazing young woman and my authority as her mom.

Between her desire for control and God’s call for obedience.

Between her need to express herself and my desire to just fix it.

I am learning how to give her the knowledge I have, but the freedom she needs to process it.

She needs to own her growth.

There is no doubt in my mind that God is writing a beautiful story with her life and one of the hardest challenges I face as her mom is giving her the space she needs to grow in His wisdom and understanding.

Giving Your Tween the Space Needed to Grow

So how do you handle giving your growing tween what she needs regardless of what you know?

Here are 4 tips that are helping me daily:

1.  Do more than you say– even when she doesn’t want to listen, she sees you. Let your life and your actions show her what to do.

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. ~ 1 John 3:18

2.  Ask her questions that you don’t need answered. Ask her questions that cause her to think about what she knows about God and pray that it leads her to seek Him for understanding.

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance. ~ Proverbs 1:5

3.  Seek Wisdom– we just need it. Always.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. ~ James 1:5

4.  Remember Who She Belongs To.  She has been His and will always be His. He created her just the way she needs to be to fulfill the purpose and plan He has for her life in His Kingdom!

Psalm 139:13-15

For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

Blessings,

~ Wynter Pitts, ForGirlsLikeYou

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For Girls Like You: A Devotional for Tweens

For Girls Like You DevotionalTween girls have access to an unbelievable amount of media and information with just a simple click of the remote or mouse. Every outlet they turn to attempts to subtly influence their worldview…and what they believe about themselves directly affects how they live.

Wynter Pitts, founder of For Girls Like You magazine, gives girls a new devotional showing them a correct definition of themselves, opening their eyes to God’s truth and the differerence it makes in their lives. Each daily devotion includes a prayer to help girls apply the lesson. ~ from the Publisher
(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Available here: For Girls Like You: A Devotional for Tweens 

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How to Keep Stress From Stealing Your Joy This Summer

How to Keep Stress from Stealing Your Joy This Summer

The word “summer” did nothing magical to my stress level . . . how about yours?

Okay, granted, we don’t have school schedules or lunches to pack or papers to sign, so for a few days we’ve appreciated a lightened load.

But life as “mom” continues, right?

There are still hungry people around — is it just me, or are they now hungrier? — and there’s still laundry, and errands, and of course the um, “boredom” to deal with.

On top of that, a lot of moms have part-time or full-time jobs, volunteer positions at church, special camps, lessons, practices and who-knows-what-all going on!

I’m preparing to launch a project very near-and-dear to my heart in a few months, so my summer doesn’t quite look like life by the pool either.

But I don’t want to let stress swallow precious memories or steal my joy this summer.

I’m trying to let those shoulder muscles relax while I think about how God wants me to handle everything on my plate.

Wanna give this a try along with me?

First of all, let’s meet with God.

Spiritual warfare is so real, and the battle is never more intense than when my day starts and I think my to-do list has to take priority over time in God’s Word and prayer.

We all know this, right? Yet we forget how it plays out.

Scripture and communion with our Living God changes our perspective, brings light to dark situations, and provides strength for the day.

We need Him, oh we need Him; every hour we need Him… Let’s remember where our help comes from!

Secondly, let’s prioritize.

We will reap what we sow.

A stressed and overworked mom yields a frazzled family.

Too many “good” activities will wear us out. Too much time spent on making money or following a dream and too little time investing in our husbands and children will leave our families emotionally bankrupt.

Conversely, any energy put into our loved ones will yield a bountiful crop of peace, joy, and fun.

Thirdly, let’s remember He’s got this.

Whatever issues are pressing on our hearts and minds aren’t too big for God.

We’ve each got our burdens.

Maybe some things are good stressors — things we’re thrilled about, but things that still take a tremendous amount of output.

Then there are the daily issues — did I mention hungry (or noisy) kids?

And some of us have some heavy stuff as well — things that make us wonder if life will ever be the same again.

But He’s got it all.

There’s truly no need for us to drag this baggage along when He extends the invitation to cast all our anxieties upon Him (1 Peter 5:7).

He cares for us, friend, and He’s going to see us through.

Joy isn’t found in summer, or any particular season, really… It’s in Christ.

It’s in surrendering to Him again, prying our fingers off the stuff we can’t control anyway, and enjoying His goodness.

Let’s experience the love of Christ in the warm days ahead, let’s love on our families, let’s allow Him to amaze us with His faithfulness.

*Have any thoughts to add?

Blessings,
Jennifer

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