I’m Bored

Parents seem to struggle with their kids more today, or maybe it just seems that way. They are afraid to let them ride a bike to their friend’s house: it’s too dangerous these days, they say. I’m regularly chastising my young for their propensity to stay inside. They only want video games, television or movies, and the computer.

Now what kid doesn’t like pretending to be a policeman, or fireman, or a doctor–not because they get to see the elderly drop their pants to show them a mole, but because they get to wear a cool lab coat and a stethoscope.

In an effort to provide entertainment for our son, we have enrolled him in soccer and cub scouts. Yesterday, we visited a fire station. Fun, right? Firefighters were showing us their trucks, hoses, giant scissors that can cut through a car, and then all the sudden I hear a ‘portly’ young man look to his grandmother and say, “I’m bored.” My first thought was to encourage him to go home to eat another gallon of ice cream instead, but I didn’t. That would be mean. I’d never say that. No really, I wouldn’t. Honestly.

How do we cure boredom without parking them back in front of their beloved video games? I won’t leave you  hanging, dear reader–I have the answer. Slavery. You see, my dad made me do chores non-stop when I was a child. I fed 28 different animals: horses, guinea hens, chickens, dogs, cats, peacocks, and rabbits. We only ate a few of our aforementioned pets: I’ll let you guess which. I moved rocks. I mowed the lawn–it was manual; we didn’t have the luxury of a powered mower. I did the dishes. I labored from dusk til dawn. And at night, I slept in the garage. Don’t worry, dad eventually added sewer and running water. Do you think I would ever DARE complain about having nothing to do? I did that……….ONCE. Have you ever mended acres of barbed wire fence? Now that is good solid entertainment. Oh, and lest we get fat, like our scouting friend, I was instructed to run two miles per day. But, what else can a 13-year old boy do? I took long hikes through the mountains with our dog, Wiley. If I was in eye shot, I must be bored and in need of entertainment.

My wife won’t help me institute slavery in our home. And she insists that the children sleep in our house and use our water and sewage. They even eat our food.

I’m sure that there must be some compromise between slavery and the modern “I’m bored without my video games” society.


2 thoughts on “I’m Bored

  1. As the Dad of this narrative, I must throw in a few thoughts…. First, I love the blog. Second, it brings back some terrific memories of the wonderful, but challenging times of being a parent with your children still at home.

    This too will pass for those of you who still have the kids with you. But, oh, too soon.
    Having just reached the age of 64, I am able to say that the time we have our children at home is minuscule in comparison to the time we don’t have them. Maybe that is a blessing, but, I am still nostalgic about being able to enroll my son in the aforementioned slavery program.

    I had forgotten about these events, (which did not occur continuously throughout his life.) But, as we all know, our memories of our childhood and parents are very tainted by reality. What we remember and what occurred are at polar opposites. But it is fascinating to read or hear of an event from their perspective. (Although the narrative is very accurate in most details).

    Yes, parents do face some real challenges today that I/we didn’t face then. If your child misbehaved, you were expected to discipline them. Then and there. You could put your child to work to exact some love of the accomplishment in their lives. Therein lies a lot of gratitude that is sorely missing today. Chores, chores and more chores meant that the time off was precious. But, hey, that is life.

    The thing I most wish I could have and should have instituted was a corporate prayer life (we did always go to our local Church), and more effort to work on providing service to others. Instead of just doing the chores at our house, maybe getting the kids (and me) to also do chores for the older neighbor, or cut his grass – whatever, would also have provided an increased spirit of gratitude.

    In summary, I must say that I am exceedingly pleased and proud of my son, his family and his accomplishments. And, I am sure, there are more of those to come….

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great post! Kids need chores. They actually NEED them! They don’t need all this other crap. It’s a distraction and a wasting one at that. Yes, there should be some free time, but kids need to be grateful for their work AND their fun. How is anything fun anymore when EVERYTHING is made fun? Nothing. There is no joy without effort.

    Liked by 2 people

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