What to Do When Kids Say “I’m Bored”

The phrase, “I’m bored,” doesn’t have to drive you crazy.

The next time your child whines about boredom, take a deep breath and repeat these six words:

“Something great is about to happen!”

Child psychologists, teachers, and parents say boredom is good for our kids and can lead to growth and discovery.

Boredom may lead your child into…

  • the great outdoors
  • the pages of a book
  • a fascinating world of make-believe
  • a brilliant invention, drawing, or experience.

Talk openly about the benefits of boredom with your child. Boredom is like the appetizer to a delicious meal, the ticket to an amusement park, or the first few notes of their favorite song.

Try this: coach your child through boredom


The next time your child says, “I’m bored,” play the first few notes of the theme songs from Star Wars, LEGO, or Frozen. Can your child guess what’s coming next?

Explain that the words “I’m bored” are like the first few words of a new and interesting song. As soon as your child says, “I’m bored,” you can expect something amazing… you just need to be patient and see what happens! Whining will miraculously transform into wonder.

Set a timer for 30 minutes, offer something like art supplies, blocks, or the backyard, and look forward to where the boredom leads.

Follow-through and help your child see the positive outcome of boredom.

After a few successful tries, maybe you won’t lose your mind when you hear the words, “I’m bored,” because you’ll know the rest of the song… “Something great is about to happen!”

Whiney Kids Can Become Solution-Oriented Kids

If you want to take things to the next level, help your child transform the whiny-ness of “I’m bored” into a solution-oriented statement. Say, “Instead of whining about the problem, why don’t we talk about the solution? When we’re bored let’s say, ‘I’m looking for something to do.’ Wanna give it a try?”

Give a high-five whenever you hear your child express boredom with the solution in mind.

For more on whining, check out this vintage YouTube video in which my now-12-year-old daughter demonstrates a super-helpful tactic for transforming whiney kids into solution-oriented kids.


If you would like more practical help like this, click here:

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What are your questions?

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