I’m Bored, Entertain Me

im_bored"I’m BORRRRED!"

Every parent dreads hearing those words come out of their child’s mouth.  This means that the child will get increasingly antsy and agitated as he or she tries to figure out how to pass the time.  This can be somewhat understandable if the boredom strikes during a long winded speech.  However, when it occurs between the ordering of food and said food’s arrival, it’s less likely to garner sympathy.

Recently, I’ve noticed my kids getting bored when, by all rights, they shouldn’t be.  They’ll complain about having nothing to do – while standing next to a veritable mountain of toys.  They’ll whine about how there’s nothing to do when we just need to sit quietly for a bit.  Boredom seems to strike the moment that they cease being entertained.

(At this point, I’d like to pause to point out that they don’t do this ALL the time.  They seem perfectly able to entertain themselves sometimes.  Other times, they’ll become bored at the drop of a hat.)

I’m a "techy dad", so it makes sense that my kids are "techy kids." In fact, they are wizzes at the iPad, computer, Nintendo DS, Roku, or pretty much any other electronic devices. At times, though, I fear that today’s always on-instant entertainment environment has made kids today unable to handle "downtime."  Yes, I realize that makes me sound like an old geezer – even more so for having used the word "geezer."

Kids aren’t the only ones affected, though.  I’ve found myself instinctively reaching for my phone to check Twitter, browse the web, or read some e-mail while waiting.  When I can’t use my phone, I’ve often found myself coming close to declaring my boredom in a loud, whiny voice.  Before I judge my kids for their lack of tolerance to lack of entertainment, perhaps I should put away the smartphone and wait a mile in their shoes.

But first, I need to check this incoming tweet…

Do your kids complain about being bored?  Do you ever find yourself unable to handle downtime without the aid of a smartphone or other electronic device?