Save me Steve! How to deal with summertime boredom with kids
WASHINGTON - There's a still a few weeks left in the summer -- but if you're home with your kids for a few days and looking for things to do, it can be a challenge handling the summer slow down.
Steve Noviello says the best way to handle kids being bored is to not give in to the inclination to schedule every day. Kids learn best when they're left with time to themselves and can goof around, rather than having every moment planned out for them.
While many parents are resistant to do this, he says even taking your kids to a place like a park where you can relax and they can play and run around is a good way for you both to get out of the house and recharge.
Noviello says if your kids are complaining of boredom at home, you can counter by asking them what they think they could do, or come up with a list of "I'm bored" activities and post them somewhere like the fridge.
"That way when the kids scream 'I'm bored!' Just point to the list. Tell them to pick one out."
Noviello says technology can also play an important factor in how we entertain ourselves -- parents and kids alike.
"One of the big mistakes we see with moms and dads are, you know, certainly there should be one set of rules for parents and one set for kids. But when everybody has to face the same rule particularly with technology, it's difficult sometimes," he says.
He says parents should keep themselves accountable as they would their kids.
"It's very hard to expect the kids to power off if you are distracted by your digital devices."
Noviello suggests setting thresholds for technology use, like after chores or time outside. Or there could be "blackout" time for the entire family -- like during meals or when your child has a friend over.
Sometimes time at home can also lead to fights between siblings. Noviello says even when sibling bickering gets on your nerves, that arguing is inevitable, especially among young kids.
"Arguing teaches kids how to do things like resolve conflict and negotiate. So don't jump too fast and tell them to stop," says Noviello.
He recommends using sibling fights as a teaching tool and could be used as a way to reward them for coming to a compromise.
"You might teach the younger kids while the older kids have a different opinion, but helping your children understand why some people have a different point of view and how they can better understand those folks is really a life lesson that will serve them for years and years to come."