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A Cure for Boredom


bored kid

My children have dozens of entertainment options – toys, video games, books, movies, mobile devices; however, they always seem to be bored. When I was their age, I always seemed to keep myself occupied. I’d watch TV, read books, or explore the neighborhood on my bike. If I started to feel bored, I would go to my friends’ houses to see what they were doing. They were always up for an impromptu game of football or hide-and-seek.

I know things are different today. My kids don’t have the freedom that I did, but their constant bored still baffles me.

I once attended a lecture and the speaker said that boredom is an entirely Western concept. Many other cultures don’t even have this word in their vocabulary. He told a story of a young African boy who would sit under a tree for hours at time. The speaker asked the boy how he was able to sit still for so long. The boy looked at him and asked, “How can you not?”

I can relate to that little boy because I’ve always felt at-ease whenever I could sit quietly and ponder. Some of my relatives actually worried about me because I often spent time alone with my thoughts. My kids, however, need constant external stimuli.

When they start complaining about being bored, I share the story about the little boy underneath the tree. They roll their eyes and keep pestering me until I give them some ideas. To help my kids combat their boredom, I’ve created an acronym from the letters in B-O-R-E-D. Since I’ve shared it with them, they’ve learned to be more creative and active. I’ve even caught them quietly observing the beauty of nature…(Read the rest of the article on

Stay Strong,

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Join the conversation: What do you do when your kids say they are bored

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photo by Ben

About Author

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at


  1. Lori Lincoln on

    I say to my kids (my own and the high school students with whom I work): “Only boring people are bored! You’re not a boring person, are you?”

  2. You have a great blog. I love the tip about turning in the devices at night.

    We spend a lot of time reading, writing an drawing together. They also love to play word games, and we laugh a lot about the new vocabulary our girls are using. Since they are ages 5, 6 and 7, we encourage a lot of jokes and conversations. We have the kindle fire for our kids for reading. They have access only to apps (15 minutes) and video (15 minutes) and that is after they have read for one hour. Their dad sets their time limits and we make sure that it’s visible too.
    Some of the stories can read to you, but be careful to remind kids that you have to be listening to it to count for that hour.
    We also live in a community which has swimming pools and we get out into the community to socialize with other families.