Boredom is painful. For kids and for us parents who feel their agitation and the pull to agitate us as a way to regulate their bodies.
The key for our kids (and let's be honest for us too), is to stay in a place of compassionate teaching.
What does that look like?
1. Express empathy for what they are feeling
2. Help them notice the body sensations connected with boredom. (Dr. Dan Siegel says "Name it to Tame it")
3. Help them develop the habit of seeing boredom as an unidentified need state.
4. Be patient with them as this skill takes significant time to develop and master.
5. Instead of giving them options and entertaining them (rescuing them from the boredom), teach them how to discover their own options and tolerate the discomfort of boredom without collapsing into despair.
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