Best Responses to “I’m Bored, Mom/Dad”

Hearing “I’m bored” can be a familiar refrain for parents. While it might come across as a whiny complaint, it often stems from a child’s desire for engagement and connection. Instead of feeling irritated, use this opportunity to spark creativity, foster bonding, and turn boredom into an adventure. Here are some tips.

Acknowledge and Empathize

Before jumping to solutions, acknowledge your child’s feelings. Phrases like “I hear you feeling bored” or “It sounds like you’re looking for something to do” validate their emotions and establish a sense of connection.

Encourage Ownership

Instead of immediately offering suggestions, empower your child to take ownership of their boredom. Ask open-ended questions like “What were you thinking of doing?” or “Do you have any ideas for fun activities?” 

Offer Collaborative Exploration

If they need a bit more help, explore options together. Browse books or online resources, look through old toys and games, or brainstorm new activities based on your child’s interests. This collaborative effort makes them feel involved and invested in the chosen activity.

Invite Them To Pitch In

Is there something on your to-do list that they can help you with? Maybe reply with, “We need to bake cookies for grandma. Would you like to help me measure the ingredients?” This not only keeps them occupied but also allows for bonding and feel like they’re contributing to family life.