Monday, January 18, 2010


What "I'm bored" can mean:

I need something and I don't know what it is.

I'm lonely and want you to spend time with me.

Life has gotten monotonous around here, let's do something new!

I'm not sure what I want to do next. I could use some ideas.

I'm feeling a little down and could use a distraction right about now.

I need a change of scenery.

I wish my friends lived closer. I miss them.

I'm between major interests/hobbies right now. I need a new one.

I've learned all the interesting stuff around here. Show me something new.

I'm not getting enough exercise, and it's boring to do it by myself. Let's go play outside together.

I need something to do that makes me feel purposeful and important.

What "I'm bored" almost NEVER means:

I don't appreciate the hundreds of dollars worth of toys and games I have.

I am oblivious to all the stuff there is to do right in front of my face and need you to point it out to me.

I can't do anything on my own. This is your cue to give me orders.

I am volunteering to do any random household chore you feel like assigning, no matter how tedious, boring or lonely it is.

Since I'm not sure what I want to do, I am willing to do anything. Just blurt out an activity and I'll happily do it.

I should be able to completely entertain myself by now, independently of other people. Since I can't, I am immature.


Idzie Desmarais said...

LOVE this post! All parents should read this.

Anonymous said...

This post is right on the money.

Netzi said...

Oops! I took it differently by not correlating it to unschooling or parenting.

Boredom is overused. People are too dependent on peers for entertainment. Being alone for two hours will not hurt anyone, unless you're super extraverted, and I doubt most are like that.

I sound too mad, but really, I only say, "I'm bored!" for large things, when life lacks stimulation. Others say it just for not having electronics, or when no mall or nightclub is nearby.

Elisha said...

@Netzi - I don't think it's so much a matter of depending on peers for entertainment. I think it's that what we call "boredom" is really a lot of different emotions, and isn't strictly about needing something to do. It's more about needing something you can't identify.

Netzi said...

That's a good way to see it.

Marilou said...

I agree with every one of those statements! I've never thought about it in some of those ways. Next time I am "bored" (okay, in about ten minutes...) I will definitely try to identify what I actually want.

Joie said...

I enjoyed this post. My first time to your blog, just found it courtesy of Unschooling on facebook. Anyways,
you have put exactly what I tell all my friends (that are parents)...because so many times they tell me that when their kiddos says to them they are bored, they give the poor things a list of chores to do. So sad...I mean I know how I feel when I am bored, and it is either because I miss my friends or I am tired of the monotony and I need a serious change of scenery. Not to mention that in MI in the winters can just make one bored. My kiddos are seldom bored, and when they are I know we just need a change of pace and POOF! the boredom is alleviated.

keisha said...

I just started a new blog. I am kind of bored myself this week. Found you through google search bored with unschooling. I would love to have your permission to share this on my blog as I thought it was true and inspiring. Thanks